THE Bendigo Football-Netball League's hopes of completing a full 18 round home and away season and four weeks of finals are now in jeopardy with this weekend's matches called off due to the Victorian lockdown.
The BFNL season has already undergone an overhaul in the hope of completing its full fixture as planned following the previous lockdown in which the league lost two weekends on May 29 and June 5.
Under its revised fixture the BFNL had been able to maintain its 18 rounds of matches and four weeks of finals by extending its season by a week to now schedule the grand final for Friday, September 24, while also utilising what had been the planned July 3 general bye to play round 10.
However, this weekend's closure of all indoor and outdoor community sport means the BFNL board and clubs will need to meet again to discuss season structure options moving forward.
At this stage there is only one definitive lost weekend of competition given the lockdown is scheduled to end at 11.59pm Tuesday.
"We know that we're not playing this weekend, so we'll take some time over the next couple of days to see what unfolds in terms of government announcements and then look to meet early next week as a league and then with our presidents," BFNL manager Cameron Tomlins said on Friday.
"We don't want to go too early in terms of making a decision based on this weekend until we know what our prospects are for next weekend."
While it will be among the discussion points with clubs, Tomlins indicated a reluctance for the league to extend its season further and push its grand final date into October in an effort to try to complete the full 18 round and four week finals series.
"At this point in time our preference is to remain our grand final date staying as is. We were obviously hopeful we wouldn't have any more hiccups after the last lockdown, but I don't think there is a great appetite to extend our finals into October," Tomlins said.
"We'll have discussions and put some contingencies on the table, but again, we'll just wait to see if it's the one week we're dealing with or more before we look at any wholesale changes."
Saturday was to have been round 13 of the BFNL season that would have been highlighted by a blockbuster clash of 1st v 3rd between Strathfieldsaye and Golden Square at Tannery Lane.
What would have been - Kyneton v Castlemaine, Gisborne v South Bendigo, Sandhurst v Kangaroo Flat, Eaglehawk v Maryborough, Strathfieldsaye v Golden Square.
The Heathcote District league's round 13 on Saturday will go in the history books as abandoned.
Once it completed a full set of matches where all teams played each other once, and having already pushed its grand final date back from September 4 to 18 to cater for the May 29 and June 5 called off weekends, the league made the decision that any rounds that can't be played will now be abandoned rather than re-scheduled.
With Saturday's round having had a line put through it, it now means not all teams will play an equal amount of 16 home and away games, with the ladder to now have to be determined by winning percentage ratio.
What would have been - Elmore v Leitchville-Gunbower, Colbinabbin v North Bendigo, LBU v Huntly, Mount Pleasant v White Hills. Heathcote bye.
Having still been yet to lock in a finals structure or whether rounds 10 and 11 that have already been missed due to the previous lockdown will be re-scheduled later in the season, the Loddon Valley league now has the added headache of what to do with what would have been round 14 on Saturday.
The league had already earmarked July 26 as the date it would meet to confirm how the back end of the season will play out.
As it currently stands, the league's grand final day remains September 11, but the prospect of changing it will be among the discussions.
"We'll wait and see what unfolds over the next five days in terms of this lockdown and the board will assess from there," LVFNL executive officer Laura Naughton said.
"The plan is to still meet with clubs on July 26 with discussions to obviously now deal with three rounds that have to be looked at."
What would have been - Calivil United v Bridgewater, Marong v Mitiamo, Maiden Gully YCW v Pyramid Hill, BL-Serpentine v Newbridge. Inglewood bye.
Similar to the Heathcote District league, the North Central league won't be seeking to re-schedule what was to be its round 12 games on Saturday given it has already completed its first goal of all teams having played each other once.
With rounds eight and nine abandoned, the number of home and away games for each team had already been reduced from 16 to 14 after the fixture was revised following the previous lockdown.
What would have been - Boort v Charlton, Donald v Birchip-Watchem, Sea Lake Nandaly v St Arnaud, Wycheproof-Narraport v Wedderburn.
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