Juniors get the go-ahead

Juniors get the go-ahead

Following a meeting with the East Gippsland Junior Football Association (EGJFA) club presidents the league commission last week, it was voted to proceed with the EGJFA season for 2020, but with some significant changes due to protocols and guidelines set by AFL Victoria.

It has been decided that there will be seven rounds and no finals, due to limitations on crowd numbers, there will be no canteens and change rooms will not be used.

Round one has been set for Sunday, July 26, with Lakes Entrance to host Lucknow, Orbost Snowy Rovers to host Paynesville and Wy Yung at home to Bairnsdale in the local derby. Lindenow has the bye.

To comply with the protocols, set by AFL Victoria, the following restrictions apply.

Entry to a venue will be only for those spectators who are necessary to support participation and these spectators must abide by current group gathering restrictions.

It is the expectation of the league commission that these spectators will be limited to parents/guardians and siblings of the player competing in said match. These spectators are to remain in their vehicles or in the immediate vicinity of their vehicle.

Parents/guardians who ‘walk in’ to the venue must abide by the social distancing protocols and gather in no more than groups of 10 and must remain 1.5 metres apart.

No spectators are permitted to enter the playing arena either before, during or after a game. Spectators must remain behind the fence or behind the gap between the pine log ‘seats’ at Lindenow. Please note that this includes the under 10s games.

Players are not permitted to shake hands or give high fives.

AFL Victoria strongly recommends those attending games download the COVIDsafe app.

The league commission, following discussions with the club presidents, have issued the following guidelines:

Match times will be: Under 10s – 10.30am; Under 12s – 11.50am; Under 14s – 1.30pm.

There will be a minimum of 20 minutes between each game to allow for the cleaning of toilets and the entry and exit points to the playing arena. This will also allow time for the players, officials and spectators in the previous game to vacate the venue, unless they have a child participating in a subsequent match or are an official or volunteer who is required.

There is to be no swapping of jumpers. Players ‘on loan’ must be provided with a clean jumper. Also, there is to be no swapping of wristbands in the under 10s.

Drink bottles must not be shared.

Due to the Lucknow ground not being available, Lucknow will play all games at away venues.

“While things might be somewhat different and challenging for players and families it is important that our children are able to play sport in a safe environment,” Football Netball East Gippsland president, Andrew Powell, said.

“To this end we look forward to the cooperation of everyone in adhering to the protocols that have been set.”

IMAGE: Junior football will return on July 26, under strict COVID-19 restrictions. K606-74 (2019)