One Victorian football/netball league has already called an end to the 2020 season.
At a meeting on Thursday night, the Heathcote District Football Netball League board decided to abandon the season because of a number of factors related to COVID-19.
In a letter sent to HDFNL clubs, the HDFNL board said the reasons for cancellation included:
- (Based on State Government COVID-19 restriction roll out) The highly unlikely return to full scale training by June 15, which is the latest date as requested by clubs to be able to train as a whole, prior to the latest possible season start date of July 4.
- The health and safety of all players, officials, and volunteers around forecast Return to Play restrictions at training (scheduled to start May 25). And in particular, the increased responsibility on club representatives to administer COVID-19 protocols.
- The health, safety and financial impact on all individuals, should a COVID-19 case be detected at one of our clubs.
- Financial hardship and lack of income clubs will endure. No crowds, resulting in no gate takings, canteen and bar income, combined with an anticipated lack of sponsorship and other income streams - club fundraisers etc.
"Considering the continued uncertainty around season 2020, this decision, as difficult and disappointing as it is, gives everyone clarity and somewhat relief of the unknown,'' HDFNL chairman Peter Cole said in the letter.
"We as a league and our clubs can now focus on and look forward to a very exciting 2021 season."
The Courier is seeking feedback from Ballarat and Central Highlands leagues on the HDFNL's decision.
Also this week, it was announced that the Hume league had scrapped playing for a premiership this season.