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steve
World Class


Netherlands
1285 Posts
Posted - 27 Feb 2012 :  13:42:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
I have been meaning to start up this topic for a while now and having just seen a couple of NL games this weekend thought now was the time.

What do people think of the english game

Is it getting better?

have regional leagues helped raise the standard?

is the NL cometeative?

I was shocked at how poor i thought the standard of the 2 games were yesterday.
maybe because ive been involved in it for the last 15 years i didnt notice but i thought it was very poor.

none of the teams seemed to have an idea of how they wanted to play or how best to expose the other teams weaknesses and the thought process behind each attack was just not there.

one on one defence against the better players was impossible as there was no such thing as front defence and i think the number of goals in the NL this year is just down to none exsistant defence and the pressure of shot clock.

with 1/4 of the laegue to go the top 4 is 99% certain already with the teams outside the top 4 not having beaten anyone inside the top 4 so far.

the bottom half of the Nl is just stupid.
the league needs to be cut to 8 or maybe even 6 teams and maybe make nl second div.

if i remember rightly the reason to move to 10 teams in the NL was to expand spread of the game? but noone from outside london or kent has got near to making it into the nl.

who are fav to win the NL this season after the 9th place nl team? tournadoes? highbury? supernova?

highbury and supernove are fighting to finish above bec and nomads 3rd teams and will def finish below there 2nd teams so whats the point in promoting them ther not going to comete thats proven witht the fact they cant beat the lower teams of these clubs.

im sure the regional leagues have improved the standard of korfball for alot of people but not because the clubs have got better just becuase now there not in a local league so they have a few teams from other areas to play against.

I think there is massive gap between the top 20/30 players in the country that are exsposed to european and international korfball regularly and the rest. these players are helping england get a good world ranking but are papering over the fact that the overal standard in the nl is getting lower and lower.

i think the sport need to take a long look at itself and think about what it needs to do to improve.

MGV have not worked at all,yes there has been 1 or 2 decent days when some people have turned up and seen the odd good game but on the hole there just wasting money on hiring halls that are to expensive for the money that the sport has.

noone would pay to watch that korfball and the money these clubs and the eka have needs to be spent on training more and to a higher standard.

go down to 6 nl teams and get close games, you have seen witht the recent transfers players are nolong willing to sit in 2nd teams not playing nl because the level is so poor so push that a bit more and make 6 top clubs there once they are full in 5 years the 7th,8th and 9th will naturally follow

adam_t
Star Player


United Kingdom
430 Posts
Posted - 27 Feb 2012 :  17:07:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
quote:

if i remember rightly the reason to move to 10 teams in the NL was to expand spread of the game? but noone from outside london or kent has got near to making it into the nl.

who are fav to win the NL this season after the 9th place nl team? tournadoes? highbury? supernova?


You've not considered Cambridge City who are currently top of the SERL ahead of Tornadoes; last year they were only missed out on CT on goal difference, having finished joint top of SERL#1 with Bearsted. If the SERL had two places at the CT last year, then they may well have gone up.

Although the teams outside of the top 4 haven't beaten the top 4, there has been a draw and some (judging only from the scoreline) close games. I can't find last year's league tables, but Nomads were in the top 4 last year, and from memory Mitcham were not that far off. So it's not as though there are a 'big 4' that is the same each season that nobody can touch.

I think the league final this year could be interesting. Bec were within seconds of beating league-leaders Trojans recently and Kingfisher also drew with Trojans. So the final could in theory be winnable by any team. In recent years has there really been 4 teams with a genuine chance of winning the league at this stage of the season?

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Firefly
Star Player


United Kingdom
168 Posts
Posted - 27 Feb 2012 :  22:47:08  Show Profile  Visit Firefly's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
I don't know how other areas work but in Norfolk, both Ice and Knights have a team that plays in both SERL and the local league. Only Knights HSKL team isn't allowed to play in local league.

There are definitely big differences between the quality of the different regional leagues.

I think Cambridge City are in with a good chance this CT. It should be a close run and exciting fight to get into HSKL this CT.

If you cut down the number of teams in HSKL then those teams in the bottom half would never get the experience of playing the top half and this would slow improvement. There is good competition at both ends of the HSKL and it should be kept as it is for future development.

