THEY are expecting record numbers, but that's not the only reason Bathurst Touch Association officials are excited about the upcoming season - they are also planning a new premier level of competition.
For the first time the Bathurst Touch Association plans to run a men's premier league competition, an idea driven by the large number of teams participating in recent seasons.
It would mean the younger, less experienced and less skilled outfits will be able to enjoy more relaxed, social games while those highly competitive teams will battle each other every week.
"Rather run 32 teams in a men's competition on Monday evening - even if you split that into an A and a B competition you're still going to have 16 sides and when the top play the bottom it's still going to be a wash-out," BTA's Tony Lewis explained.
"Traditionally you play a couple of rounds and then split them. When you do that you're going to have five or six teams who have won and lost the same - who do you put up? Who do you put down.
"So we are going to run our premier league on Wednesday night ... we'll look towards six and a maximum of eight teams."
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Lewis believes the creation of the new competition will spark enough interest that teams themselves will nominate for the men's premier league. It is not just the consistently higher quality games which make it attractive either.
"We've secured a sponsor for that competition, so we'll be able to offer a little bit better incentive for the teams trophy-wise. They will also get the best umpires and they will be playing a decent game of touch football every week rather than winning 15-0," he said.
"Obviously if we don't get enough nominations we'll can the idea, but the feedback we're getting is there's going to be enough interest. They want to play a decent game of footy every week and this idea will stimulate that."
Lewis added that if the men's premier league proved a success, BTA will explore a mixed premier league competition in the future.
Nominations are now open for all teams and with record numbers expected, people are encouraged to get in early.