Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Tag Rugby - The last great bastion of the sporting inept!
Wow…settle down…I can almost hear the raised voices after people click on the link in anger, ready to vent rage at poor old An Smuigin!. Firstly let me state my position on Tag Rugby, I'm a huge supporter, in fact I am IRFU qualified to coach the game. Why then do I ridicule Ireland's fastest growing sport? In order to explain myself, I think an overview is required.
As stated Tag Rugby is the fastest growing mixed gender sport in Ireland with an estimated 11,000 people taking part over the spring and summer leagues. A basic non contact version of Rugby league (not Rugby Union!) this sport has captured the hearts and minds of Irelands masses generally aged between 20 - 45, although I believe there are seniors leagues as well.
A lot of players both male and female come from non rugby backgrounds, and as such there are a variety of divisions to accompany the level of skills. Its become a real social outlet also, with the after match BBQ just as important as the game itself. Most of all it provides people with a brilliant sporting outlet during the summer evenings, players skills grow with the leagues as year on year, teams improve, move up grades etc.
So why bash this seemingly sporting/social revolution? Despite all the positives…there are also many negatives….
Now correct me if I am wrong, but the idea of tag rugby as stated above is to provide a sporting and social outlet across both genders during the summer months. When oh when did it become a mass marketing/pr initiative. Teams have lost the original idea behind the competition as parent companies insist on mass branding on jerseys, t-shirts, shorts, caps etc. This crass Americanisation of the game have resulted in a number of companies entering 3 and 4 teams in each tag rugby venue, out they come 30/40 people all branded to the hilt, I wont name names but certain banks and certain technology hardware developers are the worst offenders.
Following on the branding issue, companies are really beginning to lose all sense of reason, I recently heard of a group of players to have played for a number of years on a 'friends' team, however some players were politely informed by their place of employment that playing for another team not their companies was frowned upon. GET A LIFE…it’s a game…its all about playing with your mates!!...this is a scary development….
And finally…the last bastion of the sporting inept
Tag rugby has many fine things going for it! (in more ways than one).. But my biggest problem with the game is the amount of gobshites who play the game in such a physical way despite their complete lack of a sporting bone in their body. Im talking specifically about the fellas, you know the type, never played a team sport before, wears rugby gloves (I mean come on..it will be padding next) and thinks that running directly over a girl is some sort of sporting achievement!! I love it see it when a girl batters some of these idiots. I have even heard these morons trash talk girls as they prepare to pass the ball or kick off!!! No wonder the game is the biggest cause of sporting injuries in Ireland. All of these muppets should been banned!!!!...it would only improve the standard and the enjoyment of a brilliant sport.