What's the (Bonus) Point
Point or no points
By London Leprechaun
January 2 2018
London Leprechaun gives us some food for thought about the point or not of bonus points. Hope any comments get to the point.
Many recent seasons have turned on bonus points. I am sure you all remember the agony of the last time we flirted with relegation, when Lancashire made a vital point to make us fight out for a draw to relegate them, not us? Or that vital third Yorkshire batting point which pulled the Championship decider in 2016 to that dramatic last day. Or of course our lack of a vital bonus point or two at Taunton this year. All that drama made me think about how much bonus points influence the County Championship. How vital every point is . . . or is it?
Here is a link to the last three years in Division One. With the table as is with bonus points, and as it would have been with no bonus points. But still with overate deductions. And ignoring the Durham deduction last year. You will see that over three years the final tables would have been in exactly the same order with or without bonus points. Except that this year Arrowgate would have been between Surrey, and ironically, ourselves. Which shows how Surrey decided where their strengths lay and approached the season.
Now of course you can argue that, without bonus points, teams would have approached some matches differently. But this year the final equation would have been the same for Somerset and ourselves. They would have needed to win; a draw would have seen us safe regardless of Arrowgate. Which leads me to the question: what is the point of bonus points? Apart from adding drama to end of season matches? Would doing away with them encourage more attacking cricket with win points becoming more important?
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:01:15:11:50:37 by BarmierKev.
If bonus points were ever to be abolished, I imagine that Championship matches would be like Test matches in the sense that players, spectators and the media would simply focus on the main story, which is how first innings performances affect the likely result of the match.
1. Why do teams get a point for getting to 200, which most of the time everyone gets to? Surely these should all be stepped up by 50 runs?
2. Even worse, with bowling points - a point for taking 3 wickets? Practically everyone manages that in nearly every game unless it rains a lot. Also the huge flaw with bowling points is that you get 3 points for bowling the oppo out for 200, but you also get 3 points if the oppo are 450-9 after 110 overs.
I also agree with stockmos the system of distributing these is flawed. I would like to see equal points available for batting and bowling with 100 overs being cut off. How about 1,2,3 250, 300, 350 for batting side. Then 3,6, 9 wickets for bowling side with rule once opps get to 300 these are not applicable.
No system is perfect, but feel above is certainly fairer.
The system is simple and introducing greater complexity has its risks. The idea that you lose three bowling points if the oppo score 300 but not if they score 299 seems wrong.
One of the flaws that I see is that it takes no account of difficulties caused by the pitch. If both teams are bowled out for 150, no batting points for either, so some matches are worth less to both teams than others. There might be something to be said for having fixed totals of batting and of bowling bonus points, with the distribution between the teams based on their batting and bowling performances. If both teams score roughly the same, they get half the batting points each, regardless of whether both teams have scored 150 or 450.
The Lancashire match was a good example. We needed to win but we also needed more batting points. Under my scenario we would have got them. It could be argued that that would remove the incentive to provide a better pitch in the first place but incentives cut both ways, as the points position meant that Somerset had every incentive to produce a poor (but not deduction-level poor) pitch for the finale. I should stress that I an simply using these games as examples with which I am familiar, rather than arguing we was robbed or anything like that.
The truth though is that every such system would have quirks that open up the possibility of gaming the system.
A final thought - what if weather prevents one team bowling on a greentop (or one team batting on a road) for long enough to have a chance of matching the points garnered by the opposition? A bit unfair but if you award a default number of points you are effectively doing what couldn't be done on Arrowgate - predicting what would have happened.
It will be interesting to see whether the ICC World Test Championship, which will begin in 2019, will include bonus points, or whether points will only be awarded according to the match result.
Could you imagine the EPL giving points in a game for goal difference or % of possession .... no.
On the other hand it sure as hell spices up the Rugby with win bonus,lose bonus points mainly by the fact if you score x amount of tries (the things the punters pay money to see) you get extra point(s) even in a losing cause as far as the game result goes.
Here to stay but could be better worked out with a fairer balance between bat and ball , and across both inning.
Out of 14 first class innings we achieved 7 fist innings scores of under 250 and out of those 7 first innings scores we had 3 scores of under 200 achieving no points at all.
Put another way 50% of the seasons first class innings netted us 4 batting bonus points.
I have often thought that you shouldn't be able to gain more bowling points once a side reaches 400.