READ MORE - Coronavirus cases decrease on Monday
THE region's upcoming summer sports are in a state of limbo, with their starting dates to be determined by regional Victoria's COVID-19 case averages.
Outdoor sports such as cricket, tennis, lawn bowls and netball won't be able to commence until the third step of the state government's roadmap out of lockdown announced on Sunday.
The third step in the roadmap will be triggered when regional Victoria reaches five or less cases on average across the previous 14 days and none with an unknown source.
Under step three, outdoor contact sport and non-contact sport for under-18s can return, while outdoor non-contact sport for adults with gathering and density limits will be permitted.
The Bendigo District Cricket Association had earmarked Saturday, October 31, as its hopeful start date for its 2020-21 season, but is awaiting further direction from Cricket Victoria following Sunday's roadmap announcement.
In anticipation of the COVID-19 uncertainty the BDCA board has flagged its preference for the 2020-21 season to be an all one-day competition, with the October 31 start date allowing for 18 rounds where all teams play each other twice, plus two weeks of finals.
Having initially hoped it would be able to stick with its original starting date of October 3, the Emu Valley Cricket Association has also now pushed its target round one date back to October 31.
"Prior to the weekend's announcement we'd decided to push our start back to October 31 because we're still not sure when we can get back training," EVCA president Ron Gray said.
"But at the moment we've got no definite date... it's all going to be based on the COVID numbers."
The Bendigo Bowls Division has scheduled Monday, October 26, for midweek and Saturday, November 7, for weekend as the start dates for its upcoming pennant seasons.
"Our understanding is Bowls Victoria will be seeking further clarification from the state government," BBD match committee member Susan Howes said.
"We're hoping we can stick with the start dates we've scheduled, but it's out of our control."
The Bendigo Tennis Association hopes to still be able to get a summer of competition under way.
"We're doing our best to plan, but we're also in limbo, so it's a tricky situation," BTA manager James Rouel said.
"At this stage all we can do is plan for when our scheduled start is (early October) and alter it accordingly, but we do want to try to get a summer season in for all our competitions... it will be just a matter of what that looks like."
On the netball court, the Bendigo-Strathdale Netball Association has a meeting scheduled for September 21 where a decision will be made on whether to try to proceed with the planned spring competition which has 85 registered teams or to call it off.
The Golden City Netball Association's twilight competition that it had hoped to start in mid-October is also in limbo, while the Bendigo Basketball Association remains committed to a summer domestic competition when restrictions allow players to return to the court.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.