Super League [VIDEO] has introduced a number of new rules ahead of the 2019 season and, for the most part, they are changes that will benefit the game. The number of interchanges will be reduced from ten to eight - though, ten will be allowed in Golden Point. In an attempt to reduce the number of time stoppages, there will be a 35-second shot clock for scrums, a limit of 30 seconds for goal-line drop-outs and 100 seconds for conversions. Plus, players who go down ‘injured’ after the shot clock starts will have to leave the field and not return until their side regains possession or alternatively use an interchange.

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Meanwhile, the two-ref system has been delayed and will be trialled in reserves next year with a view to it being introduced in Super League in 2020. In a controversial move, the free play has also been abolished.

Despite it more often than not being brought back for the initial knock-on, the free play encouraged creativity and though it isn't perfect, it is better than what it replaced with players flopping on knock-ons to protect the set. But, regardless of the majority of these rules being forward-thinking, the introduction of the Golden Point rule is one that has divided opinion.

Games are already long enough

Super League games broadcast on Sky in 2018 were given a 7.45pm kick-off because of how often they overran in previous seasons. Games are already long enough and to introduce a ten-minute Golden Point at the end of 80 minutes will just see games descend into a farce. Rather than a well-earned draw, teams will faff about for ten minutes, scrambling for a drop-goal or playacting to try to earn a penalty.

A drop goal or penalty isn't really the way Super League should be encouraging league games to be settled and its introduction is yet another example of Super League hanging onto the coat-tails of the NRL.

Top-flight fixtures on Thursday night are already hell for families; adding what could end up being ten minutes onto the end of a match makes some games seem as if they will never end. Why not just keep it simple? The one point both teams get from a draw could be vital come the end of the season.

Undermines one-off games

The excitement of Golden Point in the playoffs or Challenge Cup is huge because of what is at stake at the end of the game - they are one-off games where if a team loses, they are out of that competition. Although draws are rare - there were just four in the regular top-flight season in 2018 - they are exciting, however, having an extra ten minutes makes the fixture seem more important than it is. Yes, all Super League games are important, but Golden Point should be saved for those winner-takes-all clashes at the end the year when it decides who progresses to the next stage of either the Challenge Cup or the Super League [VIDEO] play-offs.

Clearly, Super League has made some important strides in attempting to reduce the number of stoppages in play with a shot clock and time limits on conversions and drop-outs. Yet, although draws are a rare occurrence in Super League, introducing the Golden Point for such results is an unnecessary step. Games often drag out too long as it is; why fix what isn't broke?