Community sport across Victoria will not proceed this weekend after the state entered a seven-day COVID-19 lockdown on Thursday night.
The Northern Football Netball League, Riddell Football Netball League, AFL Outer East and Big V Basketball all announced no games would be played this weekend in line with the restrictions, under which the only reasons for people to leave their houses are essential work, caregiving, exercise, shopping for food and to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Northern Football Netball League chief executive Peter McDougall said none of the matches slated for this weekend would be rescheduled.
“Following the State Government’s announcement that Victoria will enter a seven-day lockdown, all NFNL football and netball matches fixtured for the weekend of May 28-30 have been cancelled,” he said.
“This is extremely disappointing but as you all understand, the matter is out of our hands.
“As we informed all clubs at the beginning of the season, if we were required to cancel any matches during the season, we would not be rescheduling those games.
“As disappointing as this is, I anticipate there will still be a lot of football and netball played this year and we have so much to look forward to in season 2021.
“I encourage everyone to comply with the COVID restrictions currently in place and hopefully we can get back onto the football field and netball court next weekend.”
The move means division one club Whittlesea will miss out on hosting Hurstbridge, while division three clashes between Kilmore and Lalor, Laurimar and Reservoir, and Mernda and Heidelberg West have also been called off.
AFL Outer East also announced it would not reschedule this weekend’s cancelled matches, meaning Broadford will not play division two ladder leader Kinglake until July 31.
A statement on the Riddell District Football Netball League website said officials were still working to determine if matches would be postponed or cancelled.
“Please note that matches from May 28 to 30 inclusive of club 18s, senior football and netball, junior football and netball and female football will not go ahead as scheduled this weekend,” the statement read.
“A further decision on whether these matches will be cancelled or postponed will be made over the coming days.
“The RDFNL will meet with other metropolitan leagues and AFL Victoria to determine the safest return to community football and netball.
“Thanks to all of our clubs for their understanding. We look forward to all RDFNL competitions recommencing when it is safe to do so.”
Wallan had been set for top-of-the-table clashes with Riddell in both senior football and A Grade netball this weekend, while Romsey was set to host the Western Rams and Lancefield was to travel to play Woodend-Hesket.
Big V games slated for this weekend will be rescheduled by Basketball Victoria, while Wallan domestic junior and senior rounds have been cancelled.
Wallan Basketball president Gary O’Brien said the decision was disappointing but necessary.
“From our point of view, you have two options: rescheduling or cancellation,” he said.
“We just don’t have the buffer in available weekends to reschedule a round.
“In the summer season, we rescheduled a round to the first weekend of the school holidays because of COVID, and it was really awkward. People went away.
“If you cancel the round no doubt you’ve compromised the draw slightly, but if you don’t cancel the round and you reschedule it, then certain players won’t be able to play and you’ll get compromised results anyway.
“The effort and the reorganisation of everyone’s lives is really hard, so we’ll take the lesser of the two evils and move on with it.”