BATHURST'S junior hockey players will be mixed between clubs and age groups as part of a modified, non-competitive season.
The changes to the season have come due to the COVID-19 shutdown of community sport, a halt which officially lifts from Wednesday.
The Bathurst Junior Men's Hockey Association were determined to give the city's kids the chance to play form of hockey in 2020, and have announced a 10-week season to begin on July 24.
But splitting players up by age groups and clubs wasn't an ideal route for the committee to take due to the short length of the season.
"It would have been very for us to just say 'let's start next year' given the current climate. It will obviously be a different format just to get the kids back on the paddock," BJMHA president John Speer said.
"We decided to have a mixed comp. Rather than have generic age competitions we thought we'd have it mixed up."
The format the association have gone with is a primary school (eight to 12 years) and secondary school (13-18 years) competition, open to players from both ends of those age groups.
Running separate age groups wasn't a consideration for Speer and the association.
"We just want them to get some sort of hockey in before the end of the year," he said.
"It's only a 10 week comp, because we were governed as to when we could start - and that could still change, because who knows what's down the track? Hopefully it will be a lot more relaxed by the time the competition starts.
"Given the restrictions applied by Hockey NSW and the rules we have to follow to get people on the hockey field it was just easier to run this 10-week comp to mix things up."
The major change to come with the non-competitive season is the club-less format.
Players still have to register with a club under Hockey NSW guidelines but the season will see players from different clubs, age groups and skill levels mixed together.
"They can't play unless they are registered with Hockey NSW. If they go to the Bathurst Hockey Association website they can pick a club to register with. An active kids voucher can be used for that," Speer said.
"There's no affiliation to clubs for the season. Because we know the abilities of most of the kids we'll be able to even the sides up and make it fair for everyone."
Registrations for the season can be made right up until July 23.
Only one parent will be allowed at the venue for each child during matches to assist in meeting Hockey NSW guidelines.