How Much is Touch Worth?

Our leisure time is precious and we demand that our recreational experiences are not only fulfilling but value for money.  So how much are you prepared to pay in order to play Touch and what do you expect in return?  Answer the poll and comment below

Orangutans - ail salfe / second place 2012

Touch requires minimum equipment; a ball, an area to play on and that’s about it.  However, there is a whole sliding scale of optional extras which can have a huge impact on the player’s ‘experience’ and therefore the price.

The Price of Yoga

When you look at organised fitness activities such as Spinning classes or Yoga, you would expect to pay around £5 for 45-60 minute sessions.  What you are paying for is the knowledge that you are lead by a trained instructor, using suitable, safe equipment in a suitable venue, where you can have a shower and change afterwards.

The going rate for playing 5-a-side football is similar.  To play a weekly 30-40 minute match with 5-a-side national operators Leisure Leagues, costs from £22 -£35 per team.  In other words, it’s at least £4.50 per player, per game.  For this you get trained referees, good playing facilities, weekly programmes and an excellent website with fixtures and results for your league regularly updated.

The Price of Touch Poll

Touch leagues usually charge a season fee per team rather than per head.  To keep the maths simple, let’s assume that the costs are based on 10 players playing a 10 week season.   For example, if your team fee is £250, each player pays £25 per season, which is £2.50 each per game.

Based on this, I’ve come up with pricing options and what I think are reasonable expectations based on each price.

  • Free – let’s have a chuck around on the park, no refs, no score-keeping, just for fun
  • £1 per game – let’s all chuck in a quid to pay a mate to referee games for us, games are friendlies and not part of an accredited league
  • £2-3 per game – games officiated by one qualified referee, there is a league website with fixtures and results, plus trophies at the end of the season for winning teams
  • £3-4 per game – all the above, but I want games dual or triple refereed with level 2 or above qualified refs and free playing shirt for everyone in the team
  • £5+ per game – all of the above, plus access to changing and shower facilities and maybe even a nice bar

The (Actual) Price of Touch

I’ve done a quick check of prices to play Touch in three random locations.  These are all well established leagues with many teams already competing each summer.  This is based on the most up to date prices on league websites (either 2012 or 2013).  The price is the fee per team, per season (8-10 games per season).

London (Regent’s Park) £495 per team

Summer 2013, 8 week season, playing t-shirts supplied, 40 minute games

Nottingham £375 per team

Summer 2012, 10 week season, playing t-shirts supplied, 40 minute games

Cardiff £250 per team

Summer 2012, 8 week season, no shirts supplied, 30 minute games

An interesting comparison between playing in the capital of Wales and our English counterpart.  It costs almost double the amount to play Touch in London’s Regent Park, although you do get a snazzy t-shirt, slightly longer match time and the honour of playing in the Queen’s back yard.

Priced out of the game?

To pay a few pounds to play 40 minutes of Touch in an affiliated league seems reasonable in comparison to similar activities, but it can be a barrier to some.  Recent statistics show that adults in the most deprived areas of Wales were more likely to report no physically active days each week.  Can it be true that less well off people are less inclined to take part in physical activity in their leisure time?  Is the cost of many activities the reason for this trend?

The WRU will soon be announcing their fees for 2013 Touch leagues around the country.  If they are to hit their ambitious participation targets for what they are terming ‘Leisure Rugby’, i.e. Touch, then they are going to have to consider their season fees very carefully so as not to exclude large proportions of the Welsh community – the majority of which are not currently participating in sport.

WRU Participation Officers

After all, what is preferable, a large number of people playing the game, but paying less money, or a small, elite group paying a premium?  When Sport Wales is funding the WRU to employ 14 full time Participation Officers to the tune of £400,000 over the next three years in order to bring the game to masses, surely the former is the case.

Let’s hope the 2013 pricing structure is more Hailey Park than Regent’s Park.

What about you?  What are you prepared to pay and what do you expect in return?  Answer the poll and leave your comments below

Cyhoeddir Barcuitiad | Kites Announced

Cyhoeddir carfanau Barcuitiaid Coch ar gyfer y Pencampwriaethau Cenedlaethol.   Barcutiaid Coch squads are announced for the National Championships in April.

