Kear proposes new Super 8s format

John Kear has designed a new league structure that he believes would put full-time and part-time teams on a fairer playing field.

His proposal cuts the season down to 25 games, excluding the play-offs, rather than the current league system that consists of 30 regular league games.

Currently, teams in the top two divisions play each other twice in a league of twelve, plus one match at either Magic Weekend or Summer Bash that leaves the figure at 23. The teams then go into a division of eight and play every other team once, an additional seven games.

However, Kear believes that is unfair on part-time players, who find it more difficult to play the additional games and is having an impact on their well-being as a result.

Including cup matches, the Bulldogs played 33 games last season, only four less than Leeds Rhinos, who played the maximum amount of 36. Their additional games were one extra Challenge Cup tie and two play-off matches.

“We started in February and we had one weekend off up to the end of the season in October.” Kear told the Yorkshire Post

“We didn’t even get the (August) bank holiday off this year.

“If they want to increase the number of games in Super League, that’s up to them – they are full-time players.

“Ours are part-time and they are playing too many games.

“I don’t think I have known a season when there has been as many one, serious injuries and two, bumps and bruises.

“Players were getting jabbed up to go out and play and that is something we need to address.

“There’s a lot of focus on state of mind (mental health) at the moment, but we need to look after the players physically as well.”

“If you play everybody once, that is 11 games,” he said.

“Then you could play another six to make it 17, plus the Summer Bash – which is 18 – and then go into the split.

“That’s 25 games before the play-offs and I think that is manageable.”