Shot clock times reduced for 2020 season

Shot clocks have been further reduced ahead of the 2020 season.

Super League has confirmed five-second reductions on all shot clocks in an attempt to provide more action in a shorter period of time.

The new rules were implemented last season, with teams given a countdown in which to resume play from drop-outs and scrums.

Statistics showed that the average match time fell in 2019 by more than 5%, with matches finishing in 90 minutes and 47 seconds, compared to 95 minutes and 59 seconds a year earlier. At the same time, there were more passes, offloads, line breaks, tackles and tries on average despite the shorter game time.

The new restrictions mean teams have 30 seconds for a scrum, and 25 seconds for a drop-out.

The new restrictions will also operate outside Betfred Super League in the Betfred Championship and the Coral Challenge Cup.

Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone said: “Three things give us the confidence to make changes and speed things up even more.

“Firstly, in 2019, the facts tell us the introduction of the shot clock was the right thing to do.

“It has made a significant, positive impact on the game, adding to intensity and providing our players with an even better platform to showcase their outstanding athleticism and skill.

“Secondly, fans tell us repeatedly that pace of play sets our sport apart and is a major factor in their enjoyment of the game.

“Finally, backed up by evidence from the NRL, and after watching our players watch the shot clock in action in 2019, it confirmed to us there was the scope to shorten times further.

“We’re confident these changes will build on the progress made in 2019.

“The action will get even quicker, the drama more intense and the unrelenting excitement of Super League will reach even greater heights.”