Carfan Barcutiaid Squad 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(BILINGUAL MESSAGE – SCROLL DOWN FOR ENGLISH)

Barcutiaid Coch yw’r enw rhoddodd i’r tîm rhanbarth gorllewin Cymru newydd.  Dyna’r fframwaith sydd newydd cael ei ffurfio gan Gymdeithas Cyffwrdd Cymru er mwyn darparu cyfle i bawb ar draws Gymru i gynrychioli eu rhanbarth yn erbyn y chwaraewyr gorau yng Nghymru.

Ar ôl y sesiynau ymarfer cychwynnol, mae prif hyfforddwr Barcutiaid, Matt Adams wedi cyhoeddi ei garfan ar gyfer y Pencampwriaethau Cenedlaethol. Dywedodd, Matt;

Ar y cyfan, carfan ifanc, ddibrofiad yw hi ond mae pawb yn frwdfrydig a barod i ddysgu sgiliau a thactegau newydd sy’n berthnasol i rygbi cyffwrdd. Rydw i’n wrth fy mod gydag ymdrechion pawb hyd yn hyn ac rwy’n edrych ‘mlaen yn fawr at y Bencampwriaeth.

Fe fydd y Bencampwriaeth Genedlaethol yn cael eu cynnal ym mis Ebrill gyda’r chwe rhanbarth newydd yn brwydro yn erbyn i gilydd. Rhagor o fanylion ar wefan Cymdeithas Cyffwrdd Cymru.

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Barcutiaid Coch (Red Kites) is the name given to the new west Wales region. This is the new framework formed by the Wales Touch Association to provide an opportunity for everyone across Wales to represent their region against the best players in Wales.

Barcutiaid Coch Red_Kites_Logo

After the initial practice sessions, Barcutiaid head coach, Matt Adams has announced his squad for the National Championships. Matt said;

On the whole, it’s a young, inexperienced squad, but everyone is enthusiastic and willing to learn the new skills and tactics that apply to touch rugby. I’m really pleased with everyone’s efforts so far and I’m looking forward to the Nationals.

The National Championships will be held in April with six new regions to battle it out. Further details available from Wales Touch Association.

Could You Play Regional Touch for West Wales?

The West Wales regional team is now a reality with the announcement of the first ever regional training camp on Sunday 27th January from 2 – 5pm in Parc y Scarlets Training Barn.  The Regional Coaches will be Gorllewin Gwyllt’s, Matt Adams and Wales Mens Over 30 player, Christen Jones.

Since this is a brand new regional format, the question is who is going to make up the team – so do you think that you have got what it takes to play at the regional level?

Delwedd

Ysgubor Ymarfer Parc y Scarlets Training Barn

Wales Touch Association (WTA) has just announced the inaugural Welsh Nationals Tournament in April 2013.  The country is to be divided into six brand new regions who will compete over the weekend of the 6th and 7th April (location TBC).  The West Wales region will include men and women that reside in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and will be coached by Matt Adams and Christen Jones – supported by WTA’s new Elite Performance Director, Simon Williams.

Christen Jones

Christen Jones

The aim is for each region to field a men’s, women’s and mixed team in the Nationals and we will be doing the best we can to ensure that West Wales fulfils each category.

Anyone that is interested in playing regional Touch is called upon to come along to the first session at Parc y Scarlets at the end of January to show what they can do.  The session will include training drills as well as game time.

So What Are The Main Attributes That The Coaches Will Be Looking For?

  • A commitment to the team and training sessions
  • A positive attitude
  • Players that want to work hard
  • The ability to follow instructions and accept feedback
  • Tactical knowledge or a willingness to learn more about the game

Anyone that is interested should be aged 15 years or older as of 1st January 2013 and should register with Nationals co-ordinator, Gareth Revell.  All players that have been selected for Wales’ national preliminary squads are to participate and will be contacted directly in due course.  We also hope that those players that were not offered a squad place for Wales, following the recent Wales trials, will come to the regional sessions.

A series of training sessions in various locations across the region will take place in preparation for the April tournament.  Costs will be kept to an absolute minimum, but players should be aware that contributions towards kit, facility hire, tournament fees etc will be requested.

We’re really looking forward to taking on the best of Wales and immensely proud to be involved in this exciting new chapter of Welsh Touch.

