Posts tagged ‘Sports administrators’

Rules Pointless Unless Adhered To

Sports administrators in the main are very sensitive people. The want all the praise but are not keen on criticism. One would have thought heading into a field where you are never going to keep everyone a happy a thick skin would be a prerequisite.

What is a major concern to sports lovers and participants is the inconsistency being shown by those running the various sports.

Rules and regulations are put in place by the various governing bodies yet none seem to have the courage to enforce those regulations; some sports enforce where it suits.

A prime example follows the introduction of a new side to a state competition. One of the conditions of entry so NTFS has been led to believe was that the new side would not go out and target players from existing clubs and entice them to the new club with incentives. Yet the feeling among a number of the existing clubs is that this is exactly what has happened. One club official claiming that the departing player was honest enough to share the deal he was being offered and explaining why he was leaving.

When this was taken up with the game’s governing body the club was allegedly told “What can we do?”

If you as a governing body are not going to do anything why put rules and regulations in place? When creating these rules it would be wise to outline the consequences of clubs or individuals breaking these regulations and the sanctions that they face. In this instant surely a fine or a deduction of points would have been the ideal way to show that such behaviour would not be tolerated?

Of course the ignorance of some clubs, run in the main by volunteers is a major cause of the mismanagement. Clubs are not aware of many of the rules or the constitutions under which they are operating and as a result people obtain positions they are not entitled to and no one says a word. In one sport one man currently holds three official positions, one with a club, which precludes him from holding one of his other positions, yet has anyone said anything?

They say we get the politicians we deserve, it would appear that sport is getting the administrators it deserves. Each club should take the time to read the rules and regulations as it is in their long term interests that they are adhered to. It may not affect your club now but it may down the track, so if one club steps out of line the others have an obligation to stand as one a nip that breaking of ranks in the bud.

If in this busy world that we live in they feel they do not have time to do such things they would be wise to elect a representative  whose sole job is to monitor such issues and ensure for the good of the clubs and the sport that rules and regulations are adhered to. They currently cannot rely on the administrators to carry out this role which in truth should fall under their remit.

If the administrators are not prepared to ensure that everything is run by the book, then is it any wonder that anarchy is sticking its head above the parapet?


March 31, 2015 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

Farewell, and Now to the Future

It was a day for resignations yesterday with Rugby WA CEO Vern Reid announcing that he will not be seeking an extension of his contract and Head of the ARU John O’Neill stepping down from his role as Chief Executive. Neither announcement came as a great shock.

Reid received criticism from many in local Rugby, along with the board for bowing to player power when coachRichard Graham announced he was leaving at the end of the season, despite telling the coach he could see out his contract he did a backflip and Graham was shown the door halfway through the Super Rugby season. It is therefore interesting that Mr Reid will continue in the role until a replacement is found. Is this double standards? The loss of star player David Pocock was always going to leave Mr Reid in a tenuous position and hence his decision to move on may well have come at the right time. He has in the main done a good job at Rugby WA and it is sad that his time will probably be remembered for the last six months in the role. Should the new coaching staff bring the much desired results then let us not forget his part in their recruitment.

John O’Neill has been touted as one of the great Australian sports administrators, yet he has always managed to polarise people. One thing that has to be admired about Mr O’Neill is he was never afraid to front the media and tell them what he thought, unlike many other highly paid CEOs. He has had two spells at the ARU and his first was clearly more successful than his second. Taking on the role as Rugby Union turned professional he oversaw what was a Golden era of Australian Rugby and was lucky to be at the helm when the Wallabies had an extraordinary coach in Rod MacQueen and Captain in John Eales. At that time Australian rugby swept all before them, World Cup in 1999, Tri Nations, Bledisloe Cup, Mandela Cup and Tom Richards Trophy victory over the British and Irish Lions.

O’Neill also over saw the highly successful 2003 Rugby World Cup that left the ARU with a $44million windfall. O’Neill has been ambitious but his outspokenness which gave him the headlines also restricted his advancement. So he moved to Football. There he oversaw the birth of the Hyundai A League, and despite putting all of his eggs in one basket like the many who had gone before, was fortunate that the Socceroos prevailed in a penalty shoot-out to go to their first World Cup in 32 years. It was a gamble that assured him legendary status. Once again he wooed the headline hungry media but upset those above him. The timing of his departure was ideal. Australian football was once again dreaming of qualifying for World Cups and the A League was still riding the crest of a wave as a new tournament. Yet what did he establish for the grassroots level of the game, for the development of the next generation of Socceroos? Six years after his departure back to rugby those answers are becoming glaringly obvious.

