Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Friday, September 16, 2011

RFU fail Level 1 numeracy. Inability to count...

Not initially a women's/girls' story, but bear with me....
This is a rather attractive and impressive graphic, isn't it? It shows the number of registered players in each nation taking part in the men's world cup, with the smaller circle showing the percentage who are registered adult players. Its a bit misleading as a first glance it gives the impression that England have fewer adult players than the USA...

However, that is not what makes it stand out. What is impressive if the huge red circle to the side there. England. BIG isn't it - shows that England have 2.5 million registered players. Also highlights how many are lost as only 6% are adult males. This is the basis of the panic that has given us U13 girls rugby this season.

Yes - of the 2.5 million players in England, 2.4 million are children and women. And we know that RFU wildly undercount women and only acknowledge the existence of about 5,000 adult women players, so almost all are children.

Anyone see anything wrong here? No?

That is a heck of a lot of children. If I chuck in the fact that the RFU say that only 11,000 are girls then that really is a heck of a lot of boys.

Or, to put it another way, there are "only" 50 million people in England, and 10 million are children. That includes babies and infants, so we can also say that there are only about 6-7 million children old enough to play rugby. Half of them are girls, and RFU say only 11,000 of them play. So that leaves us with about 3.5 million boys in England... and the RFU say that 2.4 million of them play rugby.

That means that over 68% of boys play rugby union.

Wow! And not just at school - this is based on Rugby First, remember. These are club registrations!

Does anyone out there, for one tiny moment, believe this? If you do consider this. Letchworth - population 30,000. So that is about 2,000 boys aged 7-18. In which case the club should have 1,300 junior members, or about 100 boys for each age group!

What is amazing is such clear and obvious rubbish is never questioned. RFU publish this number, it appears on the IRB database, and now in graphics like this. And no-one ever questions it... And its all fiction. I'd hazard a guess that at least two-thirds of these players do no exist. At least - and if you doubt that ask a school class how many play rugby. How many people would put their hands up?

Yet this is the data that RFU use when they panic about players being lost to the game between junior and senior rugby, or about the game not expanding (or even about players being lost). It is this data that is used to justify panics like the U13s.

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