As expected, the lockdown extension has had a further impact on our plans for the 2021 finals series, but it’s nothing we weren’t prepared for!
Our original plan of commencing finals this weekend and playing consolation participation matches at other venues has been put back two weeks, with the new goal to return to play on September 5th.
What does this mean for our finals structure and planning?
Nothing! Thankfully, given the current climate and the uncertainty surrounding community sport, the Mornington Peninsula Shire have been kind enough to grant us another week at the end of our season to reach a conclusion to our 2021 season. This is a fantastic outcome and one that we greatly appreciate as we look to implement the covid contingency plan that was originally planned around the possibility of returning this weekend. This will mean, at current, we are still planning to play our 4 week finals series and the divisions that are utilizing the top 5 format will remain as originally planned.
The silver lining with this decision from the government is that if the lockdown extension is successful, and these outbreaks are eliminated before they spread further throughout the state, then our release on the 2nd of September will put us in the best possible position to play an uninterrupted finals series. We understand that in the current climate this could be considered wishful thinking, however we feel that it is important for us to remain optimistic and positive and that project this mentality onto our participants and club members.
Our plans for facilitating matches for our teams not competing in finals have not changed, and we remain committed to providing as many participation opportunities as possible while also rewarding those teams that earnt their ladder position throughout the 10 matches played this season. We feel as though this post season model meets in the middle of prioritizing participation as well as allowing a competitive conclusion to the season, which in the current climate we feel is an equitable outcome for our league. We understand that other leagues and associations are approaching the situation differently, however we feel that through extensive planning we have reached a suitable solution unique to the needs of our league and existing competition structure, and we ask that stakeholders and club members appreciate the complexity of the situation when making comment.
It is safe to say that the majority of the decisions hinder on the back of our lockdown status here in Victoria, so we ask that you remain optimistic and determined to get the season back underway.
As a league, we understand that these lockdowns have had a varying effect on our members and the extended Mornington Peninsula Community, so please remain connected and engaged, and hopefully we will be out of this soon.
If you require detailed information on the planning and breakdown of the finals contingency plans please contact your club directly.