The Ballarat Football Netball League's latest break was untimely, no doubt, but it's only made the race for a finals berth even more exciting.
No club is sure of a finals place, and only one is mathematically out of the race.
With most sides only having three games left there are no longer any second chances. Everyone needs to win.
Here's what we've got to look forward to on the season's return.
Sunbury v Lake Wendouree
at Clarke Oval on Saturday, 2:15pm
LAST TIME THEY MET: round seven 2019, Sunbury 16.16 (112) def Lake Wendouree 10.16 (76)
LIONS (8th, 4-5, 90.8 per cent): CoachTravis Hodgson's motivating cry before the lockdown has only strengthened in intensity. This is practically a final for the Lions. Win, and Sunbury stays in touch with the pack with another home game on the horizon. The Lions won't have any of their interstate players, meaning the kids will have to step up.
LAKERS (9th, 4-5, 84.75 per cent) : The lockdown was a good halt to a bad run for the Lakers, who have won just one of their past four games. Dale Power's men need to win all of their remaining games to stay in touch with the finals pack. Travelling to Clarke Oval won't be easy; Lake Wendouree having only won once there in the past decade. But, sides with finals hopes need to perform when their backs are against the wall.
Darley v North Ballarat
at Darley Park on Saturday, 2:15pm
LAST TIME THEY MET: round 16 2019, Darley 12.13 (85) def North Ballarat 8.16 (64)
DEVILS (11th, 0-9, 56.64 per cent): It's a tough return for Darley and this weekend shapes very much as a damage-limitation job. There are no big inclusions expected for the Devils, leaving the young brigade with a tough task against the league-leaders. Darley is still a proud club and will see this as an opportune time to get things rolling for next season.
ROOSTERS (1st, 8-1, 151.33 per cent): North Ballarat has had an extra week off compared to everyone else, but a top-versus-bottom showdown is a lighter way to restart the season. The Roosters' new-look forward line is firing and could have a fun day out if the weather plays ball. The key for North Ballarat rests in its ability to stay concentrated and be ruthless.
PREDICTION: North Ballarat
East Point v Redan
at Eastern Oval on Saturday, 2:15pm
LAST TIME THEY MET: round six 2019, Redan 8.19 (67) def East Point 7.17 (59)
ROOS (3rd, 5-4, 131.82 per cent): A win here is important for the reigning premiers' late charge for a top-two finish. With one VFL star locked in and another still a chance to play, East Point has the firepower at its disposal to return with a win. A host of senior stars are still sidelined, giving the fringe players a good test against a fellow finals hopeful.
LIONS (6th, 5-4, 98.92 per cent): Finals remains no sure thing for Jarrett Giampaolo's side and the lockdown came at a bad time with the Lions hitting their straps. Redan's big names will no doubt rise for the challenge, but the midfield group will need to be at its absolute best. Ball-magnet Cooper Craig-Peters will get extra attention, while Lachie George has some big bodies to contend with.
PREDICTION: East Point
Bacchus Marsh v Melton
at Maddingley Park on Saturday, 2:15pm
LAST TIME THEY MET: round three 2019, Melton 11.15 (81) def Bacchus Marsh 5.13 (43)
COBRAS (5th, 5-4, 102.06 per cent): The break came at a handy time for the Cobras, giving coach Tom German (hamstring) and his assistant Ryan Bartlett (head) a chance to recover from niggles. Bacchus Marsh's defence is influential to its performances and will need to perform against a big opponent. With nearly all its forward line back playing, the Cobras have a good chance to rise the ladder.
BLOODS (2nd, 7-2, 136.63 per cent): Melton's had a great season so far, no doubt, but pressure is mounting now to secure a double-chance. With East Point creeping up, the Bloods need to be sure not to drop any points. Aaron Tymms' group hit the road three times to close the season in the new fixture. A match against Sebastopol looms next weekend too, making a strong return all the more important.
PREDICTION: Bacchus Marsh
Sebastopol v Melton South
at Marty Busch Reserve on Saturday, 2:15pm
LAST TIME THEY MET: round seven 2019, Sebastopol 17.12 (114) def Melton South 3.5 (23)
BURRA (7th, 4-5, 112.28 per cent): It's a simple task for last season's grand finalists to get back into the finals fold. Sebastopol needs to recover four points on the pack and a match against the hot-and-cold Panthers couldn't have come at a better time. A host of influential players are expected to return from injury, helping a severly-depleted side.
PANTHERS (10th, 3-6, 69.04 per cent): Mathematically, Melton South remains a chance to make finals but needs to win every remaining game. Travelling to Marty Busch Reserve is never easy, but the Panthers dealt with the last lockdown better than anyone else. The experience littered throughout the lineup should help on what will no doubt be a strange day at the footy.