O’Neill returned to Rugby Union and one of the first things he did was slam the door on the excellent and much needed Australian Rugby Championship, a competition below Super Rugby similar to the Currie Cup in South Africa and the ITM cup in New Zealand. He did however do a lot of good the second time around much of it not obvious to the public. He introduced private equity to Australia’s Super Rugby franchises. He expanded Rugby’s footprint by taking the competition into Melbourne. He has also finally fulfilled his long held ambition of gaining a place of influence at international level and not just in Australia; he is chairman of the IRB’s regulations committee and sits on the board of Rugby World Cup Ltd. Let us also not forget that he appointed Australia’s first foreign coach in Robbie Deans, no doubt hoping that Deans could weave the magic that Guus Hiddink had in football, and bring home the William Webb Ellis Cup. Unfortunately he didn’t and the pressure on the two has been mounting ever since.

As much as his departure came as no surprise,what was baffling to many is how the ARU could allow a man in such a key role to have other business commitments. Chairman of the ARU Michael Hawker stating that “John’s workload beyond Rugby has recently grown significantly, and unexpectedly, through his chairmanship of Echo Entertainment,” a Casino company. One has to question how a board, any board at national or state level, can allow a man who is paid an extremely good wage to hold other positions that mean he does not have 100% focus on doing what is essential for the sport he represents. This has to be the biggest indictment on the ARU board, and stakeholders around Australia should be asking questions as to how this was the case.

Ironically the one issue that O”Neill pushed for in his return in 2007 was a review of rugby’s governance, something that had it been done earlier may well have helped him in his tasks over the past five years. The review has now been conducted by former Labor politician Mark Arbib has conducted and he will present his findings to the ARU board on the 22nd of October, but O’Neill will not be there to reap its possible rewards.


October 13, 2012 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It.

The biggest problem facing many sports today is over administration. By that we mean administrators who are interfering with the essence of the sport, for reasons that they claim will make it more marketable.

Sport has been around forever and a day. It will always have its followers, its players, its coaches, and its coverage in the media. Sure there are ways that you can improve in all of these areas, but the sport as a game will survive, as long as you do not kill it.

In the last ten years the sport that we do not mention has marketed itself superbly in Australia, and is without doubt the market leader. However warning signs are there, because they are tampering with the rules too much. The average spectator is now confused and the spectacle they pay to watch is not what they want. If they lose interest your marketing will be for nought.

Rugby Union is facing the same predicament. Free-flowing rugby is becoming a thing of the past as the rules are seeing a more rugby league style game. Ironic, when Union said when they went professional that league would die. Unless you are over 100kgs and six foot tall there is no place in the game for you.

One fan pointed out after witnessing England at Twickenham at the weekend, that you no longer get value for money. His ticket was 80 pounds for 80 minutes entertainment. Yet as he stated there was probably ten minutes of ‘touch-pause engage’ and the scrum collapsing. At a pound a minute that is not what you pay to watch.

Football, the world game is one of the few sports that has seen very few changes in its rules, although the offside rule still takes some explaining. Is one of the keys to its success and marketability the fact that its administrators have avoided tampering with the rules?

Tennis and Golf are two more sports that maintain their strength, as they too have no need to tamper with laws and rules.
Cricket has tried to embrace technology, which is applaudable, however it has still not managed to get it right. Umpires understandably now no longer make decisions as they could be shown to have erred on one of the many angles of replay shown. Decisions when referred to the third umpire take too long to be made.

Television’s technology has in fact, we believe, harmed the game. The snick-o-meter to determine a noise if the ball has clipped the bat is a prime example. The laws of the game do not say the umpire must have heard a noise to give a batsman out, but that he must have seen the ball deviate off the edge.

Sport in the modern day is worth millions of dollars a year, but it needs to be careful that it does not out price itself from the common man, its fan, or over administrate and hence take away the spectacle. The warning signs are there. Let us hope that those charged with governing sport take heed.

March 3, 2010 at 9:31 am 1 comment

Boxing Kangaroo on the Canvas

Sports administrators the world over must have a secret awards ceremony every year in which the body that makes the most ridiculous ruling wins the “Wally” award.

The IOC would have to be in which a chance of making the finals, with their decision to tell the Australian Olympic Council in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics to take down the Boxing Kangaroo flag. The reason being that it is inappropriate and too commercial.

The flag, which was created in 1983 when Australia won the America’s Cup, has become iconic, using one of Australia’s national symbols, with puffed out chest and boxing gloves showing both pride and a willingness to fight. Characteristics that have been recognised in Australians the world over.

The amazing thing is the AOC bought the boxing Kangaroo after the Americas Cup victory and made it a Commercial trademark. So an arm of the IOC actually owns the rights to the image, not some Johnny-come-lately looking to make a quick dollar.

We urge every Australian attending the winter Olympics to make sure they go armed with a boxing Kangaroo flag and wave it in the IOC face with pride!

February 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

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