Updated – 10 June
I am pleased to advise that the State Government has today announced that Adult Community Sport is also approved to ‘Return to Play’ in NSW from 1 July. Therefore it is proposed that all SSFA competitions (i.e. for all ages and grades) will now be scheduled as follows:
– The delayed season will commence on the weekend of Saturday 4/Sunday 5 July.
– The season will likely entail thirteen (13) weekends (with no capacity to make up washed out matches).**
– The season will therefore be completed on the weekend of Saturday 27/ Sunday 28 September.**
– It has not yet been confirmed whether a Finals Series is possible. This will be decided in conjunction with the Clubs and subject to field availability
** Please note that Council have provided their approval for the aforementioned start dates (subject to pending Public Health Orders). However the proposed extension of the winter season (beyond 6 September) until the end of September “may be possible but still unconfirmed at this stage”.
As mentioned in the below email the regrading of a few competition teams to minimise byes has already commenced. Clubs are reminded that:
- The deadline for informing the SSFA Office of any team withdrawals (now for U6 to U18’s) is by no later than Wednesday 10 June (i.e. today).
- As discussed at last night’s General Meeting, the deadline for informing the SSFA Office of any senior team withdrawals (i.e. U21 and above) has been extended to 10am on Monday 15 June.
- Subsequent to these dates no further changes to the make-up of grades will be considered; any team withdrawing will be fined accordingly and will also detrimentally impact the enjoyment of other participants in that grade.
The removal of teams and minimisation of byes does require a significant amount of manual work to be undertaken to the existing draw (which would otherwise be ready to publish for the first 6 rounds). Therefore the above dates have been set so that the draw can be published ASAP.
Finally ‘Return to Play’ guidelines will be provided as soon as requirements are clarified by the State Government – noting that a revised Public Health Order is likely imminent as restrictions continue to be eased.
With training now up and running and Community sport competitions being able to restart for those aged 18 years and under from 1 July (as per the previously provided NSW Government Media Release of Tuesday 2 June) it is timely to provide an update on our proposed plans for the restart of competition matches for 2020.
Return to Play
It is proposed that competitions for boys and girls Under 6 MiniRoos up to and including Under 18 year old competitions (Juniors and Youth) will be scheduled as follows:
– Commence on the weekend of Saturday 4 July / Sunday 5 July.
– Schedule is for thirteen (13) weekends (with no capacity to make up washed out matches
– Be completed on the weekend of Saturday 27 September / Sunday 28 September.
– It has not yet been decided whether a Finals Series is possible. This will be decided in conjunction with the Clubs and subject to field availability
Please note that the aforementioned start and finish dates are subject to formal confirmation that Cricket will accommodate a delay in their season (which appears likely and is greatly appreciated) and sign off/approval from Sutherland Council.
Please also note that SSFA and FNSW are also lobbying State Members of Parliament to consider allowing Community sport competitions for those 19 years of age and older to also commence as soon as possible. We will keep you posted as information comes to hand.
Other items that are worth noting include:
- The Women’s Under 18’s have previously been and will continue to play on a Sunday. It is likely that these games will be played at a central hub (for example the Kareela synthetic fields or another location that has multiple grounds) rather than at a team’s ‘home’ ground.
- Competitions for those 19 years of age and older (i.e. Under 21 on Saturdays and the remaining Sunday Competitions) will commence as soon as the State Government confirms a start date (subject to Council approval). Again, it is hoped (and expected that these competitions will play until Saturday 27/Sunday 28 September (as per the above provisos).
- Borrowing rules will be altered/relaxed to make sure all teams can field players. The clear intention is to provide as many opportunities for players and teams to play matches and be flexible enough to ensure all teams can borrow players to make up numbers if required. Details have been provided separately.
- The draw will be published as far in advance as possible to allow players and teams to plan.
FNSW have prepared draft ‘Return to Training’ guidelines. These guidelines have been submitted to the State Government seeking their approval – as no other guidelines, criteria or directions have yet been forthcoming from the State Bodies. As soon as these, or other approved, guidelines become available they will be shared with the clubs.
Competition re-draw (Byes and Teams withdrawals)
As per the EC Meeting of Tuesday 2 June 2020, the SSFA is considering the possibility of removing Byes from existing grades. This will require the regrading of identified teams and a redrafting of the entire season draw (which is not a small nor easy task in itself).
In conjunction with this process clubs are asked to inform the SSFA (as a matter of urgency) if they are aware of any teams that are going to withdraw from the 2020 winter season. Such withdrawals will also be accommodated in the draw, wherever possible, with the intent of both of these initiatives to maximise the number of games per team.
Clubs are required to inform the SSFA Office of any team withdrawals by no later than Wednesday 10 June – note that a withdrawal fee will not be charged for teams withdrawn between now and 10 June. Subsequent to 10 June no further changes to the make-up of grades will be considered and any team withdrawing will be fined accordingly and will detrimentally impact the enjoyment of other participants in that grade.
Any player looking to relocate from a withdrawing team to another team at that, or another, club will be considered on merits. That is, SSFA Rule 7 will still apply.
Now that we have ‘returned to training’, we have a start date to ‘return to play’ for juniors and youth, and a start date for Under 19 and older is hopefully imminent, the SSFA will commence the processing of deregistration requests.
Please note that the SSFA component of the fee is not refundable (the costs have already been incurred to get the season ready to start) and the FFA and FNSW fees are still due and payable (even though SSFA are continuing discussions in this respect). The club however can manage its portion of the fee as it sees fit.
Thank you for the hard work and effort all of the club volunteers (Presidents, committee members, coaches, managers, parents) have put into ensuring we can start to train and in the near future start to play matches.
Your hard work and dedication is what enables all of us to be able to enjoy Community Sport every season, especially this year as we move out of the COVID-19 lockdown and disruption and reflect on how important Community Sport is.
Sutherland Shire Football Association