THE Geelong Cricket Association (GCA) has confirmed October 31 as the starting date for its 2020/21 season.
The GCA initially had October 3 or 24 as potential start dates for the season and had sent fixture lists out to teams for both possibilities.
However, the association has now announced the first round of fixtures will take place on October 31.
GCA president Rob Vines said this decision was to allow clubs to be comfortable with all COVID-safe protocols.
“It (the change in date) was primarily because we thought more deeply about the amount of preparation clubs needed to do to create a COVID-safe environment,” Vines said.
“With the myriad of things club need to do, not only from a document sign-off point of view but also just bedding-down the different steps and measures they need to take, we decided we should push the season back a bit.
“Some people might have thought it had something to do with Grand Final Day but it wasn’t. We were ready to use Grand Final Day but thought it was sensible to move it back.”
All games before the Christmas Break will be one-day fixtures.
Vine said this would help the GCA tailor the second half of the season to whatever the situation with the pandemic is at the time.
“The primary aim is to have every team play each other once by Christmas. This gets us to a point where at least we have a season with integrity and where we have insurance for whatever happens in the new year,” Vine said.
“For a couple of our divisions that will mean playing a Sunday round, which we don’t normally do, but that’s really the one consequence of moving the start back.”
The format and start date for the GCA’s senior women’s season is yet to be announced, last year it did not get underway until November 17.