The final Super League table in 2020 will be decided by Points Percentage, to cover for the possibility that all clubs may not be able to play the same number of games before the end of the regular season.
The Points Percentage will be calculated by the number of matches won by a club, divided by the number of matches played, multiplied by 100.
The change already has an immediate effect – with Catalans being propelled to the top of the table with a Points Percentage of 71.43%, just ahead of the 70% of St Helens, Warrington and Wigan.
If clubs are level on Points Percentage, it will then be determined by Points Scored Percentage – calculated by dividing the number of points scored by a Club by the number of points it concedes and multiplying by 100.
RFL chairman Simon Johnson 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.”
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; though this may be reviewed if four or more clubs do not complete 15 matches.
The threshold for postponement of a fixture will be the non-availability of seven or more of a club’s top 25 players (on salary cap value) for Covid-related reasons – including Test and Trace, though clubs can still choose to play fixtures in these circumstances.
Any postponed games can be arranged for one of four additional match slots – September 17/20, October 3, October 18/19 or
November 1/2, assuming neither club involved has commitments in the Challenge Cup.
There have also been some amendments to the Salary Cap regulations, enabling clubs to play any player with a salary cap value of under £30,000 without impacting their Salary Cap; and any players who have tested positive for COVID-19 that are unable to return to action after the minimum isolation periods will have their salary cap value removed from the club’s liability, enabling the club to sign a replacement.