The Bendigo Football Netball League is concerned about the pressure volunteers will be put under for clubs to adhere to AFL Victoria's small group training guidelines.
Clubs can return to sanctioned small group training sessions from Monday, but first they must meet state government and AFL Victoria guidelines introduced because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The guidelines include each club appointing a COVID Safe Officer to oversee a long list of health and safety protocols.
"We're really mindful of the strain on volunteers,'' BFNL manager Cameron Tomlins said.
"Volunteers already have a significant workload to run clubs. Some of that workload behind the scenes, players and spectators mightn't be privy to.
"It's a delicate situation. There is a lot (for clubs to do) and this is only the first step.
"We're concious that as things continue to open up there's going to be more for club volunteers to tick off.
"The onus will be on clubs to make sure they tick every box."
Some clubs see the guidelines so taxing that they are considering not starting sanctioned training sessions until there's a guarantee that the season would start.
Tomlins said it was still "too early to tell" if the BFNL season would start in 2020.
"This (sanctioned small group training sessions) is a really small step in the right direction,'' he said.
"As a league we share some of the concerns of our clubs. If crowd restrictions remain in place then it's going to be challenging for us to get underway.
"Our ability to allow crowds in to help with revenue raising and matchday operations is going to be really key.
"Counting players in the crowd, it's going to be difficult for clubs to stagger matches and count people coming in and out to meet the crowd gathering guidelines.
"Nothing is impossible, but we'll sit back and take direction from the state government and AFL Victoria. They've been really keen on it being a fortnight-by-fortnight proposition at the moment.
"We don't want to go too fast into things and take a backward step. We have to remain patient."
With May quickly coming to a close, Tomlins said the BFNL board and clubs were "getting close" to formulating a cut-off date where it would become too late for the season to start.
"We're in regular contact with our club presidents and we've had open dialogue with where they sit,'' Tomlins said.
"We surveyed the clubs and the board will use the results of that survey in the decision-making process going forward.
"We're edging closer to developing some dates. There's a couple of dates there and once we get to a position where those dates are unachievable that could be a trigger for us to put a line through the season in its regular format.
"There might be some other options for us to pull something together later in the year."
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