Today, AFL Victoria recommended all community football and netball be postponed until May 31 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which AFL Barwon has followed.
As well as they season start being delayed, other measures have also been put in place to ensure the health and safety of members of the AFL Barwon region.
When will the season start?
AFL Barwon is currently working on fair and reputable revised fixtures following the postponement, as the health and safety of all across our region remains paramount. All AFL Barwon competitions have been postponed until May 31, 2020. The situation remains fluid however and whilst a date has been set, this could change.
Who does this effect?
All AFL Barwon competitions- this includes football and netball at all senior and junior levels, have been postponed until May 31st. We are aware some people have have seen Netball Victoria’s statement regarding their own COVID-19 time frame, but given we govern both a netball and football community, we believe all competitions across AFL Barwon should remain consistent in their measures.
Can our club train in the interim?
Not until the after the 31st of May. All training, practice matches, large scale events and gatherings at clubs across the entire region have been postponed until May 31st in line with current health guidelines implemented by the Australian Government.
Why May 31st?
Following the AFL’s announcement on all state leagues being postponed until May 31st, this falls into line with that decision to avoid any possibility of a state league player attempting to transfer to a community club and be able to play that way if a community league was to return before that.
What does the shutdown mean?
Essentially, no playing, training or large scale activity at your club whatsoever. This encompasses all sport and large scale events and gatherings. Club administration and matters like a committee meeting can still take place at the club. We ask clubs to continue to follow health guidelines set up by the Australian Government.
What happens to season fixtures and when will they be released?
We are currently working through revised fixtures in light of the season start date being pushed back, and they will be released for all football and netball competitions in due course.
What does this mean for Auskick and Game Development?
Auskick programs and AFL school visits will also be postponed until after May 31 also.
What happens if a player tests positive for COVID-19?
Immediately contact your GP and follow health guidelines set up by the Australian Government. Then alert your local club who should then alert AFL Barwon.
Will my Community Football Club be offering refunds?
The AFL, in consultation with State/Territory Bodies recommend that clubs hold player registration fees until the season is completed. Whilst we are all working toward recommencement on May 31, Leagues may also be exploring the possibility to extend the season. Given the uncertainty around the length of seasons, we recommend clubs hold player registration fees and revisit this issue at the end of season once the season structure has been confirmed.
My Football Club/Auskick centre is small. Why has it stopped when the Australian Government Health Department advice is only for gatherings of over 500?
Australian Institute of Sport guidance states “In a team environment there will be increased proximity and duration of physical contact that can facilitate transmission of respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens. Research in respiratory infections in travelling sporting teams suggests that the most likely pattern of spread occurs from within a team, rather than from external sources. When an unwell team member joins the team, due to the regular close physical contact between team members the infections can spread readily within a team (Valtonen et al., 2019).
What happens if the situation hasn’t improved by the end of May?
This is an ever-changing landscape. We will continue to put the health and safety of our players, umpires and staff and the broader community at the forefront of our decision-making.
My Auskick season has commenced, do I get a refund?
The Auskick team are currently working through this and will provide more information at a later date.
Does this apply to AFL 9s competitions?
This recommendation also applies to AFL 9s competitions, including those competitions currently operating.
Does this apply to umpiring?
Yes, this recommendation also encompasses umpire training
What about apparel my club ordered?
Any jumper orders from Loco will be delivered directly to clubs when available. Any jumper orders from TWP will either be sent to the club, or can be picked up directly from TWP when ready. This is to be organised by the club on how best to receive their delivery. Shorts will be delivered to the AFL Barwon office as usual and we will communicate with clubs when their order arrives. Clubs will then be advised on when they are able to come past and collect. Football and equipment orders are still more than welcome and we will work with clubs on delivery options.
Are Online National Transfers Closed?
Yes. The AFL have frozen Footyweb Nationally so that no new transfers can be processed. This went into effect from 19 March and will be closed until May 1 with regular review on when is the appropriate time to re-open the system. The AFL position was that there is no need for new players to seek transfers at this time given the AFL recommendation that all community football be postponed until May 31.