Covid Update – Lockdown 5.0

Melbourne’s latest lockdown means more cancelled matches. In additional to last week’s U19s and Women’s fixtures, matches scheduled for this Saturday, July 24, have also been cancelled.

The Seniors were due to host Ormond on Saturday, in what was to be the biggest home game of the season, with a sell-out luncheon of 130+ incorporating the 1995 and 2001 premiership reunions.

As with the earlier two rounds we lost, the VAFA Covid Policy states these games will be cancelled and not re-scheduled for a later date. Additionally, one senior home game earlier in the season was played with no crowd and therefore no matchday function.

We will endeavour to re-schedule the two premiership reunions for later in the season – either for one of the remaining two home games, or a standalone function. We’ll provide more information once this lockdown comes to an end.

All games, training and functions will remain cancelled and the club remain closed until the current lockdown ends at 11:59pm on Tuesday 27th July.

The VAFA Board met on Thursday night and considered the following factors:

  • The uncertainty of the COVID-19 Delta variant circulating within the community
  • The VAFA Playing Conditions in a COVID-19 Environment Policy
  • The difficultly of securing school-based venues and premier venues for finals
  • Our competition’s learnings from 2020
  • Other competitions’ experience of incomplete seasons

The VAFA Board’s decisions were:

VAFA Women’s Competitions

  • The home and away season concluded on Saturday 24 July
  • We intend to complete a three-week finals series for the top four in each competition – assuming COVID restrictions are lifted (updates will be provided)
  • All semi-finals will be hosted by the higher ranked club
  • Also, depending on COVID restrictions, the VAFA is prepared to reschedule the commencement of week one of finals as late as Saturday 14 August
  • To help support those clubs who don’t qualify for women’s finals but would like to continue to play inter-club or intra-club practice/friendly matches, the VAFA can provide a minimum of one field umpire (and venues in exceptional circumstances). This would provide those clubs with two women’s teams the option of continuing to play for two weeks while their other team is competing in finals.

VAFA Men’s Competitions

  • All men’s competitions will remain as scheduled in accordance with the VAFA Playing Conditions in a COVID-19 Environment Policy
  • Semi-finals in ALL men’s sections will be hosted by the higher ranked club

Finals Eligibility

  • There will be no changes to the current finals’ eligibility rules
  • Under the Articles of Association, any rule changes are required to be approved by the members at a members’ meeting with twenty-one days’ notice given. This does not fit within the timeframe of women’s finals and for equality purposes, men’s eligibility will not be adjusted

Promotion & Relegation

  • The Board is currently considering the matter of promotion & relegation for all senior men’s sections and U19 Premier and U19 Division 1 and will advise as soon as possible
  • The promotion & relegation between Women’s Premier and Premier B Women’s will remain

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