Radical plan to overhaul Rugby League proposed by Humphries.

Jazza

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THE NRL is considering the most dramatic overhaul of the code in a generation, with a bold plan to cut match times to just 60 minutes to avoid player burnout.

The revolutionary proposal also calls for the NRL season to be lengthened to 30 weeks to ensure a level playing field for all clubs with a full home and away schedule.

The radical plan emerged at the NRL's chief executives summit this week amid widespread concern about the unfairness of the current draw and further alarm about the brutal workload on the game's superstars.

The architect of the project is Wests Tigers boss Stephen Humphreys, a former senior British Airways executive whose father Kevin ran the game in the 1970s and 1980s.

While still in its infancy, the vision for an NRL revolution is already gaining momentum among the game's key decision-makers because of the extra revenue it would deliver through television rights, sponsorship, corporate hospitality and ticket sales.

The restructure options being considered include:

* THIRTY weeks of premiership rounds instead of 26 to allow a fairer draw in which clubs play every team twice;

* THE season to kick off in mid-February and finish in the second week of October;

* MATCHES reduced from 80 minutes to 60 minutes to prevent player burnout and make it easier on players in February and March;

* AN alternative plan for 80-minute games, split into 20-minute quarters;

* COACHES told to use players for no more than 25 of the 30 rounds;

* EXPANDING 25-man NRL squads to 32 players.

NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley said: "We have a season-structure committee that will be looking at all options.

"We never say no to anything and obviously player workloads are at the top of our minds."

Humphreys said the lopsided nature of the draw was the stimulus for his groundbreaking plan.

"I have concerns about the inequality in the draw. The way we play less than a full home and away, it has potential for that every year," he said.

"The other catalyst for my thinking was around trying to optimise the value that we can get for the broadcast rights and other revenue the clubs generate.

"The first thought is if you have a full home and away season, you remove the inequality and you should be able to drive more revenue for clubs.

"The broadcast rights, the grant clubs get from the NRL as well as the gates receipts, sponsorship values and all your other revenue items would increase. We've certainly got something we can take to the TV stations.

"We've got a very appealing product so I don't see why a bit more of it is not going to be worth a bit more to us all."

Leading sports doctor Nathan Gibbs said shorter, more explosive quarters would not lead to more injuries to league players.

"Fatigue and lack of recovery time are your two major components that lead to injury risk," Gibbs said.

"And if players are only playing four 15-minute quarters, there is less exposure and less risk of injury.

"If you're playing against fitter players, playing faster and tackling harder in those shorter quarters, the rule doesn't necessarily apply you'll do more injury.

"It's basically got more to do with the amount of time you play, how many tackles you make, how many hits you make."

Gibbs said recovery time was an important issue with an expanded season.

He said doctors he had spoken to in the NRL said players already struggled with a five-day turnaround after Monday night football.

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I think if something like this is adopted and they split the game into quarters, they need to keep matches at 80 minutes. If they do reduce it to 60 minutes, then I think they should adopt the AFL policy and call time off when play is dead.

I also think by splitting the game into quarters and the players having a break every 15-20 minutes, there isnt much need for interchanges and I believe that we should go back to substitutions, say 2 per game to cover injuries (So have 4 or 6 players on the bench to pick from, and choose a couple to go on).

While I reckon some of these ideas could be worth a look at, the whole idea of it is to increase player salaries, under this proposal, while the salary cap may rise, I cant see the players individual salaries rising as we have to find the funds for another 7 players per club which = 112 for the entire competition.

Add to that we struggle with depth as it is, so where are we going to find over a 100 extra NRL quality players?

I also think having a cap on the number of matches players play is ridiculous.
 

stryker

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It's good to see that people are still looking outside the box for answers to the fairness of the draw…however these ideas are flawed mainly due to a lack of money and a lack of talent.
These ideas range from the wierd ( 60 minute games),to the utterly absurd (restricting how many games a player can participate in).
 

Cultured_Bogan

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I agree stryker. Level the draw out, but don't change the fundamentals of the game. It's been two forty minute halves for aeons, leave it at that. And if a player wants to play the whole year and his body will let him, why shouldn't he be entitled to play all 30 rounds + rep & finals?
 

MGB

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Quite bizarre, but full credit for thinking outside the square.
 

Juro

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My suggestion is to reduce the NRL season to 15 weeks, play each other once. Use that extra time to play more international footy, preseason comp, etc…
 

IronTiger

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@Juro said:
My suggestion is to reduce the NRL season to 15 weeks, play each other once. Use that extra time to play more international footy, preseason comp, etc…

:unamused:
 

innsaneink

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Apparently re the 60 min game, Humphries suggested no such thing, a journo added that to spice it up a bit

He's on talkin sport just after 5 today talkinG about it
 

Yossarian

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@innsaneink said:
Apparently re the 60 min game, Humphreys suggested no such thing, a journo added that to spice it up a bit

He's on talkin sport just after 5 today talkinG about it

Sounds like a Daily Telegraph thing…
 

Cultured_Bogan

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@Yossarian said:
@innsaneink said:
Apparently re the 60 min game, Humphreys suggested no such thing, a journo added that to spice it up a bit

He's on talkin sport just after 5 today talkinG about it

Sounds like a Daily Telegraph thing…

Surely you jest! I thought the Telegraphy was the pinnacle of journalistic integrity :laughing:
 

Tiger_Watto

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We dont need an over-haul of the game. We just need an Administration to govern the NRL as a National Competition and ensure the following is addressed:

1\. The Rules need to be simplified so ALL know what is happening on the field.
2\. Obolish the Football Club mentality and install 16 Franchises with a 20M Bank Guarantee each.
3\. A Salary Cap which suits the National Interests of the Competition, not just the Sydney Clubs.
4\. Accept NO Sponsorship Deals which Limit or Restrict competitor sponsorship for the Competition or Clubs.
 
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