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#NEWBEGINNINGS FOR SUPER LEAGUE IN 2019

01st January 2019

#NEWBEGINNINGS FOR SUPER LEAGUE IN 2019

New rules, new venues, and more on-field drama to greet supporters in 2019 thanks to rule changes confirmed today.

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Super League will feature shot clocks, Golden Point extra time and a number of other changes to the laws and playing conditions in 2019 to introduce more speed and on-field drama for spectators and television viewers to enjoy.

The shot clocks will be installed this month at each of the 12 grounds that will regularly stage matches in the Betfred Super League, as a visible and pivotal part of the process of reducing the number and length of stoppages in matches and ensuring more action with the ball in play.

The new rules are explained in full today (January 1) on Super League’s digital channels, https://www.rugby-league.com/superleague/new_beginnings and will be introduced to players and spectators in selected pre-season fixtures.

And in less than a month, on Thursday January 31, the 2018 Grand Final winners Wigan Warriors will launch their defence of the Betfred Super League title at fierce local rivals St Helens as part of a blockbuster opening round which includes further televised matches between Hull KR and Hull FC (Friday February 1) and Warrington Wolves versus Leeds Rhinos (Saturday February 2).

Teams will be penalised if they fail to beat the shot clock for scrums (35 seconds) or drop-outs (30 seconds) – while sanctions will also be introduced to ensure that no more than 80 seconds of match time is used up by each kick at goal.

With the number of interchanges available to each team reduced from 10 to eight, the demands on Super League players will become even greater – emphasising the attritional nature of the contest, rewarding the fittest and most mobile players, and providing additional attacking opportunities for the most skilful.

In addition, in the last five minutes of each fixture, the clock will automatically be stopped following a penalty or a drop goal that goes out of the field of play, or a conversion – or after a try, if a team chooses not to take the conversion attempt.

That process will be extended if the scores are level at full-time by the introduction of Golden Point extra time, providing two five-minute periods in which to determine a winner.

The 12 Betfred Super League clubs proposed these law changes after extensive consultation with players, coaches, fans, commercial partners and the NRL, during and following the 2018 season.

Given the likely increased pressure on all match officials as a result of the quickening pace of the game, clubs gave their support for a second referee for all Super League fixtures. However, when considered alongside the other changes, and timeframes available, the Super League clubs agreed with the RFL to defer the introduction of the second referee – with trials to take place during 2019.

Super League chief executive Robert Elstone said: “There’s been a lot of talk about the changes we’re making for 2019, and New Year’s Day feels like the right time to confirm them, and to outline them in full.

 

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