Play more, enjoy more, keep playing; rugby is a simple game

Jones, Ben, Hope, Ed, Hammond, Andrew, Moran, Jason, Leeder, Thomas ORCID:, Mills, John and Sandercock, Gavin (2021) Play more, enjoy more, keep playing; rugby is a simple game. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 16 (3). pp. 636-645. ISSN 2048-397X

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Drop out and attrition rates in youth sport are well-documented in the literature. Research has found that children overwhelmingly state that enjoyment, fun, and positive experiences are the primary reasons to participate in sport. Competitive Engineering (CE) is a structurally-based competitive climate process designed to create a more positive experience in youth sport. CE encompasses changes to league structures, equipment, pitch-size, and game rules. For example, rule changes that stipulate greater involvement (e.g., playing time) or action (e.g., increasing scoring opportunities) are designed to improve engagement. Despite this, few studies have examined whether CE-based rule changes influence factors known to influence drop out from sport. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a rule change in youth rugby whereby any player selected as part of a match day squad must play at least half a game or equivalent (i.e., the ‘Half-Game Rule’). To achieve this, we studied the influence of the rule change on player reported outcomes throughout the 2017/2018 playing season. Players who “always or almost always” experienced playing at least half a game more often than other players; reported higher enjoyment, than those who played less regularly (F = 35.6, P < .001). Importantly, players who reported higher levels of enjoyment also reported greater intentions to continue playing rugby (F = 6.4, P < .002). Findings support the use of CE to facilitate player enjoyment in team sports and could lead to reduced attrition in youth sport more generally.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Rugby Football Union [RFSR010083].
Uncontrolled Keywords: competitive engineering, drop-out, fun, rules of sport, youth sport,social sciences (miscellaneous) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3301
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Sport, Health And Education
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2022 13:30
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 10:30
DOI: 10.1177/1747954121991444


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