NSW state sporting bodies ensure maximum participation and use of venues

GOOD TIME: RSL-Colts cricketers last season at the Lady Cutler grounds, which also host football matches in the winter months. Photo: AMY McINTYRE
GOOD TIME: RSL-Colts cricketers last season at the Lady Cutler grounds, which also host football matches in the winter months. Photo: AMY McINTYRE

Five of the state's major sporting bodies have come to an agreement to ensure maximum participation across the remainder of winter and summer months.

Sport was brought to its knees in March when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and winter codes are only now starting to resume.

Some competitions - like Group 11 rugby league - won't be going ahead in 2020 but many others will be completed in modified fashion.

Cricket NSW, NSW Rugby League, Football NSW, NSW Rugby Union and AFL NSW/ACT have agreed a clear split between the summer sport of cricket and the winter football codes for shared grounds and facilities.

It will also ensure those who are back into winter sports now will have the chance to play cricket in the summer.

The agreement seeks for all winter sporting competitions, those which would normally run from April until September, to completed by no later than October 11.

The state's cricket seasons will then be completed prior to April 5 next year to ensure a smooth return to normal winter competitions.

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While it is likely to have no major impact in Dubbo - most winter competitions are expected to be done well before October 11 - it will ensure venues like Lady Cutler still have time to be easily adjusted from football to cricket season.

The Dubbo District Cricket Association season annually start the weekend after the October long weekend and finishes in late March and those dates are unlikely to change moving forward.

The Central West AFL season is expected to finish in late September, well before junior cricket would be played at South Dubbo Oval, while the format of Central West Rugby Union seasons are yet to be confirmed.

The agreement does not apply if there is no crossover between the winter sports and cricket at a particular facility, such as Apex Oval which hosts no regular competition in summer.

Traditional changeover structure will return for the 2021 winter season.

The heads of the respective State Sporting Organisations (SSO), Lee Germon from Cricket NSW, Dave Trodden from NSW Rugby League, Paul Doorn from NSW Rugby Union, Stuart Hodge from Football NSW and Tiffany Robertson from AFL NSW/ACT welcomed the agreement.