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What to do about fixtures?


What to do about fixtures?  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. Preferred solution

    • Rearrange regardless within current season limits
      15
    • Rearrange and extend the season
      9
    • Clubs unable to play forfeit the match and league points
      12


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39 minutes ago, Scubby said:

The season is in deep ####

If you go on beyond November it runs into season 2021 and associated funding. The WC runs from October 23 2021, when are you going to fit season 2021 in?

Also, if it spews along with postponements and cancellations of games week to week - it will look like a game desperate and on its knees.

My call would be to reduce the season to 15 rounds. Play-offs done over 3-4 weeks in a bubble in Manchester. Challenge cup in same bubble as SL. GF at Old Trafford, Challenge Cup final at Etihad (or even Bolton). Get it done by early November and put the season to bed!

I think we're seeing a total failure of protocol and rules frankly which surely now needs tightening up from the top as advocated by several coaches and players.

I can see the argument for what you propose but I also see the reason why we have so many rounds weighted towards October and November is because they expect crowds will be allowed in by then. I think it's unfair and eventually impossible to rearrange and rearrange. 

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59 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Unless there is an abuse of the rules laid down, eg players getting ‘banned’ ala Hastings and a couple of others, I find it hard to agree that we should punish teams for having staff who contract the virus by awarding points to others. 

I agree. But we're also getting to the point where games shouldn't be rearranged. Beyond playing two games per week, other games should be cancelled and either points split or a points-per-game calculation like the EFL and National League football did. 

But going back to Tommy's OP, has SL really not agreed a procedure before restart for if games can't be played, like union did? Shocking oversight if not. 

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

I think we're seeing a total failure of protocol and rules frankly which surely now needs tightening up from the top as advocated by several coaches and players.

I can see the argument for what you propose but I also see the reason why we have so many rounds weighted towards October and November is because they expect crowds will be allowed in by then. I think it's unfair and eventually impossible to rearrange and rearrange. 

Sadly this reflects rugby league's hand-to-mouth existence. Instead of making a proper plan based on the reality and unpredictability of the COVID situation we've focussed everything on how we could get a few quid through the turnstiles and hoping for the best. 

I know that's our reality as a sport but it was always a high risk plan. 

It may well be that Scubby is right, we have to call the season early and put the top 4 or 6 into a bubble and get it played out.

Trafford lockdown reimposed today and we're still thinking about getting fans at the GF? The game needs to get real. 

And of course, all of this will still be the backdrop come February when the new season is supposed to start. We have to sit down as a sport and deal with the facts in front of us. The sport and most clubs CAN survive, but only if we face up to the reality as it is, not what we hope it may be in a best case scenario. 

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19 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

I agree. But we're also getting to the point where games shouldn't be rearranged. Beyond playing two games per week, other games should be cancelled and either points split or a points-per-game calculation like the EFL and National League football did. 

But going back to Tommy's OP, has SL really not agreed a procedure before restart for if games can't be played, like union did? Shocking oversight if not. 

Yeah, I think we should possibly look at capping the fixtures up to a point and going for a PPG option. But only if we can meet TV obligations. 

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I think SL and the clubs are doing everything they can re: fixtures.  There has been an incredibly high level of flexibility shown for switching fixtures and bye weeks etc at short notice which is commendable.

I'm not sure what more can be done, on the fixture front, perhaps the bubble measures are too lax though and we need to be more brutal from now on.  Far easier said than done though for professional sportsmen with families who train together, it is inevitable that there will be transmission absent seriously draconian bubble measures.

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2 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Sadly this reflects rugby league's hand-to-mouth existence. Instead of making a proper plan based on the reality and unpredictability of the COVID situation we've focussed everything on how we could get a few quid through the turnstiles and hoping for the best. 

I know that's our reality as a sport but it was always a high risk plan. 

It may well be that Scubby is right, we have to call the season early and put the top 4 or 6 into a bubble and get it played out.

Trafford lockdown reimposed today and we're still thinking about getting fans at the GF? The game needs to get real. 

And of course, all of this will still be the backdrop come February when the new season is supposed to start. We have to sit down as a sport and deal with the facts in front of us. The sport and most clubs CAN survive, but only if we face up to the reality as it is, not what we hope it may be in a best case scenario. 

