Plans to restart the 2020 competition

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28 May 2020

Dear 2020 registered players,

With training now up and running, we thought it was appropriate to give you all an update on our plans for the restart of competition matches for 2020.

At the request of the NSW Government, Football NSW has worked with all Associations (including MWFA) and made an official submission to the NSW Government, outlining our plans to restart competitive matches.

That submission states that we would resume playing matches (and full contact training) from 1 July, which would mean that our first round of competition matches would be the weekend of July 3/4/5.

As soon as we get official confirmation from the NSW Government, we will pass that information on to all players but based on the current relaxation of restrictions across New South Wales (schools, pubs, restaurants etc), we feel this is a more than reasonable time frame.

To give you a picture of our plans for the 2020 season, below are some other decisions/factors that we have been discussing and progressing with Clubs, the Northern Beaches/Mosman Councils and the MWFRA (referees):

  • We are working with Northern Beaches and Mosman Councils to finalise the date for the end of the season, based on the date they officially hand over fields from winter sport to summer sport. It is likely to be on or around the October long weekend, up to 6 weeks later than usual.
  • The draw will have no wash out/spare weekends. Simply a match every weekend from the start to the finish.
  • The regular season will be scheduled through to the second last available date. Instead of semi finals and grand finals, the final game of the season will see 1v2, 3v4, 5v6 etc so as many teams/people as possible play as many games as possible and the ability to be able to identify a winning team
  • With very limited travel expected during the July school holidays, the draw will have midweek rounds during the July school holidays.
    o For juniors they will play both weeks (Boys on Tuesday and Girls on Thursday) with games played during the day
    o For seniors they will play a match on either the first week or the second week of the July holidays (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday). These games will be played at night.
    o If the season stretches into the September/October school holidays we will schedule another round at that stage, especially for the juniors and sub juniors
  • Borrowing rules will be altered/relaxed to make sure all teams can field players. The clear intention is to provide as many opportunities for players and teams to play matches and be flexible enough to ensure all teams can borrow players to make up numbers if required.
  • The draw will be published for the entire season to allow players and teams to plan
  • If (and it is a huge if) the NSW Government Public Health Order allows us to start before July 3/4/5 we will bring forward a round to create an extra match.

If all of this is confirmed, it will see teams play approximately 15-17 games.

I wanted to also address some confusion that has come from the release of the Sport Australia Toolkit on the weekend and in particular some of the sensationalised news reports that focussed on parents having to wait in cars and grandparents being banned from games.

The Federal Government guidelines and announcements give State Governments (NSW Government) and State Sporting organisations (Football NSW MWFA) frameworks BUT it is up to the NSW Government and Football NSW/MWFA to provide the guidelines that we should be adhering to on a state by state basis.

The guidelines sent last week to clubs (and shared with all 18,000 players), have been adopted by Football NSW/MWFA and fall well within the NSW Government Public Order and are what we are working with.

Your club is applying these guidelines and using a common sense approach around limiting training groups to 10 people (as per the Public Health Order), ensuring social distancing is respected and limiting the number of people in a public place.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask that you all respect and acknowledge the hard work and effort all of the club volunteers (Presidents, committee members, coaches, managers, parents) have put into ensuring we can start to train and in the near future start to play matches.

Their hard work and dedication is what enables all of us to be able to enjoy Community Sport every season, especially this year as we move out of the COVID-19 lockdown and disruption and reflect on how important Community Sport is.

David Mason


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