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Spanish rugby

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby ficcp » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 19:55

Armchair : It is surprising the high number of teams in the Balearic Islands. Which is te reason? Many expatriates?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby ficcp » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 20:11

Armchair : The map offers a lot of information, not many Unions offer it with such a detail.
I repeat the question concerning the number of clubs in Valencia and Murcia.
¿What about Canarias? I understand is difficult for them to participate in the central tournaments due to the distance.
What is the meaning of a Licence? Is the holder entitled to benefits such as insurance, preferencial availability of tickets, discounts on marchandising, etc.?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 20:38

ficcp wrote:Armchair : It is surprising the high number of teams in the Balearic Islands. Which is te reason? Many expatriates?

Multiple reasons:
- Obviously British community there helps
- To keep the sport alive you almost need a club in every island, even if it's just for touch rugby, sevens or to play some friendlies with touring veteran sides
- Regional union is very flexible, it's not rare to see Barbarians sides fielded in regional competitions just so people who want to play do, even if their club hasn't got enough people
- They have a sort of high performance unit for youngsters (Centre de Tecnificació) that was led by a good guy from Madrid (Boris Gutiérrez) with experience in FER that did a good job and as a result they often play in U18/U16 regional first tier, were included in FER Academia Nacional, managed to promote a franchise to DHB...

Unfortunately costs of trip to Peninsula are a big barrier, even though some teams aren't detered by that and for example send teams to play Catalan league (Shamrock from Mallorca does with their women side).

ficcp wrote:Armchair : The map offers a lot of information, not many Unions offer it with such a detail.
I repeat the question concerning the number of clubs in Valencia and Murcia.
¿What about Canarias? I understand is difficult for them to participate in the central tournaments due to the distance.
What is the meaning of a Licence? Is the holder entitled to benefits such as insurance, preferencial availability of tickets, discounts on marchandising, etc.?


Valencia and Murcia... to be honest, having so many clubs may not be so good news. It's often the result of people opening a club in every village or fights between old buddies that provoked splits. I mean, Valencia even saw some people going into rugby league... City of Valencia has over a dozen clubs, 4-5 in DHB but none in División de Honor. Juan Roig, one of the richest men in Spain, gives them 250,000€ but divided for all of them it ends up not being much. CAU Valencia offers Spanish national sides 6-7 talented players but can't retain them because it makes no sense being out of DH. Likewise but with less money, Murcia is a disaster every time they get a side promoted to DHB. Sounds crazy, isn't it? Compare it to Almería where in 2013 all clubs decided to merge into Unión Rugby Almería, now the 7th biggest club in Spain and tenant of a football stadium. But at least regional scene is vibrating (Valencia Rugby Union has its own one-hour long weekly podcast!) and their growth is often just limited by the lack of pitches.

About Canarias, you are right. There is this interesting article from just a few days ago explaining their struggles. Basically their national presence is limited to the odd U8, U12 team entered in a national championship for a weekend.

Licence is mandatory to play any kind of official sport. It includes a fee for the regional union (national union doesn't see a penny, hence their need to charge fees to enter national competitions) and insurance coverage. Its price varies from region to region depending on the insurance deal they manage to find, often leading to regional leagues bearing insurance companies as title sponsors (AON, FIATC...). Coverage also changes in each region, I believe Valencia started to require mandatory heart checks this season.

Image
https://www.facebook.com/UCantabriaRugb ... =3&theater

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby ficcp » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 20:52

Gracias, me queda muy claro.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 01:19

Since you liked previous maps, I've tried to do another one a bit more special. I'd rather people not take it too seriously, because it's just a pseudostatistical game based on the question of what would happen if we tried to explain Spanish rugby provincial development through an index loosely based on Human Development Index model. So I created the Oval Development Index.

The Oval Development Index (based only on men's rugby data given the big inequalities in women's field and the lack of depth in their competitions) tries to take into account Performance, Participation and Prospection. Each one of them weighs a third.