Too many people are short sighted and only look at the now, when we should be looking to how we want it to be in the future and build towards that. The recent work by the EKA with the survey and building a new strategy are great and are positively looking forwards and not back. Will be interesting to see how many people attend the MK meeting.

My ass maybe dumb,
But I ain't no dumbass.

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caraallan
World Class



1081 Posts
Posted - 28 Feb 2012 :  10:27:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
"highbury and supernove are fighting to finish above bec and nomads 3rd teams and will def finish below there 2nd teams so whats the point in promoting them ther not going to comete thats proven witht the fact they cant beat the lower teams of these clubs."

Not getting involved in the rest of the discussion but I guess the only comeback to this point could be whether the teams with potential to be promoted in other areas might also fight to finish above Nom3/Bec3 were they to be in their region? Why should Highbury1 and Supernova1 not be eligible for promotion because of the strength/depth of the NL clubs in their area?

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DonaldF
First Team



82 Posts
Posted - 28 Feb 2012 :  12:58:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
I don't think the standard is getting worse - suspect you are just getting old Steve

The Bec team that finished 4th 15 years ago were not a patch on the Bec team that finished 4th at the end of the regular season last year. The main difference is that the good players are spread out far more. 15 years ago ALL the GB team came from 3 clubs. Now there are 7 at least who have international players.

But you are right that I don't think that standards are going UP. Our recent improvement is built on the hard work of a small group of individuals with a relatively small group of top players and I am not sure it is being replicated.

You are probably right about the league. The top players are not having enough pressure games and the league is probably too big at the moment.

But I don't think that is the most important issue. What worries me most of all is the weakness of the clubs behind some of the "top" teams. Last year we saw two merge. I can see several clubs that are in risky or dangerous situations and that I can imagine folding in 2 or 3 years. There are not enough clubs like Bec and Nomads that have a range of teams plus juniors - too many of the top "clubs" are in reality just a team. That way spells disaster.

What is more difficult is knowing what can be done about it. Making clubs do the "right" thing is difficult (as we saw with junior points).

I think the EKA are absolutely right that there has not been nearly enough focus on supporting the development of coaches - getting and looking after coaches is crucial, and I know Bec's appreciation of the people who do coaching is one of the reasons they have about 8 people involved in regularly coaching.

I do also feel that korfball expects too much of people, tries to do too much at too low a quality. Fewer games of higher quality, fewer different competitions and less travelling would help the sport develop by keeping good people involved, reducing burn out and giving people time and space to do development work for their clubs.

The only other suggestion I might make is whether pairing thriving clubs and struggling ones might be an idea eg if a club in London is finding things difficult could they link up with one that is doing well to support them in keeping things going. I dunno?


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Matt Von Leicester
Star Player


United Kingdom
228 Posts
Posted - 28 Feb 2012 :  14:24:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
I don't think we are getting worse, I think the sport is becoming a little less tactically complicated.

For proof you only need look at some of the old videos on you tube.

Nothing against those players in the videos but I think in part teams are getting younger and more athletic. Yes there are plenty of effective strategies and set plays but if an 18 year old can leap backwards and sink a decent ratio from 10-12m then your always going to concede.

The game seems to be more about pressure and pace that it has been before. I don't think this is an awful thing, it's more understandable to a spectator because there is a more common strategy. I also think the advances in the game and it's rules have made it easier to attack and more difficult to defend than it used to be. Again, not an awful thing.

Regular readers of my posts will know whats coming next, but we forget so easily that no-one knows about Korfball. Statistically you might find more than 1% of the population who know its a sport but that's it. I would quite happily put money on more people knowing about cheese rolling and lawn mower racing.

If we doubled the number of players in Korfball then in theory, over time we would be able to replace half of the players in our top teams. That's not to say those teams would be twice as good obviously, but there would be improvement.

When you then consider that the playing population of england/uk is at least constant, improvement to our quality of game can only go so far with better coaching.

I often feel that where as developing the quality of Korfball is supported and recognised where as growing Korfball is occassionaly recognised. The South Midlands have taken leaps and bounds in recent years in both areas. I don't think it's even a governance thing, I think it's an attitude problem across the sport of short term results being more important than long term development.


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steve
World Class


Netherlands
1285 Posts
Posted - 28 Feb 2012 :  16:19:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
[quote]


I think Cambridge City are in with a good chance this CT. It should be a close run and exciting fight to get into HSKL this CT.

