Forum Sevens:
Rewarded for effort (or lack of it)

At the beginning of the year the governing body, the NRL, made a brave decision to depart from years of tradition by in essence removing the possibility of a drawn game in both the premiership competition and the showpiece of the game, the State of Origin. This decision was brought to a head by the most recent series of the State of Origin in which the title of the champion was given to Queensland. This was decided by virtue of the fact that they were defending champions with the series was effectively tied one all. The decider, as it was billed had turned out to decide nothing with the Queensland side scoring late in the game to force a draw. This result was seen to be unfair by many south of the border and due to the fact that this was not the first occurrence, a solution needed to be found. The decision was made to introduce golden-point extra-time in which the first team to score in the extra time periods was crowned the winner of the contest. However, this was not an exclusive decision to the State of Origin, the premiership would perform under these rules as well for all of their premiership matches.

Inherent in this decision has become a problem with the system. The simple fact is that teams are not rewarded for effort. If a team is able to force another to extra time only yo lose they were not rewarded for their trouble. This system echoes the championship of the American sporting institution, the NFL. But should teams be rewarded for forcing teams to extra time? Should the points system be reformed to ensure that the best and most consistent teams are embedded in the finals at the time of the finals? It is the opinion of many fans that the finals should represent the pinnacle and therefore, teams that have been inconsistent should not stand as much a chance as those whom have been. To decide on a final points system, this article will now show some common examples and proposals for โ€œbonus pointsโ€.

Extra Time Bonus

This is present in the NHL when the loser in extra time is rewarded for forcing their opponent to extra time. They receive a point and their opponent is given two points. JUDGEMENT: DESIRABLE

Closeness Bonus

A team is rewarded for reaching a score a relatively small distance behind the winner. In Rugby this is given to reward consistent and persistent teams. JUDGEMENT: DESIRABLE

Restriction Bonus

If the winning team were able to restrict their opposition team to a set mark, then this bonus would apply. Whether the mark is a number (zero) or an amount below their own score (win by more than 35 points). This bonus would not be encouraging consistency in the loser of the contest JUDGEMENT: UNDESIRABLE

Thrashing Bonus

A team is rewarded for beating another by scoring a certain number of tries. This bonus is in place in Rugby Union. The purpose of the bonus is to encourage teams to be exciting, however that problem is not a factor in Rugby League as the game is far more expansive. JUDGEMENT: UNDESIRABLE (NOTE: The punishment of the other team may serve to tighten games)

The Solution Proposed

From the discussion above, a solution to the best system of bonuses to adopt in the N.R.L. premiership has been formulated. The decision has been to use the following:

Supplementary (or SP)

Awarded to a losing team whose score is equal to or less than 5 points difference from that of their opponent at full time. Value to team 1

Extra Time (or ETP)

Awarded to a team that force their opposition to extra time and is unsuccessful. Value to team 2

Terminal (or TP)

Awarded to a team that loses and their opposition scores equal to or greater than 40 points in the game. This is negated and not charged to the team when the loser is within scores an SP. Value to team -1

Winning (or W)

When a team wins the game. Value to team 3

Bye (or B)

When a team has a bye. Value to team 2

Below is an example of the table based on this year's competition. Rewarded are teams like Parramatta, Dragons and Tigers who have come so close and punished are teams like the Broncos, Knights and the Sea Eagles because when they are bad they are very, very bad.

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