Footy is about more than tries and tackles at Bungendore. It's a chance for the town to come together, which is why the Mudchooks and Tigers will be on the edge of their seats on Thursday.
The ACT government will make an announcement about the immediate future of community sports when chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman decides whether play can start from this weekend.
The delay has forced the Mudchooks and Tigers to put their sausage, steak, pie and beer orders on hold until they get clearance to start their respective seasons on July 18 and 25.
But the coronavirus-forced delay hasn't been all bad, even if some Tigers sponsors have withdrawn or reduced their financial commitment because the pressure on businesses.
Tigers numbers have jumped this year despite the George Tooke Shield season yet to be locked in.
"It's harder to get a club started back up than to get through this year, then numbers started getting strong which has been great," said Tigers president Dan Woodford.
"I think they all got excited when we came up with a plan for training. It's about people's mental wellbeing ... they've been at home and they've needed an avenue to socialise.
"That's what footy is about out here. It's an opportunity to be a part of something. It's about the culture, and that's what we've been strong on. We've had guys who are out here for the first time and they're already saying they want to stick around."
Woodford, who played his first season for the Tigers in 1998, is in his first season as president. The challenges have been at every turn. Virus restrictions led to officials cancelling sport - both training and playing.
Then clubs needed to develop a COVID-safe plan to restart activity, leading to the removal of bleachers at Mick Sherd Oval, physical-distancing marks in front of the canteen and going cashless for the first time.
"But blokes are tonguing at the bit to get there. They just want to be a part of something," Woodford said.
Footy's absence has left a "big hole" in the community, according to Bungendore Mudchooks rugby union club vice president Garry Cook.
"Footy is what you do when the weather starts to get cold in the bush," Cook said. "It's a big part of the social life of the town. With regular footy games here, we get a large number of people coming to the town and the local district to come and watch the game and socialise."
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
The start of the seasons will be determined by the government's decision, with rugby league, union, Australian football, soccer and basketball all waiting for good news.
"We'd be pretty devastated if they decided not to have a season this year. Especially now that we've done all the work. But anyway, it's gotta be what it's gotta be. People's health is more important than footy obviously," Tigers vice president Tony Rayner said.
The teams have been allowed to return to contact-training in the ACT since mid-June, though the return of the codes has been continually delayed. Four Canberra rugby league teams have since withdrawn from the planned 2020 competition due to financial constraints, while ACT Rugby Union is banking on an abridged 10-week season.
If the teams are forced to keep footy to training-only, the Bungendore teams will happily make do with that. "It's not ideal, but it's certainly better than nothing," Cook said