Historic Announcement for Touch

Wales Touch Association announce that the inaugural National Championships will be held in April 2013.  Six regions are to be formed and will compete in Mens, Womens and Mixed open categories.  The West Wales squad will be made up of players residing in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

So why is this announcement so important for the development of Touch in Wales?

Cymru Rhanbarthau Cyffwrdd | Wales Touch Regions

It’s A Numbers Game

In Wales in 2012, there were less than 3,000 men and women playing Touch (WTA figures).  The overwhelming majority of Touch is played in Cardiff and therefore the national teams are little more than Cardiff regional teams, peppered with a handful of players from Swansea, Wrexham, Llanelli and some of the main English cities.

Compare this to England where there are already national club competitions (National Touch Series and Challenge Touch Series) as well as an inter-regional competition in which regional franchises compete.  The best regional players are then chosen to represent at national level.  There are more Touch players in England (approximately 5,500 according to ETA)  and with the regional structure, it is little wonder that they are the current European Champions.

Considering the low number of participants, Wales has been punching above it’s weight at international level for some time, even winning the 2010 European Championships.  However, the current model is not sustainable and Wales badly needs to encourage more people to play the game or it is in danger of being left behind. 

Spreading the Word

Although Touch was introduced to Cardiff in 1991 by Dave Swain and Paul Nepia, as recently as 2011 the only places you could play regular competitive Touch outside of Cardiff were Llanelli, Pontyclun, Swansea and Wrexham.  However, this is set to change with the 2012 partnership agreement between the WTA and Welsh Rugby Union which has seen Touch being introduced to new territories via the WRU’s 14 Participation Officers (PO).  Part of the PO remit is to run Touch leagues for adults and this has resulted in leagues starting out in Bridgend, Newport and Neath amongst others.  It won’t be long before some of these players are filtered through to regional teams and then national teams.  Since the formation of the Llanelli league in 2010, it has already produced two players that have played in the Touch World Cup and Touch European Championships.

In order for Touch to grow and flourish in Wales it is essential that the game is played in all areas of the country.  Obviously, Wales is a small country with a small population and we are not quite ready to target reaching the 500,000 registered members as Touch Football Australia is planning in their latest strategic plan.  The National Championships is a huge step in the right direction.  Coaching positions have been advertised for each of the six regions and it is hoped that there will be a men’s, women’s and mixed open team for each region.  The biggest challenge is that there will have to be active recruitment of players in regions that have little or no history of Touch being played competitively.  However, this is precisely why the championships are so important.  Once social league players realise that they could play at regional or even international level, the profile and status attached to the game will undoubtedly rise.  It stands to reason that the more people playing the game, the better standards will become, resulting in more competition for places in national teams.

West Wales

The west Wales region encompasses Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and it is fair to say that the men’s open team will be made up almost entirely of Llanelli based players considering that is still the only active league in the region.

Finding women to make up the women’s and mixed west Wales regional team could prove to be difficult since there was no Llanelli mixed or women’s league in 2012.  However, attendance at the recent Wales national trials was extremely encouraging with a large female contigent.  Even more encouragingly, a number of them were selected for the Welsh prelim squads for the 2013 Home Nations Tournament in Dublin.  It just goes to show that there is great talent across the country, it’s just a matter of getting the structure right in order to develop it further.

The new regions will compete over the weekend of the 6th and 7th April (location will be announced soon).  Players are eligible to participate if they live in Wales or are otherwise eligible to represent Wales, and must be WTA members.  All current national squad members are to participate.

Regional qualification is primarily determined by residential address. For players not living in Wales, qualification is determined by birthplace.

Get Involved

Interested players and referees should complete the registration form and return it to gareth.revell@hotmail.co.uk.

Download – WTA Nationals Registration Form

The regions are as follows:

Regional Team Name Regional Boundaries
Bridgend/Neath/Swansea Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot & Swansea
Cardiff South & The Vale South Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan
Cardiff North & The Valleys Merthyr Tydfil, North Cardiff*, Powys (part – up to Welshpool) & RCT
Newport/Gwent Caerphilly, Newport, Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent
North Wales Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Powys (Part – down to Welshpool), Wrexham
West Wales Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion

*The A48 will act as the boundary in Cardiff

Atomic Touch – Stay Warm This Winter

5x60 Ysgol Y Strade | Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn

Atomic Touch LogoAtomig Touch – y gêm newydd cyffrous wedi cael eu cyflwyno i ysgolion Sir Gâr.  Atomic Touch – the exciting new game is introduced to Carmarthenshire schools.

