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langpark

Super 8s best format ever - please let's keep it!

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It seems no matter what format we have, there is endless debate about changing it.  It seems also from discussions that I see, that there is little support for the current format.

The main things I love about this current system:

- It gives players and fans incentive to turn up week in week out, no matter where they are on the ladder.

- It bridges the gap between SL and Championship, as we get to see the bottom 4 and top 4 playing against each other

- Anywhere from 0-4 teams could be promoted/relegated each season (never going to be 4, but usually 1, sometimes 2)

Many of us want to see the likes of Toulouse get into Super League, and they are well on their way to achieving that.  But it doesn't need to be forced.  They will get there soon enough.  So I would like to know what everyone's problem is with the current system?

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14 minutes ago, langpark said:

It seems no matter what format we have, there is endless debate about changing it.  It seems also from discussions that I see, that there is little support for the current format.

The main things I love about this current system:

1- It gives players and fans incentive to turn up week in week out, no matter where they are on the ladder.

2.- It bridges the gap between SL and Championship, as we get to see the bottom 4 and top 4 playing against each other

3- Anywhere from 0-4 teams could be promoted/relegated each season (never going to be 4, but usually 1, sometimes 2)

Many of us want to see the likes of Toulouse get into Super League, and they are well on their way to achieving that.  But it doesn't need to be forced.  They will get there soon enough.  So I would like to know what everyone's problem is with the current system?

1.why arent they then? 

2.the gap is massive and loads of games in the middle 8s are mismatches.

3. Those clubs could also be relegated and the uncertainty and risk introduced by relegation removes the space for clubs like that to invest where they need to invest and stops the game as a whole achieving it's potential in those areas.

The current system invented a problem that didn't exist and in doing so introduced a whole load of new problems from nigh on destroying league 1s ability to nurture new clubs to massive disparity in funding and wages in the championship to the short notice which killed attendance and corporate sales in SL, to an increased reliance on overseas players throughout the league, to this still unanswered question of how we can maximise overseas tv revenue when those countries don't know if they will have representation year on year, to practical questions of what we do if the million pound game ends up being held in Toronto at a weeks notice. 

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I likes the Super 8s as a concept, but clubs’ inability to sell the games to fans and sponsors is a real issue.

Add to that my belief we need to find a way for Toronto, eventually NYC, Hamilton etc, as well as Toulouse and London, without decimating the heartland, a move to 14 clubs, and then conferences if the NA clubs pan out, with guaranteed saleable fixtures, is the logical progression for me. Some form of P&R should be retained though.

Super 8s was a noble idea, but it has proved too dynamic for SL marketing operations and it was conceived pre-TransAtlantic clubs. So no shame in ditching it. The world changes.

 

Scubby, not sure how it impacts League 1, and if Champ clubs can’t hope to compete with SL clubs we need to ditch the challenge cup. A million pound game at a weeks notice in toronto shouldn’t be a gripe. Clubs can finish above em to prevent it, and they are sponsored by AirTransat, so having some affordable seats available with a few extra says in adavance shouldn’t be an issue

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Those who hate 2 up 2 down can write a huge list of flaws.

Those who hate licensing can write a huge list of flaws.

Those who hate Super 8s can write a huge list of flaws.

In most cases positives will be ignored.

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25 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Those who hate 2 up 2 down can write a huge list of flaws.

Those who hate licensing can write a huge list of flaws.

Those who hate Super 8s can write a huge list of flaws.

In most cases positives will be ignored.

What are the quantifiable positives that can be directly attributed to the super 8s system.

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48 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Those who hate 2 up 2 down can write a huge list of flaws.

Those who hate licensing can write a huge list of flaws.

Those who hate Super 8s can write a huge list of flaws.

In most cases positives will be ignored.

I was massively opposed to the 8's system, but I confess it does seem to work better than I expected.  

I still want rid.

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7 minutes ago, Bob8 said:

I was massively opposed to the 8's system, but I confess it does seem to work better than I expected.  

I still want rid.

My main point is that in general RL fans wont just accept that a system may not be their preference and get on with enjoying it. They will refuse to embrace it and tell everyone about how bad it is at every opportunity.

