New Swiss Women's Development League kicked off
Swiss LNF-Development: Round 1
17.09.2016, Lucerne - The 3rd weekend of September marked a big milestone in Swiss Women's Rugby development: The first ever Swiss women's rugby development League kicked off the new season in Luzern. 8 teams, 3 of which played their first ever official games under the FSR's organisation, made their way to the Allmend on a grey and rainy Saturday.
This new initiative, organized by the FSR’s National Technical Department in conjunction with new FSR Women’s Commission President Christa Herrmann is based on two main goals: Allowing more game time to the less experienced players of the 5 traditional teams who are continuing to compete in the NLF (National Women's League), as well as allowing new teams which are forming across the country to integrate in an official competition, organized by the Swiss Rugby Union. Both of these goals were more than achieved throughout the day, and with a schedule which was built with the thought of "more game time than travelling time!" (... the furthest team, CERN, came 3.15 hours up from Geneva one way ...), which meant 6 games for each team. Each and every single player got a lot of rugby experience under their belts, including a lot of ladies who played their first ever real Games.
These development tournaments are also serving as a testing ground for a new referee development system, and the girls were able to referee their own pool matches with the support of an FSR-qualified referee in a double-refereeing-system. This is a first in Swiss rugby, and as expected the players were rather hesitant at the beginning - but once the first brave ladies took charge of the whistle, it turned into a great success with volunteer referees from each team. These volunteer referees had a steep learning curve, with the last Games seeing a significant improvement in comparison to the first ones - and all this in one single afternoon, thanks to the support of the FSR Referee Commission.
The FSR is purposely not keeping track of the results of these development tournaments, to discourage the teams with a large player pool to constantly field their strongest teams in order to win. They are really meant to develop the Game, and to allow players who would usually get less Game time to collect important experience and strengthen their passion for the Game.
There was a total of 81 players enjoying this rugby afternoon, and numbers are looking to increase for the upcoming editions.
Feedback from the teams and organizers of the day is currently being considered, and will shortly define some slight adaptations for the next edition on 01.10.2016 in Bern.
We wish to congratulate all the participating teams on an outstanding show of rugby spirit on the day, to thank RC Luzern for a great organization, and the referee commission on a fantastic job on the day. We're looking forward to seeing all the teams and players back in Bern in 2 weeks later.
PARTICIPATING TEAMS -
Alba Ladies (Lausanne)
Entente Mermigans (Nyon-Monthey-Palézieux)