Performance is calculated with the average of top two clubs in national competitions.

Participation uses both licences and teams per capita figures.

Prospection merges underage results from both regional and club sides with the amount of players provinces provide to FER Academia Nacional.

Main issue for me was to recalibrate Basque provinces because they barely take part in Spanish underage scene, but I think I managed to do that. I didn't prevent Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia from reaching Top 5 and Top 10.

It probably is a bit unfair to smaller provinces, who often see their efforts feeding bigger provinces (Cuenca and Guadalajara look like worst provinces, as they are part of Valencia and Madrid regional systems) but some need to be bottom...

Image

1. Madrid - 0.911
2. Valladolid - 0.904
3. Barcelona - 0.866
4. Gipuzkoa - 0.798
5. Valencia - 0.797
6. Bizkaia - 0.684
7. Sevilla - 0.637
8. Cantabria - 0.628
9. Baleares - 0.563
10. Burgos - 0.539
Last edited by Armchair Fan on Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 11:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 03:08

Valencia scores pretty highly, so why no Division de Honor team?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 04:26

Armchair Fan wrote:Since you liked previous maps, I've tried to do another one a bit more special. I'd rather people not take it too seriously, because it's just a pseudostatistical game based on the question of what would happen if we tried to explain Spanish rugby provincial development through an index loosely based on Human Development Index model. So I created the Oval Development Index.

The Oval Development Index (based only on men's rugby data given the big inequalities in women's field and the lack of depth in their competitions) tries to take into account Performance, Participation and Prospection. Each one of them weighs a third.

Performance is calculated with the average of top two clubs in national competitions.

Participation uses both licences and teams per capita figures.

Prospection merges underage results from both regional and club sides with the amount of players provinces provide to FER Academia Nacional.

Main issue for me was to recalibrate Basque provinces because they barely take part in Spanish underage scene, but I think I managed to do that. I didn't prevent Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia from reaching Top 5 and Top 10.

It probably is a bit unfair to smaller provinces, who often see their efforts feeding bigger provinces (Cuenca and Guadalajara look like worst provinces, as they are part of Valencia and Madrid regional systems) but some need to be bottom...

Image

1. Madrid - 0.911
2. Valladolid - 0.904
3. Barcelona - 0.866
4. Gipuzkoa - 0.798
5. Valencia - 0.797
6. Bizkaia - 0.684
7. Sevilla - 0.637
8. Cantabria - 0.628
9. Baleares - 0.563
10. Burgos - 0.539


Man, this is a VERY COOL idea! Awesome.

Madrid in the top is interesting since their clubs don't won titles that much (2 in 20 years, right? CRC and Alcobendas), but the presence of the national team I guess makes the difference.
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 08:46

Chester-Donnelly wrote:Valencia scores pretty highly, so why no Division de Honor team?

Because efforts are divided between several clubs. They have the people, the structure, the talent but there isn't a single or a couple of clubs gathering the top of the top.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 08:50

victorsra wrote:Madrid in the top is interesting since their clubs don't won titles that much (2 in 20 years, right? CRC and Alcobendas), but the presence of the national team I guess makes the difference.

Even though they don't win that much they still have Alcobendas and Cisneros in the top tier and have huge participation numbers. What explains Madrid advanced Valladolid is underage results, as their regional side dominates U18 and U16 and Alcobendas and Cisneros often fare better than VRAC and El Salvador. Yet the amateur mentality often reigning in Madrid makes many guys leave rugby at senior level, take it less seriously or in best case, going 7s.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 09:40

Armchair Fan wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Valencia scores pretty highly, so why no Division de Honor team?

Because efforts are divided between several clubs. They have the people, the structure, the talent but there isn't a single or a couple of clubs gathering the top of the top.


That's good to know though. If professional rugby really takes off in Spain there is an opportunity to have a team or two in Valencia.

Something I like about Spanish rugby, and I hope it is kept, is that most DdH teams have a rival in the same city.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 17:18

Interesting the difference between Basque Country areas and Navarre. I expected that Navarre was a bit more developed in rugby.

In the other hand, I think rugby in the Canaries is in a pretty difficult position to develop. I saw they have their own competiton with 3 clubs. But at least they have a competition! In the Portuguese islands, Madeira and Azores have zero rugby. Madeira briefly had some rugby, but AFAIK it is dead (or almost).
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 18:11

Navarra is in much better shape in women's rugby than men's, providing a couple players to XV national team.

Canarias, yes, it will be very complicated. Universidad de La Laguna has tried some times to enter promotion play-offs to DHB but it's expensive for both them and rivals. Some Sevens series could be the right answer... Anyway it's a bit of a shame because to me their biggest potential is in forwards. They have a traditional form of wrestling that would translate well.

And there are more clubs in Canarias but they can't afford the kind of Travels a regular interislands compétition would mean.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 19:41

I'm checking in FER's website, DHB has 3 groups with 2 best of each and te 2 best 3rds advancing to the QFs. Just thinking (for fun, not seriously) that the Canaries champions could enter a repechage against the DHB 3rds, in a semiinal worthing 2 QFs spots. That would be a simpler way (only 1 trip, probably) to incorporate them and open space to see their players. But probably they would be thrashed... right?
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 20:09

They would. But most importantly such a format should be voted by FER General Assembly, including DH and DHB clubs who wouldn't welcome a team having a chance to reach DH with 4, 8, 12...? times the cost of a regular season.

We are at the point where wise developmental and commercial decisions clash with amateur realities and interests. There is a proposal to create a division between DH and DHB from this next season, in order to have 12 teams at the top, 10-12 teams at the second level doing national trips every week and fielding reserve teams just like in top tier and then a third division liké current DHB. But most certainly DHB clubs without chances to be involved in the new category will vote against it. Jealousy? Not really. It would equate to a relegation from second to third national tier that they haven't earned on field and some public subsidies rely directly on the division they play in.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 20:58

Yes, for sure. What about Copa del Rey? Who has the right to play it?
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 21:12

Currently only DH clubs. It used to be with DHB too, but gap is wide and schedule is tight.

To me their development should be the result of a step by step development like it has been the case in the Balearic Islands. They made a bet on academy, they've been collecting results in underage official tournaments and now they have a franchise settled in DHB.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 22:01

Let's make a list :)

Major non-independent islands/archipelagos in Europe and their best rugby clubs;

- Jersey (British crown): Jersey Reds (professional, English Championship = 2nd division);
- Sardinia (Italy): Alghero (semi-pro, Serie A = 2nd division);
- Sicily (Italy): Amatori Catania (semi-pro, Serie A = 2nd division);
- Baleares (Spain): Babarians Calvià (amateur, División de Honor B = 2nd division)
- Guernsey (British crown): Guernsey Raiders (amateur, English National League 2 = 4th division);
- Isle of Man (British crown): Douglas RUFC (amateur, English North West 1 = 6th division);
- Corsica (France): Bastia (amateur, Federale 3, now 6th division);
- Canaries (Spain): only an independent tournament;
- Madeira (Portugal): no rugby;
- Azores (Portugal): no rugby;

Minor rugby countries:
- Crete (Greece): Crete Gunners (amateur 1st division);
- Aland Islands (Finland): no idea... but there is a club ;
- Gotland (Sweden): no idea....
Last edited by victorsra on Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 22:45, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 22:12

Baleares is in 2nd division, División de Honor B, Grupo B through XV Babarians Calvià (it's not a typo, I imagine it's a contraction of 'Balearic Barbarians'). El Toro RC earned that spot in 2017 and decided to share it with other clubs from Mallorca island, forming a franchise with its own identity. As I said it's not weird in Balearic Islands to see merged teams in their internal competitions so every boy and girl has the chance to play even if they are not enough within his/her club. And there are quite a few clubs of a similar level in Mallorca. For example Ponent has provided some guys to Spain U18 and U20 , won last season's U18 National Trophy (at least 9th best team in the country) and was 3rd in last season's U16 National Trophy (at least 11th best team in the country).