I do recall much of the criticism so-called flatcappers got around their criticism of licensing, many looked down their nose at them as they were just whingers. It has been interesting to see that flip completely with the latest change.

It would appear no group can take any moral highground here.

I say this as somebody who supported licensing.

The first major criticisms of a 'system' I heard first hand from friends and family was licensing.

Edited by Dave T
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15 minutes ago, Dave T said:

My main point is that in general RL fans wont just accept that a system may not be their preference and get on with enjoying it. They will refuse to embrace it and tell everyone about how bad it is at every opportunity.

I do recall much of the criticism so-called flatcappers got around their criticism of licensing, many looked down their nose at them as they were just whingers. It has been interesting to see that flip completely with the latest change.

It would appear no group can take any moral highground here.

I say this as somebody who supported licensing.

The first major criticisms of a 'system' I heard first hand from friends and family was licensing.

A bit of both sidesism there Dave. There is a chance one side is right and one is simply wrong. 

Had we seen the results from franchising that we see now from the super 8s the 'flatcappers' as you put it would have been screaming for change. 

It's been interesting to see the reasoning behind the support of this system change. Jeopardy was going to drive attendances and viewing figures, it would stop yo-yo clubs, it would stop clubs risking it all for a season in the sun, relegation would be unlikely and so the threat would have less effect, etc etc. All these benefits have been thrown by the way side or pretty conclusively disproved and the argument in favour of it now is simply personal preference regarding promotion and relegation.

It is a bit of a bad faith argument to argue people are against this system because it's not their personal preference when there are glaring failures of the system to meet its own objectives and the benefits it was sold on not becoming apparent.

People were against it then can be against it now not because they want to be proved right but because there are glaring failures and problems with it and intrinsic to it. 

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The Top 5 format was easily the best and rewarded teams accordingly to where they finished in the season. Top got a week off and a home tie to get to the final and the 5th placed team to win it had to play sudden death away from home every week. Worked well I thought.

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League structures are not the answer to any of Rugby League's problems.

They never were, and they never will be.

If they ever worked, we wouldn't still be having discussions like these.

The perfect league structure doesn't exist.

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Just now, scotchy1 said:

A bit of both sidesism there Dave. There is a chance one side is right and one is simply wrong. 

Had we seen the results from franchising that we see now from the super 8s the 'flatcappers' as you put it would have been screaming for change. 

It's been interesting to see the reasoning behind the support of this system change. Jeopardy was going to drive attendances and viewing figures, it would stop yo-yo clubs, it would stop clubs risking it all for a season in the sun, relegation would be unlikely and so the threat would have less effect, etc etc. All these benefits have been thrown by the way side or pretty conclusively disproved and the argument in favour of it now is simply personal preference regarding promotion and relegation.

It is a bit of a bad faith argument to argue people are against this system because it's not their personal preference when there are glaring failures of the system to meet its own objectives and the benefits it was sold on not becoming apparent.

People were against it then can be against it now not because they want to be proved right but because there are glaring failures and problems with it and intrinsic to it. 

When many of the negatives are disingenious and any negatives during licensing spun away, i am perfectly comfortable with my assessment here.

Increased cumulative crowds under S8s - yeah but....

Increased commercial income under S8s - yeah but....

Record TV deal - yeah but....

Licensing seeing crowd trends start to drop - yeah but....

Clubs going bust under licensing - yeah but...

There is definitely no right or wrong here. There are only those who think they are righy and everybody else wrong.

I personally enjoyed RL with standatd P&R, i enjoyed it with Licensing, I enjoyed it with S8s, I'll enjoy it with whatever comes up next time. Despite all of them being flawed.

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3 minutes ago, John Drake said:

League structures are not the answer to any of Rugby League's problems.

They never were, and they never will be.

If they ever worked, we wouldn't still be having discussions like these.

The perfect league structure doesn't exist.

This is 100% true. League structures will never be a panacea. 

The question we have to be asking isn't what league structure will solve our problems, it's what league structure creates the best environment for the sport to reach its potential.

