EXCUSES for complicated grey areas when it comes to AFL hubs and families are just plain not good enough.
The AFL has made clear these hubs demand all who operate within it to follow a strict set of rules, different to the communities in which they are based. Like no going to theme parks. Or beauty salons.
Finding a way to bring back elite come elite sport is an impressive feat in a pandemic where the rules are constantly changing and goal posts keep getting moved about.
Like it or not, footballers' partners and families are setting the tone for the nation.
As part of a hub, if they are unsure about the state of play they have a club complete with an extended families' network they can turn to and check.
Such an example suggests if they can have a slip-up then what's to stop us getting a little looser with pandemic rules too?
But it is not good enough.
There is no doubting the hub move from the AFL and other elite sports has far-reaching ripple effects on family life.
For some the pull home is too great. North Ballarat Rebels export and Collingwood premiership player Nathan Brown declared he needed to come home from St Kilda's base to his other team, writing: "My girls. They need their husband and daddy more than ever."
Others would have little choice than to leave family at home, depending on other commitments.
For those whose families are in the hub, it is not a holiday. To make this work, everyone needs to play their role.
But It is hard to accept seemingly silly mistakes when the rules here in Victoria are becoming increasingly tighter.
Reviving junior football has been a mammoth task with no clear right or wrong way to tackle it in this region. Ballarat Football League cancelled its season while Central Highlands Football League pressed ahead in a modified competition for clubs that were prepared to put teams on the field, many with new players transferring across for a game.
CHFL continues this week with fewer clubs. Newlyn and Daylesford pulled out last week. Bungaree and Springbank followed and Rokewood-Corindhap has withdrawn under-18s. Those who are still putting teams on the park are trying their best to navigate their way the best they can with the information they have available.
This is a time when restrictions between teammates and their families can differ, depending on where they live. This is a time when it might not seem like we are all in this together with rules for some and not for others.
Then you look to the AFL where hubs rules have been made clear. Families might not be employed by the AFL but the league is funding them to be in the hub - at least for now - and at the very least this demands the league be shown some respect.
CHFL is imploring all people attending its matches this weekend wear masks, despite this not becoming mandatory in regional Victoria until Monday. It would be great if all at the game did wear a mask, not because they have to - they do not - but because it is the respectful, right thing to do.
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