Bonus points could be heading to Super League – what impact have they had?

The bonus point system, that has been in place in the Championships for the past eight seasons, is on the agenda for possible inclusion in Super League next year.

It rewards teams that lose by 12 points or less with a point, with points for a win increasing to three, and a draw being worth two points.

As part of the reforms for next season, RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer revealed that one points system will be used across all three leagues – Super League, Championship and League One.

The traditional system of two points for a win and one for a draw has been used in every season of Super League since its inception in 1996.

When the bonus point system was introduced to the Championships ahead of the 2007 season, the RFL said it keeps games alive longer “by offering a tangible reward for strong, consistent performance over 80 minutes, the system encourages teams to keep competing in games that they may not be able to win” and “the system encourages teams to be consistent and produce an optimum performance in all their matches throughout the season.”

They also stated it “adds an extra dimension” as spectators have “more to consider as they watch the action unfold.”

In the seven full seasons its been in place in the Championship, it appears to have made little impact on the final standings. In fact, in the last two seasons, the bonus point made no difference to the final standings at all.

The table below shows the changes.

APos = actual position (bonus point system)

APts = actual points total (bonus point system)

TSPos = if traditional system was used position

TSPts = if traditional system was used points

 

Season Team APos APts TSPos TSPts
2011 Hunslet 7 20 9 9
2011 York 8 19 7 11
2011 Dewsbury 9 18 8 9
2010 Batley 7 29 8 14
2010 Toulouse 8 27 7 16
2010 Whitehaven 10 16 11 8
2010 Keighley 11 10 10 9
2009 Sheffield 3 42 6 22
2009 Widnes 4 39 5 22
2009 Whitehaven 5 39 4 24
2009 Featherstone 6 39 3 24
2007 Dewsbury 7 21 8 10
2007 Batley 8 19 7 11
2007 Rochdale 9 10 10 6
2007 Doncaster 10 10 9 10

 

There is no significant difference to any of the league tables in those years, although the first round of the play-offs in 2009 would have been the other way round, though neither of those four teams progressed to the Grand Final anyway.

Looking at the 2014 Super League season, it is hard to say explicitly what impact the bonus point would have had by simply looking at the results, because the idea is that the bonus point system pushes teams to fight harder when they are behind in games.

Hull have been the team to lose most often by 12 points or less, something they’ve done six times, followed by Wigan on five, and Castleford, Leeds and Widnes on four.

Converting the league table to the bonus points system, it would mean Leeds displacing St Helens at the top of the table, and Hull leapfrogging Salford in to 11th.

 

Current Table
 
Bonus Point System Table
Pos Team Pts   Team Pts BP
1 St Helens 34   Leeds 53 4
2 Leeds 32   St Helens 51 0
3 Wigan 30   Wigan 50 5
4 Castleford 30   Castleford 50 4
5 Warrington 28   Warrington 45 3
6 Huddersfield 28   Huddersfield 44 1
7 Catalan 23   Catalan 38 3
8 Widnes 21   Widnes 36 4
9 Hull KR 20   Hull KR 33 2
10 Wakefield 19   Wakefield 32 3
11 Salford 17   Hull FC 31 6
12 Hull FC 16   Salford 29 3
13 Bradford 4   Bradford 11 2
14 London 0   London 3 3

 

Do you think Super League should introduce the bonus points system? Or should all three leagues revert to the traditional (two points for a win, one for a draw) system for 2015?

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