AFL Victoria Return to Play Update
M E M O R A N D U M
Stephen O’Donohue – Head of Community Football Victoria
April 17, 2020
Community Football Return to Play Update
To our Valued Football Community,
We hope you and your family had a safe and happy Easter at home this year, as we all play our part in supporting the Australian community and health system.
Without football on our fields, we have embraced the important role that football can still play in our lives. With the power of social media and technology, we have seen an overwhelming celebration of football on our small screens – including trick kicks, skills and drills, family footy at home and some ingenious training techniques in isolation.
We thank you for playing your part in flattening the curve, and we are optimistic that we will get our game underway at some stage, in some format later this year. Rest assured, the AFL and its State and Territory affiliates have a dedicated team of people working diligently to explore what this might look like for our clubs and communities.
Understandably, we are still uncertain about the exact date of commencement for our game, but we want to provide you with some certainty about the actions and next steps we are taking from a national AFL approach:
- We are constantly reviewing the situation and the different levels of advice being provided by State/Territories and Federal Government and relevant medical authorities.
- We are developing key principles of decision making for a return to football around Government policies and restrictions, guidance for schools, workplaces and medical recommendations.
- We are paying close attention to international benchmarks and behaviours, and how other countries are treating their return to sport.
- We are working closely with Government, medical advisors and the AFL’s Chief Medical Officer to ensure we have the very latest advice and insight around when we may be able to kick off our game.
- We are exploring modified formats in our endeavours to get a season underway in 2020.
- We are preparing a series of protocols that will provide guidance for when football does return.
- We are constantly engaging with as many of our Leagues and Clubs as possible, to understand your concerns and considerations.
- Importantly, we have not given up on this season. We are hopeful that we will be back on the field as soon as it is safe to do so and you can be confident that you will have our full support to ensure this return is as safe and well prepared as possible.
We are aiming to provide a more detailed update at the end of April, post the announcement of an expected roadmap for the elite game.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this uncertain and unprecedented time and recommend that all Leagues delay any announcement around 2020 season commencement dates or season cancellations until we provide further information at the end of the month.
In the meantime, we ask you continue the fantastic work and to keep footy alive in your households and communities.