WE’RE in danger of making rugby league’s new era too complicated for some supporters.
I would suggest that introducing, across the board, the Championship’s points system – three points for a win, two points for a draw and one point for losing by 12 points or less – could be a step too far, if in fact that stride has not already been taken with the other elements being introduced.
With the way this exploration and implementation of new structures has gone, I’m surprised we’re not discussing five points for a try too!
It’s all well and good trying to make more matches more exciting more often, a philosophy which I agree with, but if something becomes too complex or is altered too drastically there is potential for turning people off.
We’re already trying to get our heads around next season’s three divisions of 12, with the top two divisions of 12 clubs each splitting into three divisions of eight (the Super 8s) after 23 rounds.
Seven further matches are then played in each of those Super 8s divisions (Super League, the Qualifiers and the Championship Shield), leading to a top four play-offs and Grand Final in the top flight.
With three automatic Super League qualification spots going to the top three in the Qualifiers’ table, the final place will be settled by the outcome of the Million Pound Game play-off between the fourth and fifth-placed teams.
And in the Championship Shield, there will be a top-four play-offs.
Alterations to the Challenge Cup competition also come into play, with the top eight in Super League not figuring until Round 6 when it will be the last 16, whereas currently all Super League clubs join at the last 32 stage.
Distribution of enhanced TV monies from a central fund, methodology behind the Super 8s fixtures (four teams will play at home four times, three teams only three times) and whether or not dual registration will continue all add to the brain strain.
Changes in any walk of life can take time to bed in and it is wise not to judge until tried and tested, but let’s stick with two points for a win and one point for a draw even if only for reasons of sanity.