A Golden Point Of View
Golden point in rugby league… it should be a continuation of the one played in order to secure a winner. It should not require what currently starts again as a second game, with the laws associated with that new game.
Throughout the world major international sports have various rules for ‘shootouts’. The NBA, NFL, Football (when decisions are required) and Ice Hockey. The present NRL rules relating to extra time when scheduled time has been called, are fair in comparison, but there is room for some serious thinking about how Golden Point is actually applied to make this critical point in the game even more interesting.
Golden Point in overtime in rugby league is here to stay. Primarily, it was initiated because both the fans and the League considered that each team involved should have the opportunity to play to a result on the scoreboard, not just a drawn game. Most professional sports create a second game, in some cases limiting the players involved (Soccer, Ice Hockey). However, I can find none that treat the procedure of an overtime as an extension of the game in progress. Why not.
All other sports have their critics, but one thing you can be certain of in sport, is that once an innovation is introduced, and fans/viewers like it, it is here to stay and adds to fan engagement and interest.
An option for play continuation in overtime in a scheduled seasonal game:
Final series has been accepted. An option for consideration is that at the end of the scheduled 80 minutes, the game is to continue a further 10 minutes after a ‘Time out’ is signalled by the central official. In all fairness, the coin toss, along with half time, introduces some element of luck, and leaves little time for set plays in the 5 minutes which are consumed in field position for dropped goal.
At the completion of the scheduled 80 minutes, and if scores are identical at the end of that play- irrespective of a tackle count or a breach, the football should be marked to indicate where the play ceased. After the two minute break the game resumes at the point it ceased on the tackle at that time, or continuation of play as if the game was still in progress.
The referee calls “Time on” and the continuation from the 80th minute starts in accordance with the cessation of play. The 10 minutes goes straight to a conclusion in the 90th minute, with a try as determining any points scored . “Time out” between the 80th minute at the commencement of 81st minute should be dependent on the time of year when the temperatures are high and player welfare comes into consideration, but the two minutes seems sufficient.
It should also be considered that with Points Differential so critical at the completion of the scheduled season, the points for/ against in the 80th minute be the Points Differential as long as the rules relating to Points Differential are not impinged upon as one point has little impact but 4 or perhaps 8 is different. It may be argued that a ‘continuation’ advantages a team which had field position at the completion of the game, and let’s say, recommences on tackle four in front of posts. However, game management means a team has to ensure it still has interchanges left, and that same game management will require that they endeavour to gain field position whether they have the football or not prior to game Time Out.
The elimination of the field goal and a penalty, as game scoring points are up for discussion and may impinge on the integrity of the laws, but the scoring of a try comes absolutely paramount. If at the end of the 90 minutes points were still identical, then I doubt if anyone would be disappointed about that being a truly fair result for both teams, and ending such a game as Drawn is the rightful outcome with no other influences.