Mae’r Gymdeithas Cyffwrdd Cymru a’r Undeb Rygbi Cymru wedi bod yn gweithio gyda’i gilydd er mwyn ffurfio gem newydd dan do, sef ‘Atomig Touch’ .  Wedi cymryd elfennau cyffwrdd, rygbi, pêl-rwyd a phêl-fasged i greu gêm newydd sy’n addas i bawb!

Mae hi’n gêm gyffrous, gyflym a deinamig iawn sy’n hawddi ddechrau – codwch bêl a rhoi cynnig arni!

Heddiw, dangosais i’r gêm i’r tîm rygbi cyntaf Ysgol Emlyn ac maen nhw wedi joio mas draw!

Dywedodd Llysgennad Ifanc Emlyn, Curtis Bradford:

Wnes i fwynhau llawer, roedd hi’n gêm gloi ond mae sgiliau rygbi yn cael eu datblygu ac mae hi’n codi’r galon hefyd!  Byddwn ni yn bendant chwarae eto ac rwy’n gobeithio helpu 5×60 trefnu twrnamaint blwyddyn 7 yn yr ysgol yn…

View original post 304 yn rhagor o eiriau

FILM – Wales Touch Trials

Wales Touch Association are holding trials during November.  11th Wrexham, 18th Llanelli, 25th Cardiff

Here’s a short presentation with some action pictures taking during the recent European Touch Championships in Treviso, Italy.  Wales sent over 200 players and officials in seven different playing categories to Italy; Mens, Women, Mixed, Mens 30+, Mens 35+, Mens 40+ and Senior Mixed.

Wales Touch are very keen to locate new players who could make the grade at the representative level.  2013 sees the Home Nations tournament in Dublin, in 2014 it’s the European Touch Championships and in 2015 the Touch World Cup will  be held in Sydney, Australia.

The trials are open, for trialists over the age of 15.  If you think that you might have what it takes, you can register and get further details from the WTA website – www.walestouch.co.uk

Wales Touch On Look Out For Future Internationals

Guest post by Gwion Kennard, Technical Director, Wales Touch Association

The Wales team at the European Championships 2012 Opening Ceremony in Treviso

The WTA will be holding trials during November 2012 for the Mixed, Men’s and Women’s Open and all of the Over 30s squads as we build towards the 2013 Home Nations, the 2014 European Championships and the 2015 World Cup.

The selectors will be looking for athletes who demonstrate the following:
1. Responsiveness to on-field and off-field instructions and feedback
2. Ball retention
3. Defensive workrate and communication
4. Yardage
5. Followship
6. Leadership
7. Skills & decision making – 2v1 & 3v2 proficiency, planting proficiency, etc.
8. Attacking skills – Set-up play / 1v1 skills / running lines

The trial will be primarily drills through use of grids with a small amount of game-time at the end rather than mostly-game based. We are looking for potential in players rather than those who are closer to the finished article.

The trials will be held on the following dates:

11th November – Wrexham Details TBA
18th November – Llanelli, Barn at Parc y Scarlets from 1pm to 5pm
25th November – Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, Outdoor 4G pitch at The Vale Resort from 1pm to 5pm

Please send any expressions of interest to gwion@walestouch.co.uk to help our planning and so we can gauge the viability of the Wrexham trial in particular.
Please note, all current Touch internationals are expected to participate in the trial process if they wish to be considered for selection for the open and Over 30 squads in the 2013 Home Nations in Dublin. If you are unable to trial due to injury or unavailability for an extended period of time, please advise Gareth Revell at gareth.revell@hotmail.co.uk as the trials co-ordinator BEFORE THE TRIAL PROCESS BEGINS.
 

Those wishing to be considered for selection for the Over 35 & Over 40 squads are welcome to attend the trials as there is no age restriction, However an alternative selection process will be implemented for Masters players details of which will be provided soon.