Mailbox: Current player entry to the game drains the atmosphere

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Want to be featured? Email the editor: james@loverugbyleague.com

Dear James,

Regarding things about the current game that annoy.

One of the biggest things for me, apart from the stuff previously mentioned – coaches on the field, shot clock, all the messing around and ref bashing – is when the teams walk out side by side.

Now I know it’s for the junior teams etc and whilst I agree it’s great to have junior clubs involved, the whole practice has taken something away from the game that was an integral part of it, the entering of the gladiators.

You’d be stood, or sat waiting for your team to run out onto the field, you would cheer, the opposition fans would jeer, you’d do the same when they ran out, both teams used to run out separately to the cheers and jeers, the atmosphere would be built up and the game would start, the action would be fierce, the atmosphere at most grounds, crackling.

Whereas now, the announcer shouts out that the teams are coming out, the two teams walk out slowly to the halfway line, line up, some of them looking uncomfortable, have to stand there for what seems like ages, they then break, go and take up their positions, by which time, the crowd have all sat down and started dozing off.

From running out of the tunnel to starting the game used to take 20-30 seconds, now it seems to take 5 minutes to get the game started.

I’m sure there could be other ways of the juniors having their big moment captured, even at half time or even let the teams run out separately, then let them have their pictures etc.

Also, segregation is something that I don’t like, the atmosphere used to be good at games because the fans all mingled together, although away supporters weren’t forced, they usually stood together to create an atmosphere, whereas now, at Hull, Huddersfield, Wigan etc they are stuck in an empty stand on their own,

I also believe segregation also exacerbates potential trouble, as without it, fans weren’t so quick to “gob off” etc, now they can hide behind segregation and wind the opposition fans up, just like in football.

Martin Eastwood

Editor’s comment: An interesting observation, and one I agree with. One of my favourite memories of Odsal was the way the teams used to enter the arena to a mix of applause and boos, and it really set the stage. It does feel like rugby league has lost some of its spark from needlessly changing things that were fine in the first place.

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Want to be featured? Email the editor: james@loverugbyleague.com

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