Canberra's winter sporting codes may have cricket to thank once again for saving their season, as considerations are underway to delay the October start date of the ACT cricket season to allow the winter codes to finish theirs.
Cricket is due to get underway in the ACT on October 9, however, the Delta-strain lockdown in the capital has left community sport in limbo and uprooted the end of the winter codes' seasons.
Last year cricket delayed its start date by a month, pushing it back to November, and reshuffled its fixtures or abandoned them, and may look to do so again.
Cricket ACT chief executive officer Olivia Thornton said they had considered delaying their start date to allow winter codes to finish their seasons.
"We are continuing to work closely with our winter colleagues to ensure that we find a suitable solution for all involved," she said.
"The COMPS (coalition of major participation sports) is currently meeting on a weekly basis to discuss potential options. Conversations have been very positive and respectful and there is a genuine desire to continue to work together and find win/win solutions.
"Once we have a greater understanding of the parameters all sports are working within, we will be able to make some decisions and hopefully be in a position to finish the winter season and commence the summer season."
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Winter sporting codes were asked on Friday to hold on for at least another week for answers on a return-to-play, as ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr casted doubt over the viability of seasons returning anytime soon.
The capital's sporting codes will await a decision by the ACT government next week and grapple with an extension to lockdown in regional NSW until September 10.
Hockey ACT was done waiting and released a number of its own deadlines on Friday, including a deadline of September 27 for recommencement of training and a competition finish date of October 10.
When restrictions eased to allow community sport to resume in May last year, venues and codes worked together to ensure clashes could be avoided.
However, the short month-long window provided to finish winter sports and transition grounds from winter to summer codes adds pressure to next week's decision by the territory government.
As much as I'd love to see the women I help coach raise the cup, under the circumstances atm you simply can't justify allowing community sport to take place. Summer sport did the right thing in delaying their seasons last year, but it would be a big ask to make them do it again. https://t.co/JsZbLtcptg— Brent Ford (@BrentFord26) August 27, 2021
Several winter codes have surveyed their clubs on their thoughts moving forward, as they try to deal with the realities of cross-border competitions during Covid times.
Canberra's soccer competitions are one with NSW teams in the NPL and NPLW. Capital Football chief executive officer Phil Brown said a more detailed return-to-play plan would be shared next week.
"Contingency plans for the winter competition continue to be assessed," he said.
"A survey was sent to clubs and committees last week, to capture the overarching preference of how they would like the season to be completed. Capital Football is now in the process of reviewing these results, to present options for the board to consider next week.
"Any further extension to lockdown, potential easing of restrictions, transition period to competitions, NSW Regional lockdowns and access to fields will all influence what is possible."