Ballarat Football Netball League expects to make a call on whether it goes ahead this year before the end of this month.
BFNL general manager Shane Anwyl informed The Courier that Friday, June 26, loomed as the deadline for a decision.
He said clubs believed they ideally needed a four-week lead-in to the start of a season to get on and off-field requirements in place.
Anwyl said the BFNL wanted to have a fixture with a minimum of 11 home and away matches finished by the end of September.
This will allow time for finals before the October 18 cut-off set in a ground use agreement between AFL Victoria and Cricket Victoria, with the BFNL having a preference for a three-week finals series
He said to meet this scheduling, the season had to start no later than Saturday, July 18.
This would give clubs three weeks to prepare.
Anwyl said Monday, June 22, shaped as D-day for the BFNL senior and junior competitions - the day Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to announce the next phase of COVID-19 restriction relaxations.
Community football needs as a minimum full contact sport to be permitted again along with outdoor crowds of at least 300 - the latter pivotal in making any form of competition financially viable.
Most clubs are in agreeance - no crowds, no games.
Anwyl said while not expecting all the "nuts and bolts" of a return to play, football and netball needed a clear indication of the path ahead.
He said all BFNL senior clubs were working through a survey to provide a clear picture of exactly where they stood in relation to the possibility of playing this year.
Anwyl said every club had different circumstances.
He said all information would be collated in readiness for any June 22 announcements so that an informed decision could made in the best interests of everyone.
Anwyl said the BFNL board of directors had been emphatic since the initial AFL Victoria decision to put football on hold owing to the COVID-19 outbreak that all decisions regarding 2020 had to be made in the best interests of every club and that no club would be put in a position which had the potential for a detrimental knock-on financial impact on it for years to come.
The BFNL junior competition is facing the same deadline and also going through a review process.
Anwyl said projected player numbers was the focus for juniors officials.
He said with down drop-off expected, it needed to be decided what grades would be played.
The BFNL has grown having seniors and reserves at under-11, under-13, under-15 and under-17 levels.
Anwyl said it was possible that if juniors went ahead some age groups might be trimmed to one grade.
The BFNL has already called off its under-nine competition.
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