Picola District League cancels open age competitions

By Aydin Payne

Picola District Football Netball League has cancelled all open age competitions for this season.

At a club delegates’ meeting on Monday night, the decision was made to call off the senior football and netball competitions due to impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The league released a statement following the meeting saying it would not be be feasible for open age grades to compete this year.

The statement said most clubs did not have confidence in restrictions being implemented to allow for play to resume.

The decision comes two weeks before the proposed start date of July 11 and Sunday's announcement that Yarroweyah had withdrawn from the season.

"We have always been pro-active and positive in progressing with the 2020 season,” the statement read.

“After extensive research and thorough consultation with all clubs, partners, stakeholders and many government departments the PDFNL is disappointed that the open age competitions have become infeasible.

“Two weeks from that starting date, the majority of our clubs simply do not have confidence in predicted or required restrictions being implemented to allow for open age competitions to be viable.”

The league is still committed to getting competitions up and running for its junior footballers and netballers.

The league will look to work with the appropriate bodies to facilitate junior competitions and thanked its partners for working through the difficulties of COVID-19.

“The league is committed to exploring competitive opportunities for our junior competitions and will work with our clubs, commercial partners, AFL Vic, Netball Vic and councils to establish the best options to facilitate these competitions,” the statement read.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the various bodies who have been extremely supportive and co-operative despite often working with severely reduced staff, altered working arrangements, increased workload, along with many varied levels of community anxiety.

“(The) board wishes to acknowledge and thank our commercial partners, PDFNL clubs, as well as their commercial partners, for their support in attempts to achieving 2020 open age competitions.”

Monday's decision means there will be no senior football and netball seasons played across the region this winter.

Last week, Goulburn Valley League and Murray Football Netball League cancelled their seasons.

Kyabram District League was the first domino to fall, calling off its season in May.