The Lockdown is certainly frustrating, especially when you realize that next Saturday was the planned ‘Opening Day’ of 2021-22 Season.
We are probably four- weeks away from the State Government providing an idea how the lockdown will end, particularly Junior Community Sport.
I am expecting that there will be a slow and somewhat cautious lifting of general restrictions from October. Here we want to share our thinking re the commencement of the 2021-22 Season.
Clubs will need all of four weeks to obtain registrations and grade teams, that will take us into at least mid -November. If all Clubs were ready, say by, November 21st and there are no Government restrictions, we could start then. If that date does not become possible, then I suggest we commence on December 5th and conclude on 20th March. It would allow for a 12-week season with no Final Series.
We intend to offer as many Competitions as possible, there is no intention to restrict the Season to First Division Competitions only. That option, in our opinion, would be suicidal as it would cost us Clubs, grounds and players who we may never be able to attract back to the sport. That said, we are expecting a considerable loss of playing numbers. We will need to have a flexible approach as the smaller Clubs may well struggle for registrations with a smaller number of players to draw upon.
I am told BNSW is considering that there will be a common commencement date for both Seniors and Juniors. I am not as certain of that as Seniors, especially SMBL could be ready to play much earlier than Juniors as their teams are somewhat constant. Seniors may also have the benefit of adults having double vaccination, whereas the ‘bulk’ of Junior numbers are players aged 12 years of age and younger, who have no vaccine.
Gala Days to provide additional games to would not be viable initially, players have not been training and as such there would be at risk of overuse injuries. The commencement of 'seniors' will also have a significant influence on the availability of grounds on Saturday afternoon.
This is by no means ‘set in stone’, should Clubs have other suggestions then by all means put them forward for consideration.