I think there's an element of paying for it too. 1 test a week isn't enough imo as its impossible to tell whether the infection was picked up before during or after the game - which in a butterfly effect compromises the players team, their opposition last week, their opposition the following 2 weeks, and their original opponents upcoming opposition. Suddenly half the league is impacted because we only test Tuesday or Wednesday and can't work out when an infection occurred. 

An other option which may present itself as a cheap alternative is to not test at all or test much more infrequently if it is being shown that players are being shown to be asymptomatic. That brings in a lot of moral and legal questions but I don't think its being naïve to think that some people in the game will be thinking it even if they aren't saying it. I don't think we're there yet at all however.

I think with crowds we're likely to end up following others essentially. Football will determine a lot but RU will have high profile internationals too. The only games we'll have with crowds that will come close to those numbers will be the CC Final and the Grand Final.

I think the clubs and sport leadership need to start being a bit more on it. The risk of forfeiting points (or arguably more importantly later on this season, a matchday crowd) may give some organisations and individuals a mental kick up the backside to focus minds on this. Whether that means stricter rules for players, increased testing or the use of a bigger squad (reserves/academy etc.)

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10 minutes ago, FearTheVee said:

I think SL and the clubs are doing everything they can re: fixtures.  There has been an incredibly high level of flexibility shown for switching fixtures and bye weeks etc at short notice which is commendable.

I'm not sure what more can be done, on the fixture front, perhaps the bubble measures are too lax though and we need to be more brutal from now on.  Far easier said than done though for professional sportsmen with families who train together, it is inevitable that there will be transmission absent seriously draconian bubble measures.

I agree the initial response was good with flexibility but now we're reaching a stage where games can't be rearranged indefinitely so something has to give.

I think with the bubble point we have to look at other sports. Whilst the premier league and F1 may be in a different league financially to us, the various Rugby Union league competitions, Scottish football and lower end of the championship and League 1/ 2 football aren't too dissimilar in terms of a lot of players who aren't swimming in money. What rules and recommendations do they have? What protocols around testing etc do they use? What sanctions do they have? Are they individual player or club focussed?

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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

With figures like that you've got a significant outbreak and a clear failure in covid-secure protocol at the club. Why should everyone else suffer because of that?

So if the players became contaminated due to a previous game against a team whose own players subsequently proved positive, then which club would you be punishing?

For once the stick is definitely not the right answer.

Trying to find a positive this is a very steep learning curve for clubs and the game as a whole which should put us in a stronger position to deal with the problems that will be sure to emerge in 2021.

Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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reducing the season makes sense, if they get played. percentage points is best possible outcome. min of 10 games each, with all teams playing each other at least once. play offs for title with 4 teams. challenge cup put back till start of next season, otherwise it will have too much of a knock on effect on the league season.  finish november regardless.

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17 minutes ago, Blind side johnny said:

So if the players became contaminated due to a previous game against a team whose own players subsequently proved positive, then which club would you be punishing?

For once the stick is definitely not the right answer.

Trying to find a positive this is a very steep learning curve for clubs and the game as a whole which should put us in a stronger position to deal with the problems that will be sure to emerge in 2021.

That's where I a) think there needs to be more testing (immediately after games being an obvious addition as well as the day before) and b) is why this needs a more serious approach. 1 player being lax could risk the whole competition - hence Fifita being stood down. We need to be able to pin point the infection date so that clubs can play on. Its precisely to protect clubs that this should be happening.

We've also not had a proven case of transmission in a match itself. As far as we can tell players have picked the virus up independently or from eachother. Regardless, despite the relatively large number of cases we've had, we've not had team to team transmission suggesting the potential scenario you cite as an unlikely.

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36 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I think there's an element of paying for it too. 1 test a week isn't enough imo as its impossible to tell whether the infection was picked up before during or after the game - which in a butterfly effect compromises the players team, their opposition last week, their opposition the following 2 weeks, and their original opponents upcoming opposition. Suddenly half the league is impacted because we only test Tuesday or Wednesday and can't work out when an infection occurred. 

