The Betfred Championship Summer Bash will sound slightly different at the LNER Community Stadium in York next weekend - and it might be a sound that becomes increasingly familiar across Rugby League for the remainder of the season.
A new buzzer will be trialled across all eight fixtures over the weekend - seven in the Betfred Championship, plus the Women's Super League match between York Valkyrie and Warrington Wolves which kicks off Sunday’s action - to indicate a "Six Again" call to fans in the stands, as well as Viaplay television viewers and commentators.
If it is successful, the plan is for the buzzer to be used again at the Betfred Super League Magic Weekend in Newcastle – and for all major matches for the rest of 2023.
It will be the first time a buzzer has been used to signal a restart of the tackle count away from the Betfred Super League and Challenge Cup – previously fans have had to rely on the referee’s signal of wiping the tackle count clean, for logistical reasons.
It will be operated by the timekeeper from the stand, as in Betfred Super League fixtures - with sound-testing conducted in the warm-up before each match.
So Swinton Lions and Widnes Vikings will make a small piece of Betfred Championship history when they kick off the Bash next Saturday at 1245pm - with Viaplay viewers set for their first taste of the new buzzer during Saturday’s third match between London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique which kicks off at 515pm, followed by Featherstone Rovers versus York Knights from 730pm.
Tickets are still available for the Betfred Championship Summer Bash from only £20 for adults and £10 for under-16s, either from Rugby League (rugby-league.com), or from any of the competing clubs.
Betfred Championship Summer Bash 2023 – LNER Community Stadium, York
Saturday May 27
1245pm – Widnes Vikings v Swinton Lions
3pm – Whitehaven v Barrow Raiders
515pm – London Broncos v Toulouse Olympique (live on Viaplay)
730pm – Featherstone Rovers v York Knights (live on Viaplay)
Sunday May 28
1130am – Betfred Women’s Super League, York Valkyrie v Warrington Wolves
145pm – Newcastle Thunder v Sheffield Eagles
4pm – Halifax Panthers v Batley Bulldogs
615pm – Keighley Cougars v Bradford Bulls