Betfred Championship and League One play-off structures 2021



PROMOTION to Super League for 2022 will be decided by a six-team play-off.

The Betfred Championship, which kicks off over the Easter weekend at the start of next month, will adopt the same top six play-off system which was used in the Betfred Super League in 2020.

That means the top two in the final table will earn a bye through the first round of the play-offs before playing the winners of sudden death fixtures between teams three to six.

The winners of those two semi finals will meet in the Million Pound Game to determine promotion to the Betfred Super League in 2022.

The games will be played over a three-week period from September 25 to October 10 and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Questions remain about the involvement of Toulouse Olympique given the current rules surrounding sportsmen and women returning from France being required to quarantine, but an announcement on their early rounds will be made in the coming days.

In Betfred League 1, which kicks off in May, the team finishing top of the table will earn automatic promotion. The teams finishing second to sixth will play in a five-team play-off series culminating in a Promotion Play-Off Final.

That will run for four weeks, starting the weekend before the Championship play-offs (September 18-19).

Clubs will be required to have played 70% of their league fixtures (16 out of 22 in the Betfred Championship) to qualify for the play-offs.

The bottom two teams in the Betfred Championship will be relegated – irrespective of how many fixtures they have played.

The clubs had already agreed that league positions will be determined by points percentage – again, as in the Betfred Super League in 2020.

This is to allow for the possibility of teams being forced to withdraw from fixtures because of Covid-19 – they will be allowed to do so if seven or more players are ruled out either after testing positive, or as close contacts of a positive test following test and trace analysis.

The RFL and clubs will attempt to rearrange postponed fixtures where possible, but there are very limited opportunities to do this given the delayed start to the season, and the impracticality of midweek fixtures.

The clubs had also already agreed to remove golden point for the 2021 season, to reduce the demands on players who will have gone almost a year without competitive action, and many of whom are part-time.

Details of the fixtures and streaming schedule for rounds 2-4 in the Betfred Championship will be released soon.





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