They were 4th in 2017/18 (22nd team in Spanish club ladder and it looked like they lost a few games on purpose because playing promotion playoffs would have been a financial burden), 7th in 2018/19 (31st) and 8th (36th) this season although with one game less than others.

Their main issue is, like it happens to Marbella, that some of their talent is of foreign ancestry and leave the island to pursue university studies in the country of their parents.
Last edited by Armchair Fan on Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 00:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Sun, 02 Aug 2020, 22:39

victorsra wrote:Let's make a list :)

Major non-independent islands/archipelagos in Europe and their best rugby clubs;

- Jersey (British crown): Jersey Reds (professional, English Championship = 2nd division);
- Sardinia (Italy): Alghero (semi-pro, Serie A = 2nd division);
- Sicily (Italy): Amatori Catania (semi-pro, Serie A = 2nd division);
- Baleares (Spain): Babarians Calvià (amateur, División de Honor B = 2nd division)
- Guernsey (British crown): Guernsey Raiders (amateur, English National League 2 = 4th division);
- Isle of Man (British crown): Douglas RUFC (amateur, English North West 1 = 6th division);
- Corsica (France): no club in the top 6 divisions... only in the 7th level (the regional league)
- Canaries (Spain): only an independent tournament, with no conection to the national level;
- Madeira (Portugal): no rugby;
- Azores (Portugal): no rugby;

Minor rugby countries:
- Crete (Greece): Crete Gunners (amateur 1st division);
- Aland Islands (Finland): no idea... but there is a club ;
- Gotland (Sweden): no idea....

Updated. And updating Corsica, it looks like Bastia is back to the regional league....
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 00:34

It has no link to Spanish rugby, but Corsica is set to host a Top 14 fixture next year as well as LNR Super Sevens:
https://www.lequipe.fr/Rugby/Actualites ... 21/1153735

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 03:08

It would take a lot of work to make a comprehensive list. Britain has a lot of smaller Islands around it.
Scotland: Stornoway RFC on the Isle of Lewis and Harris. Shetland RFC, Orkney RFC, Isle of Mull Rugby Club.
Wales: Anglesey. Llangefni Rugby Club, Menai Bridge Rugby Club, Holyhead Rugby Club.
England: Isle of Wight. Isle of Wight RFC, Sandown & Shanklin RFC, Ventnor RFC.
Isle of Sheppey RFC.
This is just a few. There will be a lot more.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 03:23

Let's only count islands not linked by bridges or short ferries, because it makes all difference. I'm thinking about travel issues.

Shetland and Orkney clubs play the what competitions?
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 03:37

victorsra wrote:Let's only count islands not linked by bridges or short ferries, because it makes all difference. I'm thinking about travel issues.

Shetland and Orkney clubs play the what competitions?


Orkney RFC play in Caledonia Division One (which is level 5 in Scotland)
Shetland RFC play in Caledonia North 3 (which is about level 7 or 8).

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 03:53

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Let's only count islands not linked by bridges or short ferries, because it makes all difference. I'm thinking about travel issues.

Shetland and Orkney clubs play the what competitions?


Orkney RFC play in Caledonia Division One (which is level 5 in Scotland)
Shetland RFC play in Caledonia North 3 (which is about level 7 or 8).

I think we can include Llangefni RFC. They are the best team in Anglesey. They play in WRU North Division 1, which is level 3, but also the highest level a North Wales club can rise to. This wasn't always the case. North Wales teams used to be able to be promoted into national amateur divisions but the South Wales teams complained about the long trip to Llangefni, so they separated the north and started a North Wales regional team, RGC which now plays in the Welsh Premiership.
Stornoway RFC is the best team in Lewis and Harris. They play in the same division as Shetland.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Figaro » Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 07:42

There are two bridges to Anglesey. And Llangefni are only one of a dozen clubs on the island anyway

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