Return to Play Update – July 14

Dear AFL Riverina Community,

The AFL Riverina Board met last night to consider how we will proceed with Season 2020.

To date, the NSW Government advice on community sport has not changed and competitions are able to proceed subject to having a COVID Safety Plan. We have received no advice or indications that this advice will change. We acknowledge there is a lot of community concern about COVID-19 after the spike in Victoria but to date there has been no new cases in Wagga or the MIA. The Border region has confirmed 3 cases in the early last week and we await news of results from the extensive testing that has occurred since the Victorian-NSW border closure.

Travel within the region is another concern, especially by those from the Border regions. Discussions with Murrumbidgee Health have also highlighted that reducing travel within the region would be a good public health outcome. Whilst we await further Government advice on this, we strongly recommend clubs which include participants (players, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators) from Border towns NOT to travel and participate in football or netball in AFL Riverina competitions. We also highly recommend that clubs review any other travelling players that they may have involved, in particular those from the Canberra and Sydney areas, and whether it is appropriate for them to participate.

We have decided to delay the commencement of our Senior competition until July 25. This will allow advice to be received from the Government on any travel restrictions that may be imposed and for a draw to be constructed for the clubs that wish to participate.

AFL Riverina will run one Senior competition that will be made up of clubs from the Riverina & Farrer leagues that still wish to participate. Commencing on July 25 it will finish no later than October 10.

Depending on the number of clubs that enter, we will then determine how many rounds are played. Clubs could expect 3-4 home games.

The competition will be known as the Gallagher AFL Riverina Championship.

Players who are seeking transfers or have transferred since 1 June to AFL Riverina clubs will be subject to a screening process as per the attached Player Transfer COVID-19 Policy. This is to ensure that we have reviewed all new players entering our competitions and that they do not present an unnecessary risk.

It should be noted that prior to the border restrictions being imposed there were approximately 120 players that lodged permits to play in AFL Riverina competitions, but this number has now been reduced to approximately 20 and will be subject to the screening process as outlined.

Clubs are requested to confirm their participation by 5pm on Wednesday 15 July. Clubs are required to maintain their existing team nominations for Season 2020. A draw will then be constructed and released towards the end of the week.


Junior competitions

The commencement of the South West Juniors and Wagga & District Juniors will commence as planned on 18-19 July.

Our Junior competitions do not involve the same travel issues as our Senior competition and therefore we have decided that we continue as planned.

South West Juniors will now only involve teams from Griffith Red, Griffith White, Leeton-Whitton, Narrandera and Barellan. A separate email will be sent with an updated draw later today. It initially may only be the first round to allow the competition to start whilst the rest of the draw is completed.


Michael Irons