IT might start later, it might feature fewer rounds or a shorter mid-season break, but Tony Lewis is adamant the 2021-22 Bathurst Touch Football season will go ahead.
While winter sporting competitions across Bathurst and the Central West have been abandoned before reaching a conclusion due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, Lewis is hoping the situation will improve enough for touch football to proceed.
Lewis is well aware that plans may have to be altered to get a competition going, but at this stage is hoping to see the season commence on October 25.
"We're planning on our normal late October start, but that is all subject to change and it could change at the drop of a hat," he said.
"I mean we have full, exclusive use of the fields so we can start a bit later, the only problem we would have in going a little bit later is that we would run into a problem with the daylight.
"But we will play a comp whether it's a traditional 14-week comp or less. We have that four-five week break traditionally over Christmas, we may just have to come back a bit earlier to get our rounds in.
"You don't want to come back too early in January because people tend to go away and make plans ... but people pay their money up front, they like to play their games."
Being able to play games is something that triggered an 'explosion' in participation rates last season as people who had their winter sport seasons cancelled due to COVID-19 were keen to be involved in a competitive environment.
Lewis believes numbers will again be strong for similar reasons in 2021-22.
"We found that last year, we had a huge increase in teams last year and I put that down wholly and solely to the fact that people wanted to go and do something," he said.
"They didn't get a full footy season, full netball season, full hockey season, but it's 'Okay, let's get a touch footy team, let's go'. It's only half-an-hour on a Monday or Wednesday night, it's show up, play your game and go home, it's no duties.
"Numbers wise I think we had 164 teams last year and that ranked us 10th in the state. Unashamedly, we do a good job of what we do.
"We're certainly excited about the comp, I think numbers will be the same if not increased."
Lewis said at this stage nominations will be open for around four-five weeks, but as certain grades could reach capacity before then, he encourages teams to get organised early
"The biggest problem is that towards the end of the nominations I have to keep an eye on how many teams I have got in what grades," he said. "I know a lot of associations in the state would love to have the same problem we have and have that amount of teams nominate, but we only have those 17 fields available to us, we can only play that many games in each time slot."
Nomination information can be found at: https://touchfootballbathurst.com.au/
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