Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone has announced five-second reductions in Shot Clock timings for 2020, which he says will “further crank up the pace and intensity of matches”.
The new, tighter Shot Clock restrictions will also operate in the Championship and Challenge Cup next season, while referees will continue to manage time-keeping in Betfred League 1.
Following the introduction of the shot clock system this year, stats show that even in games with fewer and shorter stoppages, there were significantly more passes, tackles, offloads, line breaks and tries.
In 2020, those restart restrictions have been tightened by five seconds in each case – meaning 30 seconds for a scrum, and 25 seconds for a drop-out.
Following the introduction of the Shot Clock, the average game time in 2019 fell by more than 5% from 95 minutes 59 seconds in 2018 to 90 minutes 47 seconds.
Elstone said: “Three things give us the confidence to make changes and speed things up even more.
“Firstly, in 2019, the facts tell us the introduction of the shot clock was the right thing to do.
“It has made a significant, positive impact on the game, adding to intensity and providing our players with an even better platform to showcase their outstanding athleticism and skill.
“Secondly, fans tell us repeatedly that pace of play sets our sport apart and is a major factor in their enjoyment of the game.
“Finally, backed up by evidence from the NRL, and after watching our players watch the shot clock in action in 2019, it confirmed to us there was the scope to shorten times further.
“We’re confident these changes will build on the progress made in 2019.
“The action will get even quicker, the drama more intense and the unrelenting excitement of Super League will reach even greater heights.”