The golden point debate continues
Every NRL game that goes beyond the 80 minute mark sparks an inquiry into how to fix the “Golden Point” concept.
This week has been no different, after Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary was on the receiving end of a golden point loss at the hands of Parramatta. The game was decided by a field goal with a mere 34 seconds remaining.
Any league fan with a vested interest in changing the concept must understand that the current setup provides tremendous entertainment, which cannot be compromised in the slightest if the NRL were to change the procedure.
Entertainment is not the only priority, though, as the game must be decided in a fair fashion.
The main reason for the debate is the increasing amount of games which are decided by a field-goal. 13 of the past 14 games which went into golden point extra time have been decided by the drop-punt. These golden point games (which are more like a field-goal shootout nowadays), are not doing the job of determining a deserved winner as this statistic shows.
Many theories have been discussed in a bid to improve this concept. The easiest option to implement would be to revert back to an era where there was no extra time period. If teams are tied at 80 minutes, the result stands as a draw. However in this day and age where the sport is broadcast to a massive and demanding audience, it seems that the extra time is necessary.
Other somewhat popular proposals include a “golden try” method, in which the field-goal and penalty goal are rendered pointless and a try is the only play which can win the game.
A lesser-known theory, which combines entertainment with legitimacy, also incorporates the importance of not just kicking a field goal, but also scoring a try. It is effectively a golden try concept, but a field goal will be enough to win the game at the conclusion of the 10 minutes of extra time.
This concept provides more security that the extra time period will not turn into a field goal shootout, and the scoring of a try demonstrates a teams dominance rather more than a mere field goal.
In recent times, the spectacle of golden point has significantly lowered due it’s increasingly predictable nature. The ARLC should look to change this part of the game for the 2013 season.
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