National Rugby League

From Academic Kids

The National Rugby League (NRL) is one of the most popular sporting competitions in Australia and, in recent times, New Zealand, consisting of fifteen teams playing Rugby League football against each other.


Current teams

The fifteen teams that currently comprise the NRL are:

Missing image
Canberra v Newcastle, Canberra Stadium, 19-Mar-2005.
Canberra v Newcastle, Canberra Stadium, 19-Mar-2005.

Teams from Metropolitan Sydney

Teams from outside Sydney

Teams no longer in current NRL

History of the NRL

The National Rugby League is the result of a joint venture between two competitions which co-existed in the late 1990s - the Australian Rugby League and Super League.

The Australian Rugby League grew directly out of the New South Wales Rugby League, founded in 1907. The NSWRL's First Grade competition consisted only of teams from metropolitan Sydney from 1907 until 1982. After 1982 the NSWRL continued to add new teams from across Australia, and also New Zealand (in the case of the Warriors) throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The NSWRL changed its name to the Australian Rugby League in 1995 in recognition of the growing number of teams from outside the State of New South Wales.

Super League was a creation of international media magnate Rupert Murdoch in a much-criticised move to monopolise the media coverage of Rugby League football in Australia. In 1997 both Rupert Murdoch's Super League and the Australian Rugby League co-existed running two separate competitions. For more on the battle between the two competitions, see Super League war.

With the sponsorship market and total crowd attendances being divided up among two competitions and a much larger number of teams compared to before the "war", teams soon found themselves in financial difficulty, and a joint venture between the two - the National Rugby League as it exists to-day was formed. For some purposes, notably statistical, the NRL and its forerunners (including the Super League) are considered as a single entity.

How the NRL works

The fifteen NRL teams play each other in a rotating roster that lasts for approximately twenty-six rounds every year from the beginning of March through to September. This is known as the regular season. There is one round every weekend. Seven games occur in each round, usually on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday during the regular season. One team each round takes a bye, although on two rounds during the season three teams take a bye on the same round. This is done so that all teams receive 2 byes during the season, but is unpopular with many people involved with the sport, and is one of the reasons for the consideration of a 16th team.

The winner of each game per round is awarded two points on the League Ladder. The team that is on bye is also awarded two points automatically. If a game is drawn between the two teams, each team is awarded one point each. N.B.: Drawn matches are subject to similiar process as soccer's Golden_goal, known as the Golden Point, introduced in 2003. At the end of the regular season, the eight teams with the highest point totals on the League Ladder qualify for the Finals Series, currently run using the McIntyre System. This consists of a number of knockout and sudden-death games over four weeks between the top eight teams in August and September until there are only two teams remaining. These two teams then play in the Grand Final, which has always taken place in Sydney on a Sunday in late September, or early October. Since 1999 the Grand Final has been contested at Telstra Stadium, the primary athletics venue during the 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney. From 1988 to 1998 the Grand Final was held at Sydney Football Stadium, and until 1987 was held at the Sydney Cricket Ground for around eighty years.


See also

External link

Template:Australasian Rugby League links


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