If you cut down the number of teams in HSKL then those teams in the bottom half would never get the experience of playing the top half and this would slow improvement. There is good competition at both ends of the HSKL and it should be kept as it is for future development.

Slow mprovement by stopping the bottom half playing the top half? how?

i suppose there has been an improvement this season as ive not heard of any teams turning up short or not at all so thats something.

the bottom 3 or 4 teams are not learning by getting hammered 7/10 games they play if they were then the these teams might have improved over the last 3 or 4 years but they havent.

people need to stop papering over the cracks and get real.

Knights are better then they was when they come up because they manage to stay up the 1st yeat and they get every good playing in the norwich area to join to keep them up and even then they would have been down if the league had not been expanded.

bec and kingfisher have not suddenly made massive improvements they have just gained good players from other clubs that has pushed them up he league.

matt if there was 1 player in england who could step back from 10/12 meters and score a good ratio i would agree but there is not and you can still put pressure on that person if your team mates help.

cara im not saying supernova of highbury should miss out im just using them as an example as they are in the strongest/biggest region.

what have croydon got from this season? im sure there players will say its been fun and they have learnt alot but really, thegame they have won was only because knights had players away with england youth team.

there is a few players finishing uni this year and i bet they dont join any of the lower teams unless 2 or 3 of them go together.

the movement of players is the only reason the league has finished in a different way so just cut down the amount of clubs in it the best layers will join the top club and you will get a competeative league.

put a few restrications on squad levels then the next best players will have to jon the next teams and that level will improve.

matt you are right that starting at the bottomand getting more numbers in is the only real way to imrove long term but we can do things for now aswell

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Weeksy
Star Player


United Kingdom
137 Posts
Posted - 28 Feb 2012 :  23:27:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
Steve, what period of time are you comparing to? From what I have seen from the limited amount of footage from further than a couple of years ago, korfball now looks more athletic and speed orientated, perhaps at the expense of some of the more 'trick' type play used previously.

In terms of the 20/30 players you mention that are significantly above the rest, surely that is inevitable. How many of those were youth players and specifically, youth players who trained in England teams? In England we have a limited supply of top level coaches and those that do often gravitate towards England positions. Therefore, those who show promise at a young age are open to more coaching, higher quality and, as a result are strides above the rest within a matter of years. (In the book Outlier, Malcolm Gladwell gives a very good example of where this happens in ice hockey). This is common in many sports, especially with small numbers of people taking part.

Those players will then naturally congregate around 'successful' (i.e premier league) clubs and those clubs get stronger. I would imagine then that if they don't get to play for that club - for instance being on the bench regularly or playing at a lower level than they would like, they are likely to move to another 'successful' club where there may be more opportunities to play at the higher level - e.g. your examples of Bec and Kingfisher more recently but historically it has happened at other premier league clubs. (or alternatively give up altogether - I am not aware of a huge number of very good players opting to play local league korfball instead).

For me, all of this comes down to coaching, if we have a limited number of top level coaches, all in a small area, then development of players is difficult and, on the other side,beyond a few clubs, good coaches are unlikely to venture elsewhere.

Essentially I agree with Matt, it is an issue of volume. But it is not only a large pool of players but a pool of different coaches with different expertise in developing players spread geographically.

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Steve Barker
KorfballNet.com


USA
3188 Posts
Posted - 29 Feb 2012 :  00:30:15  Show Profile  Visit Steve Barker's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
Steve raises an important question as to whether standards of play are improving and there is no doubt that as result work put in over the last 10 years in terms of club junior development, the Korfball School of Excellence program, and the Junior National squads, our top end players have achieved a far higher standard in terms of the technical and athletic skills when compared to player in my era.

Coaching is of course a big part of improving playing standards at all levels but too often the coaching players receive lacks the depth, understanding and detail needed in terms of technical and tactical skills. All too often coaches simply teach players how they themselves do things.

To improve standards there needs to be a greater focusing on developing effective technical skills and improving the athletic and mental skills needed for them to be utilised successfully in competition.

Before I left for the US I was coaching at a range of levels from local clubs to the national squads with a focus on improving player skill levels rather than just trying to win Sunday's game by any means. The problem is that technical skill work, and athletic skill work, both involve repetitious and at times boring work.

