Ovens and Murray Pennant for 2020/2021
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE WAS RECEIVED BY THE O&M PENNANT CO-ORDINATOR 7th October 2020
Finally, I can confirm that our Pennant Season will open on 07 Nov 20 (Weekend) and 10 Nov 20 (Midweek). However, this will not be without it’s challenges:
- Mansfield and Swanpool are outside the “Border Bubble” and will be required to play in the Border Region as not to impact on those inside this region,
- Clubs on the NSW side of the river will be required to play their games on the Victorian side as Mansfield/Swanpool cannot cross the border,
- Some clubs are performing Greens renovations making their Greens unavailable early in the season,
- The season commences later and will end after the long weekend in March 2021 and very close to Easter,
- COVID restrictions impact on numbers inside clubhouses,
- There is strict food handling hygiene requirements, hence the reason to do away with the Weekend tea break,
- Whilst we can have maximum numbers on the Greens (subject to social distancing requirements), gatherings off the Greens is currently limited to 50 people.
Major change to Pennant – Season 2020-21. Due to current constraints on numbers inside clubhouses, outside gatherings and food handling hygiene the Pennant Committee has decided the following:
- all Pennant to be 21 ends – played straight through (a refreshment break mid game allowed),
- no food to be provided – except for purchase within licenced clubs.
- There is one “catch up” day set aside should a round be cancelled due to extreme weather. There is a possibility to include a “catch up” day for Weekend Pennant on 9 Jan 21.
- all players are subject to the individual club “COVID Plan”
The Pennant Draws have been a challenge this season due to uncertainty by clubs of having sufficient players, the “Border Bubble”, Swanpool and Mansfield being outside the Border Region, clubs Greens renovations and whether the border restrictions will be lifted prior to the commencement of Pennant.
However, after many drafts the Draws have been completed. Unfortunately, due to the many constraints created as a direct result of COVID, the Draws have been manipulated to ensure all clubs in our region can compete.
All clubs need to be cognisant of the constraints that Mansfield, Swanpool and clubs over the border competing in their Divisions may be under. Throughout the season both these clubs and clubs renovating Greens may need to swap their Home and Away games or play on alternate club Greens due to the “bubble”. If Swanpool or Mansfield are forced to look for an alternate club Green (to prevent their opposition travelling outside the bubble), and your club is approached it would be appreciated if you can accommodate their request to use your Greens.
We all need to maintain flexibility as Draws may still be required to be adjusted due to late withdrawal of sides. Additionally, the state governments may impose restrictions impacting on our ability to run Pennant.
It is hoped that by the time we reach our first round of Pennant the border restrictions will be lifted allowing Pennant to be conducted as close to normal as possible without impacting on the Mansfield and Swanpool Home and away games and their revenue.
All clubs will be responsible to police their individual club COVID Plans and manage the 50 person gatherings after the game. This may mean the need to arrange the staggering of start times.