AFL Central Victoria has locked in a competition for junior footballers and netballers in the Heathcote District and Loddon Valley leagues who have had their seasons cancelled.
An under-18 age group will be added to the Bendigo Junior Football League for teams from the two cancelled leagues that want to participate.
And an under-17, under-15 and under-13 netball competition for teams from the two leagues, as well as the North Central league, which is also cancelled, will be played on a Thursday night.
It's expected the football competition will run under the same format as what the BJFL has earmarked - starting on the weekend of July 18-19, eight rounds of home and away matches and a two-week finals series involving all teams wrapping up on the weekend of September 19-20.
A start date of Thursday, July 16, for the netball has also been penciled in.
With the competitions now locked in, the next stage for AFLCV is to confirm how many teams will commit to taking part.
AFLCV region manager Carol Cathcart is hopeful at least six clubs across the Heathcote District and Loddon Valley leagues will put their hands up to compete in the football competition.
The competition would offer Heathcote District players who participate an extra year of junior football given it's still under-17s in what has long been a contentious topic for the league, while Loddon Valley has been under-18s since 2015.
Cathcart says there's also the possibility that North Central league clubs could compete. The North Central league's top under-age competition is under-16.
"We have said to North Central that if they want to pull in some under-18 players from their reserves then we'd be more than happy for them to enter a team," Cathcart said on Thursday.
"In saying that, North Central is also considering if their clubs would be interested in being part of something up their way given travel is a bit of a factor."
The Thursday night netball will be played at venues with competition-standard lighting.
"Marong has competition lights, there are courts on McIvor Road near the All Seasons in Strathdale that has competition lights as well, and we're also investigating Marist College," Cathcart said.
Meanwhile, should the Bendigo Football-Netball League season join the growing list of 2020 cancellations, league manager Cameron Tomlins says there would be an intention to still run under-18 football and under-17 netball competitions should the clubs want it.
"It will be our intention to have our clubs fielding junior teams in some capacity this year," Tomlins said.
"We've sat to the side of what AFLCV has been doing, but there's every possibility we'll run a BFNL-specific competition if that's what our clubs want to do.
"We think there's enough interest to pursue something, but we have some big decisions relating to the senior competition to make first before we launch into that and what sort of structure it could take."
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