You can call it gaining an edge; you can call it gamesmanship; or you can say it is downright cheating. But every sport has its dark arts.
Stoke reduced the size of their pitch to make Rory Delap's throw-ins more effective; the England cricket team send the ball in on the bounce so it scuffs quicker to get reverse swing; rugby union had it's "bloodgate" scandal to exploit their rules on substitutions through injury. And now it seems Super League has its own entry into the catalogue of dodgy sporting tactics.
Several times this year I've watched the Friday night live match, and wondered why the players are handling the ball as if it is a bar of soap. Now comes the answer. It more or less is - the only thing missing is a few bubbles.
Sky's TV expert John Kear has blown the gaffe on the trick he says is being played by most Super League teams this season after they discovered that the game's new official ball becomes almost impossible to handle in wet conditions. When it is pouring with rain the problems are obvious - but why have so many catches been dropped or passes knocked on during warm, sunny evenings?
Apparently the trick is that just before you restart the game the water carrier secretly sprays the ball so that when it comes back down from a goal-line drop-out it is twice as hard to catch. And, according to Kear, several teams have been secretly reprimanded over the practice.
Coaches have even been dropping the balls in water before training to try to get their players used to dealing with the slippery ball, but it has made little difference. The Challenge Cup final was riddled with mistakes from both Hull and Wigan, and now, according to Kear, we know why (although it should be made clear there is no suggestion that either team was guilty of spraying the ball at Wembley). Warrington coach Tony Smith has also voiced his concerns, insisting: "The handling errors we are seeing are more than most of us like to see."
Bosses at Rhino, coming to the end of the first of three year deal to supply the balls after winning the contract from Steeden, are believed to be investigating the complaints and are likely to revise the design and materials they use for next year. Meanwhile there's no truth in the rumour that the competition will be renamed the Soap-on-a-Rope League.
The two Challenge Cup finalists meet again tomorrow night as the regular season winds up ahead of the "round of 27" games and then the play-offs. Wigan's success as the side who dealt with a big occasion slightly less badly than Hull has seen them installed as 3.55 favourites to be Grand Final winners. Personally I think the intrigue over the future of Sam Tomkins might cast too big a cloud over the Warriors, and even with the try scoring prowess of Josh Charnley that is too short a price.
Leeds Rhinos have been as guilty as anybody of too many basic errors during the season, but their track record of bringing everything together when it matters can't be ignored, and anywhere between 5.14/1 and 7.06/1 continues to make Brian McDermott's team the stand-out value - with or without a little bit of sneaky help from the water carrier.