Wigan Warriors drop a position after Super League switches to 'points percentage'
The RFL Board have approved a number of changes regarding fixtures, the league table and the salary cap, following discussions with the Super League board and clubs about the specific challenges of the 2020 Betfred Super League season.
For the first time since the introduction of the Super League in 1996, the final table will be determined by 'points percentage' - rather than the number of points gained.
This is because the authorities realise not all clubs will be able to play the same number of matches before the end of the regular season, at which point the top four clubs will qualify for the play-offs.
Catalans, for example, still have 13 league games to cram in before the end of the regular season in little more than two months - and they are still in the Challenge Cup. Any further disruption to their campaign, either by a Covid case at their camp or with opponents, would make finishing the season unfeasible.
They are the big benefactor of the change, moving to top of the table with a win percantage of 71.43&. Wigan drop from third to fourth with 70%.
These changes will be introduced immediately – and have a striking effect on the league table, see here.
At the end of the regular season, the club with the highest Win Points Percentage shall be at the top and the club with the lowest shall be at the bottom. The Win Points Percentage shall be the number of matches won by a club divided by the number of matches played by the club, multiplied by 100.
To qualify for the play-offs, a team must have played a minimum of 15 matches unless they end the regular season in the top four on competition points anyway (this will be reviewed and could be amended by the RFL Board if four or more clubs do not complete 15 matches).
Clubs will be allowed to postponed a fixture if seven or more of their top 25 players are unavailable due to Covid-related reasons, though clubs can still choose to play matches.
Following any postponement, the first option will be to rearrange the fixture for one of a number of possible windows - such as the Challenge Cup weekends - but if the two clubs do not have an available match slot, the fixture will not be rearranged.
Meanwhile, two adjustments have been made to the salary cap. Any player on their register earning under £30,000 or less can play without it impacting on the salary cap.
Simon Johnson, the RFL Chair, said: “As a Board, we recognise the unique challenges this season has presented – and the need for flexibility and creativity in response. It has been an immense logistical effort for all to get the Betfred Super League season up and running – we congratulate all involved, especially the players, and we know that our supporters are enjoying the opportunity to follow regular Super League rugby, whether on Sky Sports, the BBC or the Our League app.
“Like other sports before us, and doubtless others to come, we have to recognise that this is not going to be a normal season. A number of fixtures have already been postponed, affecting some clubs more than others, and we have to allow for the possibility of that pattern continuing.
“These decisions, regarding the rearrangement of fixtures, amendments to the salary cap, and most significantly a new way of determining the league positions, are a realistic and sensible response to those issues – and we hope they will be welcomed by players, coaches, supporters and other stakeholders in that manner.
“The whole sport is doing everything in its power to deliver a Betfred Super League Grand Final later this year that will see the crowning of our 2020 Champions.”