GROUP 4 is chasing what it calls “new horizons” in 2013 and wants local clubs to come along for the journey.
The group is actively seeking people interested in playing in a new women’s league tag competition, full contact women’s rugby league games and a masters rugby league competition.
The three new concepts are an attempt to attract new people to the game and is being heavily pushed by Group treasurer Peter Blom.
Group president Barry Pratten said the group was willing to look at any idea and resolve any issues to make the local game stronger.
“Anything can be adapted,” he said.
“We want to get more people involved in the game, and to keep people in the game.
League tag has been on the agenda for two or three years but so far the clubs haven’t come to the party.
The group is again inviting second division clubs to put teams together for 2013 with games to be played as curtainraisers to the Saturday second division games.
Group 4 is one of the last groups in country NSW still without a league tag competition after it was successfully introduced by two or three groups about five years ago and has grown to include 12 different competitions this year.
Manilla, Barraba, Walcha and Boggabri have shown interest and if they can all put a side together there will be enough for a small competition that can grow over time.
“When I got down to country meetings it’s the league tag that is booming,” Pratten said.
“In the Riverina, it’s massive down there, and it’s been very good in Group 19.
“It not only brings more people to football, but different people, and it might also lead to ladies getting involved in committees.
“Some of the outlying towns are keen and if there are first division clubs who have a team we can work out a way to have them play with the second division clubs.”
Full contact women’s league is also on the agenda.
The Central North Rugby Union is starting a competition for women in 2013 and rugby league can get in on the act.
Narrabri has a women’s team ready to go but needs to find an opponent or two.
So the message for all the other towns, like Tamworth, Gunnedah and Moree, is to get a side together and take up the challenge thrown down by Narrabri.
Masters rugby league is also a recent innovation and is growing in popularity.
A number of tournaments are played each year, the biggest of which is on the Gold Coast.
Some locals have been involved in those events and clubs are being invited to put together teams for more regular competition to run alongside the Group 4 season.
“Masters is generating a lot of interest,” Pratten said.
“Like the league tag it doesn’t take a lot of time and we can adapt it.
“It gets more people to football, gives something for the spectators to watch and it’s fun.”
The plan is for first or second division clubs to put some masters teams together for a regular competition.
Players 35 years and older can play and there are modified rules for players who are over 49.
All of those details will be worked out at a later time.
The Group will hold its next meeting in early January where it will start formulating draws for all 2013 competitions.
Anyone interested in helping establish women’s league tag or full contact teams or masters rugby league sides in Group 4 can contact Blom via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (6769 1648 or 0408 658 154).