Issue 4, 2017. August-September

   

GEORGIANS SAY RUGBY COUNTRY'S MOST SUCCESSFUL SPORT

The Caucasus Research Resource Center has found that Georgians believe its rugby team is the country's most successful sports team, but fans don't know much about the game.

The Georgian National Rugby Team's achievements have been many in recent years. From gaining automatic qualification for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in 2015 for the first time, to ranking 12th in the world rugby rankings, the team has obtained widespread national support and established a presence on the international rugby scene.


The results of a telephone survey CRRC-Georgia conducted on May 29-30, 2017, suggest that the public recognizes these achievements. According to the survey, 62% of the Georgian public think that rugby is the sport in which Georgia enjoys the most success. This attitude is highest in Tbilisi at 72%, compared to other urban and rural areas, which registered 67% and 51% respectively. Notably, 67% of female respondents, compared to 57% of men consider rugby to be is the sport in which Georgia enjoys the most success. The public also backs financial support for rugby: 38% supported soccer, followed by 27% who supported funding for rugby. In 2015, Georgia won the right to host the World Rugby Under 20 Championship for the first time, one of the highest level juniors' tournaments in the rugby world. The tournament kicked off on May 31 in Kutaisi and came to an end on June 18, at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium in Tbilisi. Tournament awareness was high. According to the CRRC-Georgia survey results, 55% was aware that Georgia was about to host the World Rugby Under 20 Championship.


Despite strong support for rugby, many Georgians don't know much about the game. The survey shows that only 18% of the population knows what the amount of points for a try without a conversion kick is (five points), and only 6% of Georgians know how many players are in the scrum for each team (eight players). While 21% gave an incorrect answer on the latter question, 73% responded that they didn't know. Notably, 28% of men gave the right answer more often than women, who only responded correctly 10% of the time to the question.


CRRC-Georgia's survey results show that Georgians recognize the country's rugby achievements and support allocating financial resources to the sport. However, many aren't so knowledgeable of the game's rules. These results are based on a panel telephone survey carried out between May 29-30, 2017 with 726 completed interviews. The panel was created using random digit dialing. The results are representative of Georgia and have an average margin of error of 2.9%.

Want to know what Georgians think about another issue or track attitudes over time? Get in touch with us at crrc-geo@crrccenters.org if your organization has questions about Georgian public opinion.