AFL Victoria has endorsed May 25 as the date community football clubs can return to training.
In a statement released on Saturday, AFL Victoria said the safety of all participants was at the forefront of its plans for 2020 as community sports look to return after the COVID-19 lockdown.
"The safety and wellbeing of our participants is our number one priority. As such, our return to play strategy has been focused on ensuring we have the clear endorsement of State Government and public health officials at every phase of return,'' the statement said.
"Following Victorian Government advice around the return of community sport this week, AFL Victoria will release its return to train protocols early next week and is endorsing a return to club sanctioned training from Monday, May 25.
"This timing will provide the opportunity to communicate our protocols with Leagues and allow volunteers and clubs time to digest the protocols, go through an education period and prepare themselves ahead of returning to club sanctioned training."
Central Victorian clubs still need the endorsement of AFLCV before returning to sanctioned training.
In summary, the AFL Victoria return to train protocols for community football in Victoria will enable:
- Training to resume in groups of up to 10 people. The group of 10 does not include a coach or the minimum number of support staff who are reasonably required to manage the activity.
- Two groups of 10 can utilise the same oval provided they do not operate closely together, and the oval is split into two zones.
"We will continue to work with the State Government to ensure alignment with their advice, and in the event of further easing of restrictions, we hope to be able to return to full training and competition later in the year, with hygiene and safety protocols firmly in place,'' the statement said.
"Our primary focus is preparing to return to train in a safe environment in a well prepared and educated manner. In order for this return to play to be successful, and in line with Government advice, it is essential that clubs and individuals work within the timelines and protocols and do not move ahead of the level and restrictions in place."
All training and club activities have been banned since March 17 due to the coronavirus crisis.
Leagues in the AFLCV region are hoping to return to competion for half a season, but that will hingle largely on the ability to have crowds at games.
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