Australia’s National Rugby League's Player Development Framework: Evaluating strategies (2019)
Keywords:Sport, Participation, National Rugby League, Junior sport
Rugby League (RL) is one of four football codes boasted across Australia; however, its participation rates are significantly lower when compared to other club sports, due to it being restricted to specific regions of Australia and viewed historically as a ‘male only’ sport. This is of particular concern throughout the junior competitions. Therefore, it is imperative that the National Rugby League’s (NRL) future participation strategies adopt and reflect national / international ‘best practices’, so as to maintain and heighten positive and quality sporting opportunities, that are aimed to increase junior participation / retention, as well as build players’ skills and personal development. The objective of this research is twofold, with the initial aim to demonstrate the clear alignment between the NRL’s Player Development Framework (PDF) and national / international movements concerning shifts in junior sporting models. A secondary aim is to demonstrate the impact and participants’ satisfaction levels concerning seven initiatives. A quantitative approach was employed to investigate participants’ (children, n = 916; adults, n = 20) reported experiences from their direct involvement across the seven initiatives. Nine hundred and thirty-six (936) participants (youth between 4 to over 15 years, n = 916), seniors aged between 20 and over 41 years, n = 20) had data collected from seven initiatives, that were implemented across the five testing centres (Ipswich, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba and Victoria) in 2019. The initiatives were identified as being the: 1) RISE (n = 73), 2) League Tag (n = 330), 3) Tackle Safe (n = 168), 4) 18-Month Policy (n = 155), 5) Development Competition (n = 138), 6) Community League (n = 20) and 7) Weight Related (n = 52). Participants were only required to complete the one online survey associated with the initiative they were involved in. Spearman’s rho correlation (r) matrix was used to examine the strength of the association between variables, with p-values (p) employed to indicate statistically significant associations, at the one and two tail (p < .05* and p < .01**). Results have noticeably indicated that the full suite of programs have been well received and have gone to meet and support the PDF’s aims. Of particular note, is the high level of participants’ agreement (p < .000) indicating that the programs significantly improved their level of:1) confidence, 2) involvement, and 3) enjoyment. Importantly, data indicates that participants who identified with the aforementioned levels of agreement, were significantly (p < .000) and positively correlated with 4) higher levels of willingness to recommend each of the programs to peers.
Ali, A., Pigou, D., Clarke, L., & McLachlan, C. (2017). Literature Review on Motor Skill and Physical Activity in Preschool Children in New Zealand. Advances in Physical Education, 7, 10-26. https://doi.org/10.4236/ape.2017.71002
Baker, J., Côté, J., & Abernethy, B. (2003). Learning from the experts: practice activities of expert decision makers in sport. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 74(3), 342-347. https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2003.10609101
Brown, K. A., Patel, D. R., & Darmawan, D. (2017). Participation in sports in relation to adolescent growth and development. Translational Pediatrics, 6(3), 150-159. https://doi.org/10.21037/tp.2017.04.03
Chan, D. K. C., Lonsdale, C., & Fung, H. (2011). Influences of coaches, parents, and peers on the motivational patterns of child and adolescent athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 22, 558-568. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01277.x
Commission (2012). Junior Sport Framework. Retrieved from https://www.clearinghouseforsport.gov.au/knowledge_base/sport_participation/community_engagement/junior_sport_framework
Côté, J., & Erickson, K. (2015). Diversification and deliberate play during the sampling years. Routledge Handbook of Sport Expertise, 305-316. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315776675-27
Côté, J., & Hay, J. (2002). Children's involvement in sport: A developmental perspective. Psychological Foundations of Sport.
Côté, J., Strachan, L., & Fraser-Thomas, J. (2016). Participation, personal development and performance through youth sport. In N. L. Holt (Ed.) Positive Youth Development Through Sport (pp. 34-45). Routledge: UK. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315709499-6
Côté, J., & Vierimaa, M. (2014). The developmental model of sport participation: 15 years after its first conceptualization. Science & Sports, 29, S63-S69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scispo.2014.08.133
Coutinho, P., Mesquita, I., & Fonseca, A. M. (2016). Talent development in sport: A critical review of pathways to expert performance. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 11(2), 279-293. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747954116637499
Dugas, P. (2017). Early Specialization versus Sport Diversification in Youth Athlete-Article Review. Research & Investigations in Sports Medicine, 1. https://doi.org/10.31031/rism.2017.01.000511
Eime, R. M., Young, J. A., Harvey, J. T., Charity, M. J., & Payne, W. R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 98-98. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-98
Federation, U. N. H. (2019). USA Hockey National Team Development Program. Retrieved from: https://icehockey.fandom.com/wiki/USA_Hockey_National_Team_Development_Program
Galatti, L., Côté, J., Reverdito, R., Allan, V., Seoane, A., & Rodrigues Paes, R. (2017). Fostering Elite Athlete Development and Recreational Sport Participation: a Successful Club Environment. Motricidade, 12, 20. https://doi.org/10.6063/motricidade.6099
Gould, D., (1987). Understanding attrition in children’s sport. In: D. Gould and M.R.Weiss, (Eds.) Advances in pediatric sport sciences. Volume 2: Behavioral issues. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 401–411.
