Con Floros' phone lit up with messages this week. "We're back," they excitedly proclaimed. Then Floros had to deliver the bad news. Yes, the Weston Creek Indoor Sports centre has more than 1100 square metres of indoor space. But no, competitions won't be resuming, yet.
The ACT government's easing of restrictions to allow indoor sports to restart was welcome news on Tuesday. They were told they could proceed while adhering to the one person per four-square-metres rule, which is easy for indoor cricket, netball, basketball, soccer or volleyball.
Cricket, for example, has a maximum of 10 players on the field at any one time sharing 320 square metres - 32 square metres each - and easily meets the government guidelines.
On the surface it had social players excited about the potential return of their mid-week indoor fix. The detail told a different story, which is why Floros didn't get a chance to open his doors.
Indoor sports are allowed a maximum of 20 participants regardless of the size of the venue. Netball ACT and basketball courts at Belconnen at Tuggeranong will be given an exemption because they have walls separating some courts.
That would mean one game of indoor cricket at a time given there are eight players per team. But for Floros, whose business copped a 35 per cent downturn during the bushfire and smoke-affected months, it's not a viable option.
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"We could have 240 people in our courts if you look at the per square metres, but it's a maximum of 20," Floros said. "People were saying: 'Fantastic news!' But they were wrong, unfortunately.
"It's just not enough for us to open the doors and commence trade, because once you do that that trade is outweighed by the limited number of people you can have.
"We were trading at about 65 per cent because the smoke was around and then coronavirus came just as we were looking to get back. We've been closed since mid March, but even since the end of February people were dropping out. And in team sports when one or two [players] drop out, the team drops out. We lost 30-40 per cent of our teams before mid March."
So indoor players, both serious and social, are still waiting for a government directive to find out when it will be viable to open the doors again.
Indoor sport centres across Australia are working together to lobby governments about allowing them to reopen under different guidelines. It is hoped they will present the proposal to different states and territories this week.
Floros hopes players will come back in droves, but he also fears some players won't come back at all.
"It's been a while, so maybe people will be unsure. It might take a while to build up again ... if we're only at 50 per cent of numbers it will make it tough," Floros said. "It's been a long haul this year."
Basketball ACT has opened registrations for its winter competition and some elite Netball ACT Capital Spirit teams will return to training at Lyneham next week.
ACT sport and recreation has been delivering constant updates to sporting bodies, and gave basketball and netball venue exemptions during a meeting on Wednesday.
Netball's four courts are divided by a grandstand in the middle, which means they will be allowed 20 people on either side for a total of 40 participants. Belconnen and Tuggeranong basketball courts have a similar set up, with walls dividing different sections of courts.
"We definitely want social games to restart as well, but at the moment it's training only," said Netball ACT boss David Marjoribanks.
"It's a step in the right direction. We've been working closely with associations about COVID-safe plans. But social plans are very much on our agenda."