Mitchell, Macedon Ranges and Whittlesea sports set to return as COVID-19 lockdown ends


SPORTING leagues and associations have wasted little time in resuming competition following the end of Victoria’s latest COVID-19 lockdown on Tuesday night.

The Northern Football Netball League announced senior and junior football would resume this weekend, with a decision on netball to be made pending State Government approval of netball host venues.

No spectators will be allowed at training or games until government restrictions ease further. Parents, carers and guardians are permitted to attend junior sport.

In a statement the league said it was ‘thrilled to have football competitions back’ while acknowledging that a lack of spectator access would be disappointing for many.

“We respectfully ask the entire NFNL community to please respect the protocols implemented by the Victorian Government,” the statement read.

“These protocols have been put in place with the community’s health and safety the priority.

“Getting back on the football field, and hopefully the netball court, this weekend is a major step towards community sport returning as we know and love it.”

The league said updated return to play protocols would be distributed to clubs once they were provided to AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria.

AFL Outer East also announced senior football and netball would return on August 7, with games scheduled for this weekend pushed back by a week.

Junior football will resume this Sunday, with training able to recommence from tonight.

The league committed to completing the 2021 season, including a finals series.

Every club will play at least two more matches before finals and the league guaranteed clubs would play each other at least once during the home and away season.

All finals series will be shortened to a three-week, top-six system, with premier division finals to begin on September 11, division one finals on September 5 and division two finals on August 28.

Junior grand finals will now be on August 22 and August 29.

Riddell District Football Netball League is yet to make a statement regarding a return to play.

Basketball is also set to make a comeback, with Basketball Victoria announcing Big V competition would resume with no spectators this weekend.

All associations and clubs will require a COVID-safe plan to resume domestic competition.

Football Victoria announced soccer competitions for all ages would return. It said it would provide further information to clubs regarding density limits and other restrictions during the week.