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?

Discuss!

pqs: qs:
What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: Middlesex till we die (IP Logged)
Date: 02/01/2018 22:02

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:01:15:11:50:37 by BarmierKev.

Re: What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
Date: 02/01/2018 22:57

I enjoy the fact that bonus points add an extra dimension to County Championship matches, as it can create some interesting situations if the 110th over is approaching and a team needs a certain amount of runs or a wicket or two in order to achieve a point. The amount of excitement around the 110th over (or earlier in an innings if a team is down to their tail) is even greater in late-season matches.

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.

Re: What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: stockmos (IP Logged)
Date: 03/01/2018 10:05

I'm not against bonus points but I've long been baffled by the points for not many runs and bowling points in general.

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.

Re: What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: BarmierKev (IP Logged)
Date: 03/01/2018 10:46

I agree with JW we need bonus points to keep our interest days 1, two and sometimes 3. I often turn up early day 2 to see if in 14 overs we can push on for those vital extra points . Although mostly we don't much to my disappointment.

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.

Re: What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 03/01/2018 12:05

IIRC when bonus point came in the number of batting bonus points was potentially unlimited and there were cases where teams racked up eight or nine batting points, so the imbalance was worse. Before that didn't we have first innings points? That sometimes resulted in the entire focus moving on to which team could top the other's score.

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.


Adelaide

Re: What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
Date: 03/01/2018 19:38

I have heard some people argue that having bonus points doesn’t prepare players for Test matches due to bonus points currently not existing in Test matches. However, I believe that it can prepare players for the challenges a team would face in the fourth innings of a Test match, i.e. having to score x amount of further runs or take x amount of further wickets in x amount of remaining overs. Although those scenarios are part and parcel of any limited-overs match, it is different type of challenge to do those things in a first-class match.

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.

Re: What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: The Diamond ruled ok (IP Logged)
Date: 03/01/2018 21:19

Bonus points are an anathema. you win you win , you draw you draw, should be done away with totally.

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.

Re: What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: Bring back the Crusaders (IP Logged)
Date: 04/01/2018 22:41

One wonders if it was our batting points that were our downfall.
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.
Not good

Re: What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: tallliman (IP Logged)
Date: 06/01/2018 08:07

According to wiki, bonus points were introduced in the 1960's so many of us have known no different. The Shield in Aus has points for first innings lead but I think neither way is ideal.

I have often thought that you shouldn't be able to gain more bowling points once a side reaches 400.

Re: What's the (Bonus) Point
Posted by: Fozzie (IP Logged)
Date: 07/01/2018 08:58

When I started following cricket in 1963 the scoring system was simple: 10 points for a win, 2 points for a first innings lead, and that was it. With just 3 days for a game, matches would often descend into an attritional fight for the first innings points, with little hope of a win without a contrived declaration.

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