The fate of the Super League season hangs in the balance amid a fresh wave of coronavirus.
As many as 19 games have been postponed since the clash between Huddersfield Giants and Wigan Warriors became the first casualty of 2021 on June 8.
It appears inevitable that other fixtures will follow suit in the remaining seven weeks of the regular season.
The original plan was to play 25 rounds but with that now out of the question, the focus has shifted to getting every club over the 18-match mark to be eligible for the play-offs.
But even that could be a stretch with Hull KR only 11 matches into their season and defending champions St Helens not scheduled to play their 13th game until next week.
The governing bodies’ hands are tied on testing and close contacts but there are a few options available to the RFL and Super League that are within their power.
Here, Rugby League Live looks at three of those options.
Increase threshold for postponements
Currently, a club can postpone a fixture if seven senior players are unavailable as a result of Covid-19.
Some clubs are only just meeting that threshold and have been accused of playing the system as they grapple with injury issues.
Increasing the threshold to 10 or even 12 would force teams to either play or forfeit the game, thus ensuring blameless clubs are not missing out on the chance to tick off a fixture.
Award walkover wins for every postponed game and backdate
The governing bodies could go a step further and award 24-0 wins to the opposition regardless of how many players have been ruled out because of Covid.
It may seem harsh to punish teams for something that is largely out of their control but it is one way of getting sides to 18 games and beyond.
St. Helens ground staff disinfect the post protectors before the St. Helens vs Wigan Warriors derby.
(Image: Dean Williams/News Images)
The 24-0 wins could be awarded retrospectively, although that would undermine the integrity of the competition at a time when it is already hanging by a thread.
Change play-off qualification criteria
If that is deemed the case, the governing bodies could simply lower the threshold for play-off qualification.
Catalans Dragons qualified for the play-offs in 2020 despite only playing 13 games, four fewer than their rivals.
Fifteen matches could be considered a reasonable number this year, although that would have to be introduced later in the season to ensure teams do not take advantage of the system.