Shorten the season
WITH the success of this year’s Four Nations Rugby League, I hope the NRL will look at long overdue reform of the season’s structure. In short, the home and away season is too long. If the world leader for average football attendances, the NFL judges eight home games as ideal, why are we playing 12? Our American cousins obey the laws of supply and demand, and their stadiums are full. We ignore them and our grounds are half empty. TV, both free to air and pay, seems to be one of the
❝ Concerned parent If anyone knows where these children are, please notify the authorities.
barriers to progress, though why this is so remains a mystery. TV executives have favoured quantity over quality and their ratings are declining. And our players, particularly the stars, are suffering from burnout. Good ideas like the Indigenous All Stars game and the Auckland Nines are simply added (or subtracted) from an already crowded season. Something has to give, and it’s usually the players’ health and fitness. If the club rounds were
shortened drastically, there would be more room for high-quality and high-rating representative games. Imagine a 17-team NRL – eight home games, eight away and one fair dinkum bye. Every team plays each other once, home games rotate biannually. Nine weeks slashed off the season. Potential to increase to 19 teams in future with only two additional rounds. What could be done with the additional time? All Stars game every year or even expanded to a tri-series with British/European and Pacific heritage teams included. State of Origin remains on Wednesdays but stands alone from club competition, with the weekends filled by New Zealand Origin series and Pacific nation tests. A South Pacific knockout
series comprising NSW, Queensland, Auckland, Combined Provinces (NZ), PNG, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga. Ah well, I can dream!
Peter Williams, Apple Tree Creek