Cody Kuxmann is a Referee at the London Society Of Rugby Football Union Referees, while studying International Relations at Richmond, The American International University in London. He lives in Richmond Upon Thames but hails from Green Bay, Wisconsin.
LONDON, ENGLAND – My first encounter with rugby league was on Spike TV when they showed a few NRL games. I had it on in the background while doing some homework. I didn’t understand what was going on too much but it was enjoyable. The ball was in play a lot, it was a quick game and it kept me interested to the point that I watched about a half and understood most of the rules. Rugby League is a fast-moving, action-packed sport. It is easy to understand, and is easy to play. You don’t have to be involved for a long time to get the handle of the game.
If America did not have Rugby Union, the Rugby League version of the game would be great for the USA. Here are three reasons why:
Similarities To NFL: In America, Rugby League would be a smart choice to market/develop because of its similarities to American football. There are downs; if you don’t score or get a new set of downs when you’re on offense, it’s a turnover. It allows for a fast-moving game with a reason for teams to play the ball.
Season: The second way that League would really fit in with America is that it is a summer sport. A professional full contact summer game would be great within the United States. The NFL season doesn’t start until September – I don’t count the pre-season games – and if you’re not into baseball, there’s a huge void. I got bored about half-way through summer with no contact sport on TV. League can easily fill that void.
Simplicity: The third reason is that the game is easy enough for even people without any Rugby knowledge to understand. There are no line-outs, no mauls nor rucks – as in Union. Here, there is a tackle, a quick play of the ball and a scrum. However, the scrum isn’t a Union-style scrum; it is almost an uncontested scrum. They come together at their own pace and there can be light pushing. From an American’s standpoint this should be easy enough to understand.
So, how do you feel League would be as a professional summer sport? Would you watch it? Or would you prefer something like this: