By Sam Watson

WITH the Victorian government announcing a seven-day lockdown across the state, all football and netball will be called off this weekend.

In a statement released to Gippsland League clubs, AFL Gippsland said they would work with clubs in an attempt to reschedule round seven matches.

Other leagues under AFL Gippsland jurisdiction have also been told to discuss ways to reschedule the cancelled round.
These are the four options they will likely choose from.

*Option One – All matches are deemed as draws

Firstly, the leagues can decide that all matches this weekend will be a draw.

When a five-day Victorian lockdown was announced in February, all cricket matches were considered draws.
But this is different.

In cricket you have draws due to weather conditions all the time, and cricket clubs also don’t make thousands of dollars from home games.

If a club was to miss out on hosting a home game, they could potentially lose out on $10,000-$15,000.
Also, some clubs who were heavily favoured this weekend will consider it unfair to call off games as they would’ve been expecting to get the four points.

*Option Two – Reschedule matches for the bye weekend

If leagues decide against deeming all games this weekend a draw, they have a few options in terms of rescheduling.
The first would be moving them to the bye weekend.

In the West Gippsland competition, the bye round is on July 3 and in the Gippsland League the bye round is one week later on July 10.

With one side having a bye every round in the Mid Gippsland league there is no bye round available for rescheduling games and the same applies in the Ellinbank and District league.
Mid Gippsland and Ellinbank may have to consider option three.

*Option Three – Move finals back one week.

By moving the finals back one week, every league could reschedule this round for when the first round of finals was supposed to be held.

This would mean clubs would not have to go through the lengthy process of rescheduling functions in future months.

However, this option is surely not available for the Gippsland League, with the grand final scheduled for the week before the AFL grand final.

*Option Four – Move every round, including finals, back one week.

Along with moving finals back a week, the leagues can decide to just push every round back one week.

This would keep everything closer to its original shape, but it would mean clubs would have to reschedule functions and make sure their new dates for home games aren’t clashing with other scheduled events.

Obviously, a lot of these options depend on the lockdown remaining at seven days.

If the lockdown is extended, the leagues would face some tough challenges when deciding how to tackle the new scheduling dilemma.

A final decision on the rescheduling of games would likely come from the leagues and their clubs in the coming days.