An other option which may present itself as a cheap alternative is to not test at all or test much more infrequently if it is being shown that players are being shown to be asymptomatic. That brings in a lot of moral and legal questions but I don't think its being naïve to think that some people in the game will be thinking it even if they aren't saying it. I don't think we're there yet at all however.

I think with crowds we're likely to end up following others essentially. Football will determine a lot but RU will have high profile internationals too. The only games we'll have with crowds that will come close to those numbers will be the CC Final and the Grand Final.

I think the clubs and sport leadership need to start being a bit more on it. The risk of forfeiting points (or arguably more importantly later on this season, a matchday crowd) may give some organisations and individuals a mental kick up the backside to focus minds on this. Whether that means stricter rules for players, increased testing or the use of a bigger squad (reserves/academy etc.)

We want to get this virus over and done with.  Are we suggesting we are going to encourage thousands of people from one set of hot spots to concentrate on another.  And then let them travel all the way back again!

It's mindless bringing crowds back again.  But that's why all these various hot spots are appearing...  people are being mindless.

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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

Its not just the players in a team its the entire club and by extension the other clubs too.

Obviously your world is completely contained in Rugby League.

There's a non-RL world out there.   People outside the game have been affected too, you know.

"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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2 minutes ago, Snowys Backside said:

Bin the season. 
 

It’s just boring and not worth watching. We have not even got the infrastructure in place to protect our players for the sake of Sky dishes.

Start again next year which may well be the embarrassing scenario come October !

That is the nuclear option but does carry a significant financial cost to the game that I'm sure will impact the lower division funding proportionately much more than Super League.

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11 minutes ago, Snowys Backside said:

Bin the season. 
 

It’s just boring and not worth watching. We have not even got the infrastructure in place to protect our players for the sake of Sky dishes.

Start again next year which may well be the embarrassing scenario come October !

Not sure boring is the right word.  Odd yes, but not boring.

I do think this is as good as it will get though - with no relegation and only top4 play-off (of which you'd guess three are pretty nailed on) there will be a LOT of dead rubbers

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5 minutes ago, FearTheVee said:

Not sure boring is the right word.  Odd yes, but not boring.

I do think this is as good as it will get though - with no relegation and only top4 play-off (of which you'd guess three are pretty nailed on) there will be a LOT of dead rubbers

I don't think its that certain, 4 points separate 2nd from 8th and there's teams with games in hand etc. with fixture pileup likely I think we'll see whole squads tested too. Whilst I'd be very surprised if Wigan and Saints aren't in the top 4 and Wakefield, Salford and Hull KR towards the bottom 3, any of the rest could get in or drop out given a good/poor run of results. 

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4 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Seeing some suggestions on twitter that with Leeds v Wakefield being postponed tomorrow and Hull v Warrington being called into doubt that Warrington were essentially given a choice as to whether they wanted to play against Hull or whether Leeds should. To me that's a complete conflict of interest and is massively open to abuse. 

I also think that the fixture pileup is going to become untenable. We initially faced a scenario of 8 games in 6 weeks (not including the cup) and that looks likely to rise given the rearrangements and continued cases of positive tests. I think we're facing 3 options. 

1. We rearrange fixtures within the current season limits regardless of the number of games per week

2. We extend the season to cover rearrangements, though risk the contractual changes at the end of November and the impact on next years pre-season

3. We introduce forfeits for games that cannot be played due to not having a full squad to play

Rugby Union has introduced something along the lines of number 3 AFAIK and I think it would focus minds in Rugby League around the seriousness of the situation. It also removes the Warrington scenario described above where clubs could potentially choose not to play individually. Without the risk of relegation as a result of this either I think its a fair compromise to ensure we finish the season.

What did I tell you all ?

A 9 round UK only mini comp with all 45 games televised and a 3 game play off 

But would you all listen ? No , now look where we are ? 🙄😤😱😷🤔☠️

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Just now, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

There are plenty of Championship players available to sign on loan if clubs need to bolster their squads, after all, that’s exactly how dual registration was sold to us, Championship players can be given a chance in Super League. Any missed fixtures need to be caught up midweek or on a Challenge Cup weekend.

There are many Championship level players running around in SL atm. The step up is no longer that great.

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