All too often the lack of attention to detail leads to players practising techniques that don't work for them

Many of the young players that dominate our game at present are the product of many hours of such tough and unglamorous work but unless we keep our eye on the ball in terms of talent development things will soon slip.

There is no question that an National league selection from today would come out better in a match up against any NL line up since I have been playing, but when you consider the 10 years of hard work and sacrifice by many people the is not exactly a great reward

We constantly need to be striving to improve the quality of our coaching at all levels but need to ensure that such coaching is able to help players develop their skills to higher levels. coaching needs to focus on core skills rather than the latest tactics to come out of the Netherlands.

As a nation we need to begin developing our own tactical ideas and approaches rather than just following the herd. Sure the Dutch will tell us there is only one way to play Korfball in the modern world ... their way, but the Dutch success has as much if not more to do with their numbers and money, than the way they play the game.

Once the Dutch game turned to painful slow rebound blocking the game took a dive for the worse, and sadly everyone followed. The shot clock has helped to some degree to resolve the problem but the sport desperately needs a greater range of tactical styles and approaches if it is to appeal to the outside world.

In terms of development the truth is that there is no simple answer and all areas are connected.

In coaching the junior national squads we were limited by the competition the players received week in week out and without greater numbers the resulting lack of competition for places makes coaching a more difficult role.

It is the which comes first story ... the chicken or the egg.
I am not sure what the answer to that question is and maybe there isn't one, but I have always felt we need to set clear priorities and them stick to them to give them chance to work.

The confusion within our competitive structure brought about by the Development review has left us unclear as to which direction we are heading in or what our priorities should be.

quote:
Those players will then naturally congregate around 'successful' (i.e premier league) clubs and those clubs get stronger.
Weeksy is quite right and of course they tend to congregate around the top clubs which is human nature, but it does little to improve the competitiveness of the league.

As Donald points out too many clubs are simply teams and often only a few players walking out away from struggling to survive and unless we can determine a system that creates a better spread of our leading players around clubs then we will continue to lose clubs that struggle to attract top players

The problem is that Korfball is too small a sport and as a result things become very personal.

Despite the huge strides made over the years they have been lost because we have never had a long term strategic plan to work towards.
A plan that sets out and sticks to it priorities and vision and is given time to work.

Clubs gather each year to vote on what suits them now at this moment with little interest in the long term interest of the sport.

Until that changes it is difficult to see how can ever answer the 'Chicken or the Egg' question and see the sport begin to realise its true potential in the UK

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Steve Barker
KorfballNet.com


USA
3188 Posts
Posted - 29 Feb 2012 :  22:02:45  Show Profile  Visit Steve Barker's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
Glancing through the line ups for some of the bottom NL teams this season does seem to suggest that by no stretch do we have the player base to support a top tier league comprising of 10 teams

There is no doubt having such a big league without a strong enough base of players to support it has a negative impact on the overall quality of the league which in turn damages the credibility of the sport

Until we do then it makes far more sense for the NL to be reduced to 6 teams, which in reality would be the current top 6.

But without a long term vision and plan for our competitions we will continue to make decisions based on what suits clubs (and individuals) now, rather than what is in the long term interests of the sport.

Without a system of ensuring a balanced spread of player resources across the teams taking part the existing system makes little or no sense.

Whilst the overall standard of the NL will have been boosted as a result of the junior talent development work done over the last 10 years or so the fact that teams are playing players who are way past their prime suggests that the overall standard across the league may have not improved and may well have dropped

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Doomsday
Star Player



142 Posts
Posted - 01 Mar 2012 :  12:28:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Report a problem with this post
Steve B, care to elaborate on exactly who these players are that are "well past their prime" and which teams they play for?? I think without actually seeing them play it's a bit harsh to pass judgment on their current playing abilities. Just because they are older doesn't necessarily mean they are past their prime (just look at Ryan Giggs for United).

I can only see a few (which sadly has always been the case in UK korfball due to the small amount of people that play the sport, therefore allowing players careers to go on longer than they normally would at the top level) and so can't see any difference in now and seasons past in this regard.

10 teams is however too many in the top flight taking into consideration the gulf between the top half and bottom half.

The standard in English korfball has definitely improved though, mainly due to players being more athletic and being all round more complete in their play (by that I mean being capable of doing everything).

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