I personally can't see, and have still yet to hear a cogent and convincing argument that the environment which best allows us to reach our potential is one where every pro club starts this year not knowing if they will be playing in a pro competition next year. 

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6 minutes ago, John Drake said:

League structures are not the answer to any of Rugby League's problems.

They never were, and they never will be.

If they ever worked, we wouldn't still be having discussions like these.

The perfect league structure doesn't exist.

Spot on. But the longer we keep this topic at the centre of attention the more divisions are created within the game and real opportunities pass us by.

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9 minutes ago, John Drake said:

League structures are not the answer to any of Rugby League's problems.

They never were, and they never will be.

If they ever worked, we wouldn't still be having discussions like these.

The perfect league structure doesn't exist.

Indeed.

In some ways, we still have the same problems of ten to twenty years ago.  The TV deal is worthwhile because of a handful of big clubs, but we need at least ten to make up a league.  These discussions are how to choose the best ten to fourteen clubs from about five. 

In the meantime, the clubs are packed together against each other and big soccer clubs in economically disadvantaged areas meaning limited potential for commercial development.

What is changing now, is that fewer young people are getting Sky or other cable subscriptions and streaming is taking off.  The economic basis of Super League to target the British market is being undermined.

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

Spot on. But the longer we keep this topic at the centre of attention the more divisions are created within the game and real opportunities pass us by.

I think it remains a topic of discussion because we all know the structure will change again. 

The whole history of the game tells us that it will.

The impetus for those changes usually comes from the clubs, as it is doing now.

Supporters are always the bystanders.

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11 minutes ago, saintspete83 said:

The Top 5 format was easily the best and rewarded teams accordingly to where they finished in the season. Top got a week off and a home tie to get to the final and the 5th placed team to win it had to play sudden death away from home every week. Worked well I thought.

I cany help but feel we have messed up the playoffs somewhat. The top 5 was excellent and regularly returned good crowds. Plenty of excitement and the seeding seemed the right level.

Top 6 was ok too.

Top 8 was a bit of a car crash tbh and we saw some really low crowds in Rd1 which meant we were finishing the season with lower crowds.

Now the move to Top 4 means it is all over in the blink of an eye.

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I really like the system too.  It hasn't been given nearly enough time.

It's not without issues, the championship shield is pretty meaningless and the top 8 games have an air of "filler" about them.  Both of which could be solved by zeroing the points to make them truly separate competitions.

The chief problem with the middle 8 is the funding gap.  For the system to work as intended, more of the TV money needs to filter down to the second tier.  Of course this will never happen while championship games are not shown and have no value and the Super League chairmen are not likely to release more of the pot.

Give it more time and sell the championship as a vibrant and exciting competition that deserves a TV deal of it own.

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1 minute ago, John Drake said:

I think it remains a topic of discussion because we all know the structure will change again. 

The whole history of the game tells us that it will.

The impetus for those changes usually comes from the clubs, as it is doing now.

Supporters are always the bystanders.

Yes sorry, to be clear, i mean the game is keeping this subject as the main talking point due to its need for change and the easy fix.

However fans are constantly saying we shouldnt change so much whilst calling for change.

The obsession is odd.

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Just now, Dave T said:

When many of the negatives are disingenious and any negatives during licensing spun away, i am perfectly comfortable with my assessment here.

Increased cumulative crowds under S8s - yeah but....

Increased commercial income under S8s - yeah but....

Record TV deal - yeah but....

Licensing seeing crowd trends start to drop - yeah but....

Clubs going bust under licensing - yeah but...

There is definitely no right or wrong here. There are only those who think they are righy and everybody else wrong.

I personally enjoyed RL with standatd P&R, i enjoyed it with Licensing, I enjoyed it with S8s, I'll enjoy it with whatever comes up next time. Despite all of them being flawed.

You are spinning here not comparing like for like and ignoring the failures, not me. 

I don't have an issue with you saying you like Super 8s and think it's being a success, I don't have a problem with you saying your simply ambivalent about it and don't think it is a failure. I disagree with you and would point out that the super 8s have failed to achieve most of the things it set out to do, most of benefits it was sold on haven't been apparent and some problems it has introduced in the game seem intrinsic to that structure.

