Off the park: There’ll be no BFNL flags raised for any grades in 2021. Photo: FILE

BFNL season and awards cancelled

September 10, 2021 BY

MANAGEMENT of the Bendigo Football Netball League have announced the remainder of the season, including finals and competition-wide awards have been called off.

A statement released on Friday afternoon said the decision in part was due to limits on community sport.

“Recent announcements regarding the easing of current regional Victorian lockdown restrictions, including outlining an immediate return to community sport for minimum training purposes only, prevents all regional leagues and associations from scheduling any competitive finals matches until after the current restriction settings are proposed to ease again at 11.59pm on the 23rd of September,” the statement said.

“Despite the current finals roadmap which was implemented several weeks ago, these latest Government updates offer further uncertainty regarding an actual timeframe for a return to competitive community sport.”

Even if community sport could return, the stamen said limits on the ability of Melbourne based players to make it to games also played a part in the decision.

“A key consideration in finalising the decision to end the 2021 season included concerns for the welfare of all players and a duty of care to ensure that any return to competition plan was allowed adequate preparation time for participating players, teams, clubs, and volunteers,” the statement said.

“This is compounded by the recent inability for players to train in a competitive group capacity since August 20th, 2021, and the continued different restrictions on our Metropolitan members.”

Due to the lack of games played over the 2021 season, league management also made the call to not award minor premiership, or league-wide individual awards.

“As a result of the cancellation of a significantly compromised home and away 2021 season, the BFNL Board wish to advise that premierships (including minor premierships) will not be recognised or awarded for season 2021,” the stamen said

“The BFNL will also not award any individual awards such as league best and fairest winners, as several competitions have become far too compromised.

“This is certainly not the desired outcome the BFNL were striving for, with ongoing decisions made to afford the league the best possible chance of a return to competition this season.

“The BFNL understand the continued uncertainty has become one of the most challenging facets of season 2021, and whilst disappointing, trust this decision will provide appropriate certainty and closure.”

Read the full statement here.

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