Although the 2013 Super Rugby season will see the introduction of split rounds, SANZAR will continue to award 'free' points for byes during 'full' rounds.
As with last season, each team will have two scheduled byes during the regular season and will receive four points for each of these byes (total of eight points), whilst no additional points will be awarded to teams that are not participating in split rounds.
SANZAR CEO Greg Peters explained: "For the first time SANZAR has introduced split rounds, with Round One and Round Seventeen only featuring Australian Conference teams, while Round Eighteen and Round Nineteen will see only New Zealand and South African Conference teams in action."
This will be reflected in the weekly overall standings and conference table by denoting teams that have played additional matches due to the split rounds.
Peters said that the anticipation for the new season has been steadily building, and he was looking forward to the action kicking off.
"Once again the wait is behind us as we look forward to the eighteenth season of Super Rugby.
"Each Conference has it's own particular edge."
"The Chiefs will look to become just the fourth franchise to go back-to-back, with the last three Super Rugby champions coming from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
"The Reds and the Stormers have won their Conference two years in a row, while the Southern Kings will make their competition debut in 2013," added Peters.