Dear SGFA Participants,

Now that we have been able to return to training under level 1 guidelines, SGFA thought it was important to give you all an update on our return to play plans for the 2020 season.

At the request of the NSW Government, Football NSW has worked with all Associations (including SGFA) and made an official submission to the NSW Government, outlining our plans to restart competitive matches.

That submission states that we would resume playing matches (and full contact training) from 1 July. As soon as we received official confirmation from the NSW Government, we will pass that information on to all players but based on the current relaxation of restrictions across New South Wales (schools, pubs, restaurants etc), we feel this is a more than reasonable time frame.

We have also been working closely with both Councils in regards to sporting field permits to extend and allow as much football as possible through September and October, in consideration of other codes and sporting group requirements.

We have and continue to make decisions in a responsible manner and as such our plan is to stagger the commencement under the current restrictions to allow Clubs, participants and families the chance to adjust to the return to play.

To this end, SGFA confirms its intention to return to play from 3-5 July 2020 (subject to the government lifting restrictions) for Senior and Youth/Junior competition grades. Non-comp teams will be able to resume with Club/internal practice games only from the same weekend, with the official SGFA Non-Comp season kicking off on the 18 July.

Senior & Junior Comps

Start: 3-5 July

End: 2-4 October

Finals: 2-week revised Finals format, being 1 v 4 and 2 v 3

This allows for 14 rounds/weekends of football for clubs/teams.

Non-Comp

Start: 3-5 July (Inter and/or Intra Club Practice Games)

Season: 18-19 July

End: 10-11 October

This allows between 13-15 weekends of football for Clubs/teams.

Team Confirmations

SGFA seeks all Clubs to confirm their original team nominations by 12 June 2020 to enable the Association to develop the fixture schedules as soon as possible. SGFA will liaise directly with Club delegates with regards to this.

For noting, the clear intention is to provide as many opportunities for players and teams to play matches as possible without losing the integrity of competitions. We will work with Clubs around borrowing rules on a team by team basis to make sure all teams can field players.

In addition, SGFA has also made the following decisions as they relate to 2020 season competition grades:

  • No promotion and relegation for Premier League & AAA;
  • No team regrades;
  • No Association based awards, such as Club Championship, golden boot, player of the year etc

Finally, I wanted to also address some confusion that has come from the release of the Sport Australia Toolkit last week and in particular some of the news reports that focussed on parents having to wait in cars and grandparents being banned from games.

The Federal Government guidelines and announcements give State Governments (NSW Government) and State Sporting organisations (Football NSW / SGFA) frameworks BUT it is up to the NSW Government and Football NSW/SGFA to provide the guidelines that we should be adhering to on a state by state basis.

The guidelines sent recently to clubs (and shared with all 9,500 players), have been adopted by Football NSW/SGFA and fall well within the NSW Government Public Order and are what we are working with.

Your club is applying these guidelines and using a common sense approach around limiting training groups to 10 people (as per the Public Health Order), ensuring social distancing is respected and limiting the number of people in a public place.

We expect that our community respects this and supports your club volunteers (Presidents, committee members, coaches, managers, parents) who are working so hard to ensure we can start to train and in the near future start to play matches. It is their efforts and dedication that enables all of us to be able to enjoy Community Sport every season, especially this year as we move out of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Association continues to encourage all football participants to download and use the Governments COVIDSafe app.

Regards,

Craig Kiely

CEO