Written by Rugby Football League
Placings on the Betfred Super League table will again be determined by Win Points Percentage in 2021, to allow for the possibility of postponements as a result of Covid-19.
Clubs will be required to have played a minimum of 70% of their scheduled fixtures to qualify for the Top Six Play-Offs in September (18 matches out of 25) – unless they have earned a position in the top six through league points despite having played fewer than 18 matches.
The regulations surrounding postponements have been broadly carried forward from the 2020 season, with clubs permitted to withdraw from a fixture if they have seven or more of their top 25 players unavailable either because of a positive Covid-19 test or following test and trace analysis – or if they are prevented from playing or travelling to play as a result of governmental restrictions.
The fixture will only be rearranged if both clubs have the same available match slot (details in notes, below).
Win Points Percentage will be calculated as follows: the number of league points of a Club divided by the number of matches played by the Club, multiplied by 50.
If four or more clubs have not played the minimum match requirement (70% of scheduled fixtures), the RFL Board will have discretion to determine an alternative minimum figure.
The RFL Board have also approved changes to the permitted movement between clubs during the 2021 season, again in response to Covid-19.
At this time Dual Registration will not be permitted, but the minimum length of a loan period between clubs has been halved from four weeks to two – with strict criteria regarding testing procedures (see below).
Players will also be permitted to move between teams at the same club (eg Academy to First Team); and from professional environments to international environments.
Each of the above will be subject to Lateral Flow Testing prior to entering the new environment and repeat Lateral Flow Testing where necessary (in addition to the wider requirements under the Covid Protocols).
Again, at this time, the only permitted movement between the Community game and professional clubs will be new signings, and scholarship players.
Finally, the Out of Contract date requiring clubs to advise players in the last year of their contracts of their intention with regard to contract offers will be put back from April 30 to May 31, to reflect the later start of the season – although players will still be able to speak to other clubs from May 1, as previously.