You may disagree with that, as is your prerogative, and I would disagree with you. 

What I'm picking you up on however is the idea that whilst you have come to your conclusion based on a fair look at the evidence mine is based on something else. That's wrong. It's in bad faith. 

I don't like the super 8s system because I've looked at it, looked at the strengths and weaknesses and results and think it does little good and introduces some insurmountable hurdles to the games long term progress. You are welcome to disagree with my assessment but don't tell me it's made on any other basis.

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3 minutes ago, David Shepherd said:

I really like the system too.  It hasn't been given nearly enough time.

It's not without issues, the championship shield is pretty meaningless and the top 8 games have an air of "filler" about them.  Both of which could be solved by zeroing the points to make them truly separate competitions.

The chief problem with the middle 8 is the funding gap.  For the system to work as intended, more of the TV money needs to filter down to the second tier.  Of course this will never happen while championship games are not shown and have no value and the Super League chairmen are not likely to release more of the pot.

Give it more time and sell the championship as a vibrant and exciting competition that deserves a TV deal of it own.

How do we sell the championship as a vibrant and exciting competition when we have structure it as a qualifying competition that the Only reason to play in it is to get out of it?

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1 minute ago, scotchy1 said:

You are spinning here not comparing like for like and ignoring the failures, not me. 

I don't have an issue with you saying you like Super 8s and think it's being a success, I don't have a problem with you saying your simply ambivalent about it and don't think it is a failure. I disagree with you and would point out that the super 8s have failed to achieve most of the things it set out to do, most of benefits it was sold on haven't been apparent and some problems it has introduced in the game seem intrinsic to that structure.

You may disagree with that, as is your prerogative, and I would disagree with you. 

What I'm picking you up on however is the idea that whilst you have come to your conclusion based on a fair look at the evidence mine is based on something else. That's wrong. It's in bad faith. 

I don't like the super 8s system because I've looked at it, looked at the strengths and weaknesses and results and think it does little good and introduces some insurmountable hurdles to the games long term progress. You are welcome to disagree with my assessment but don't tell me it's made on any other basis.

Aye, the problem is, you have created a conclusion you think I have come up with. So your whole point is meaningless.

None of the above arguments are mine, they are what i have witnessed.

I have made it perfectly clear in the past, many times what my approach would now be.

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I cany help but feel we have messed up the playoffs somewhat. The top 5 was excellent and regularly returned good crowds. Plenty of excitement and the seeding seemed the right level.

Top 6 was ok too.

Top 8 was a bit of a car crash tbh and we saw some really low crowds in Rd1 which meant we were finishing the season with lower crowds.

Now the move to Top 4 means it is all over in the blink of an eye.

I agree with the issues regarding the playoffs but for me the symptom was treated not the cause. The top 8 play off was a problem not because there is some magic number of playoffs that are right but because generally teams 7 and 8 were a bit pants. 

So rather than get those teams better so we had more better playoff games we just don't play them and close our eyes and the problem goes away.

Same with the falls from the 2012 peak. We fall in 2013 in a large part because of issues at Bradford London and Salford, we haven't solved those issues we have just closed our eyes to them.

Irrespective of system we have to address the problems of the game and we aren't.

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The 8s system works really well for the middle 8 where the games actually mean something, promotion, relegation and the chance for Championship teams to test themselves against Super League opposition.

The problem is that the top group of 8 includes far too many meaningless matches which are just repeats of early season games leading to boredom and the bottom group of 8 is worse. A meaningless trophy for coming least bad of the failures and the only real issue to settle being relegation, which is generally clear after the first 23 games of the season anyway

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I must admit i wasn't a fan first of all, but now iv"e grown to like the format.

I really hope we stick with it and i really hope the clubs to a better job of promoting it

Please RFL don't change the format again

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6 minutes ago, Dave T said:

the game is keeping this subject as the main talking point due to its need for change and the easy fix.

Agreed.

There's dispute over the origin of the following quote, but it applies perfectly to Rugby League's obsession with league restructures.

Insanity =doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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