THE Bendigo Junior Football League is targeting the weekend of July 18-19 for the launch of its 2020 season.
The BJFL season has been on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel for the league's 22 clubs following a meeting on Thursday night.
While the BJFL is still awaiting further information from the government relating to crowds and match-day protocols, the league has established a start date in which to work towards.
The league's intention is to run an eight week home and away season, followed by two weeks of finals.
"We're still awaiting more information to provide clubs around crowds and so forth, but we're aiming to start on the weekend of July 18-19," BJFL secretary John Hewitt said on Friday.
"That would allow us to fit in 10 weeks of games with eight rounds of home and away matches and two weeks of finals."
It's expected the finals series for each division would include all teams over the two weeks.
Week 1 would feature 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 in the semi-finals playing off for berths in the grand final, followed by, for example, 5 v 6, 7 v 8 and 9 v 10 in other games.
Week two would feature the two semi-final winners in the grand final, while the remaining teams would also play another game as well to ensure all 10 sides get to play 10 weeks of football.
If the BJFL can hit its July 18-19 target date it would wrap up a 10-week season on the weekend of September 19-20.
Among the protocols that will be implemented by the BJFL on game-day will include no boundary umpires, with a last-touch rule to apply, meaning it will be two less people required to be involved in the running of a game, and two less people touching the ball.
There will also be no water carriers given players will be required to have their own drinks.
And a maximum of seven officials for each game: two coaches/assistant, one runner, one team manager, one goal umpire, one time keeper and one medic per team.
There will only be a best and fairest awarded in the under-16 boys and under-18 girls divisions - the last year of junior football for these players - to avoid extra unnecessary paper handling in other grades.
BJFL clubs will be able to begin full contact training on Monday as per the state government announcements last weekend relating to sport for 18-and-under.
While the BJFL is still awaiting further information on crowds and game-day protocols before locking in its start, as part of Sport Australia's return to community sport guidelines released last month, just one parent will be permitted to attend children's games, while high-fives, handshakes and huddles have been banned.
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