Gould, D., Tuffey, S., Udry, E., & Loehr, J. (1996). Burnout in Competitive Junior Tennis Players: I. A Quantitative Psychological Assessment. 10(4), 322. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.10.4.322
Hancock, D. L., Adler, A. L., & Côté, J. (2013). A proposed theoretical model to explain relative age effects in sport. European Journal of Sport Science, 13, 630-637. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2013.775352
Jayanthi, N., Pinkham, C., Dugas, L., Patrick, B., & Labella, C. (2013). Sports specialization in young athletes: evidence-based recommendations. Sports Health, 5(3), 251-257. https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738112464626
Jayanthi, N. A., LaBella, C. R., Fischer, D., Pasulka, J., & Dugas, L. R. (2015). Sports- specialized intensive training and the risk of injury in young athletes: a clinical case- control study. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(4), 794-801. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546514567298
Kearney, P. (2015). A cross cultural examination of the relative age effect in professional rugby union.
Kelley, B. & Carchia, C., 2013. “Hey, data data – swing!” The hidden demographics of youth sports. Available from: https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/9469252/hidden-%20demographicsyouth-sports-espn-magazine
Kellett, P., & Warner, S. (2011). Creating communities that lead to retention: The social worlds and communities of umpires. European Sport Management Quarterly, 11(5), 471–494. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2011.624109
League, NZNRL (2019). Junior Sport Framework. Retrieved from https://nzrl.co.nz/junior- kiwis-home/
LiberalAus. (2019). Our Plan for Sport and Physical Activity in Australia. This web link does not work
Malina, R. M. (2010). Early sport specialization: roots, effectiveness, risks. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 9(6), 364-371. https://doi.org/10.1249/jsr.0b013e3181fe3166
Moesch, K., Elbe, A.-M., Hauge, M.-L. T., & Wikman, J. M. (2011). Late specialization: the key to success in centimeters, grams, or seconds (cgs) sports. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 21(6), e282-e290. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01280.x
Mostafavifar, A. M., Best, T. M., & Myer, G. D. (2013). Early sport specialisation, does it lead to long-term problems? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 47(17), 1060-1061. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2012-092005
Musch, J., & Grondin, S. (2001). Unequal Competition as an Impediment to Personal Development: A Review of the Relative Age Effect in Sport. Developmental Review, 21(2), 147-167. https://doi.org/10.1006/drev.2000.0516
Myer, G. D., Jayanthi, N., Difiori, J. P., Faigenbaum, A. D., Kiefer, A. W., Logerstedt, D., & Micheli, L. J. (2015). Sport Specialization, Part I: Does Early Sports Specialization Increase Negative Outcomes and Reduce the Opportunity for Success in Young Athletes? Sports Health, 7(5), 437-442. https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738115598747
Richard, R. (2016). Sports Competition framework. Clearinghouse for Sport. This web link does not work
Soares, J. (2011). The Matthew Effect: How Advantage Begets Further Advantage. Contemporary Sociology—A Journal of Reviews, 40, 477-478. https://doi.org/10.1177/0094306111412516hh
Sotiriadou, K., Shilbury, D., & Quick, S. (2008). The Attraction, Retention/Transition, and Nurturing Process of Sport Development: Some Australian Evidence. Journal of Sports Management, 22(3), 247. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.22.3.247
Stracciolini, A., Levey Friedman, H., Casciano, R., Howell, D., Sugimoto, D., & Micheli, L. J. (2016). The Relative Age Effect on Youth Sports Injuries. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 48(6), 1068-1074. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0000000000000868
Talpey, S., Croucher, T., Bani Mustafa, A., & Finch, C. F. (2017). Sport-specific factors predicting player retention in junior cricket. European Journal of Sport Science, 17(3), 264-270. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2016.1225822
Wall, M., & Côté, J. (2007). Developmental activities that lead to dropout and investment in sport. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 12(1), 77-87. https://doi.org/10.1080/17408980601060358
Wiersma, L. D. (2000). Risks and Benefits of Youth Sport Specialization: Perspectives and Recommendations. Pediatric Exercise Science, 12(1), 13. https://doi.org/10.1123/pes.12.1.13
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Each author warrants that his or her submission to the Work is original and that he or she has full power to enter into this agreement. Neither this Work nor a similar work has been published elsewhere in any language nor shall be submitted for publication elsewhere while under consideration by JHSE. Each author also accepts that the JHSE will not be held legally responsible for any claims of compensation.
Authors wishing to include figures or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright holder(s) and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.
Please include at the end of the acknowledgements a declaration that the experiments comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed. The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the abovementioned requirements. The author(s) will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned requirements.
This title is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
You are free to share, copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms under the following terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
Transfer of Copyright
In consideration of JHSE’s publication of the Work, the authors hereby transfer, assign, and otherwise convey all copyright ownership worldwide, in all languages, and in all forms of media now or hereafter known, including electronic media such as CD-ROM, Internet, and Intranet, to JHSE. If JHSE should decide for any reason not to publish an author’s submission to the Work, JHSE shall give prompt notice of its decision to the corresponding author, this agreement shall terminate, and neither the author nor JHSE shall be under any further liability or obligation.
Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (e.g., consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc.) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article, except as disclosed on a separate attachment. All funding sources supporting the Work and all institutional or corporate affiliations of the authors are acknowledged in a footnote in the Work.
Each author certifies that his or her institution has approved the protocol for any investigation involving humans or animals and that all experimentation was conducted in conformity with ethical and humane principles of research.
Biomedical journals typically require authors and reviewers to declare if they have any competing interests with regard to their research.
JHSE require authors to agree to Copyright Notice as part of the submission process.