The West Australian Football Commission is pleased to confirm that the 2020 junior football season will commence in WA from Saturday, July 18, in line with WAFC Return to Play Guidelines and State Government Covid-19 restrictions.
With the easing of State Government restrictions to allow contact sport and group gatherings of up to 100 people from tomorrow, Saturday June 6, the WAFC will be working with all junior football competitions, clubs, umpires and volunteers to help finalise their safe return to play after the July school holidays.
This will include confirming venue availability and facility access conditions with Local Governments, completing fixtures, updating by-laws and taking new player registrations.
With this in mind, it is acknowledged that not all junior football competitions will be ready to resume on July 18. Each competition will be supported and encouraged to aim for this target date, and participants will be advised by their respective club or competition once finalised.
From tomorrow, Saturday June 6, full team training will also be permitted to occur with contact and match simulation, providing more than a month for players to prepare for their return to play and opportunities to participate in inter-club practice matches.
It is hoped this will also allow time for families to travel within WA during the July school holidays and support local businesses and regional communities before returning home to kick off the footy season.
Updated Return to Training protocols and a revised 10-point Checklist must be completed to ensure all clubs are continuing to follow State Government requirements at training under the new June 6 conditions.
We would like to thank and acknowledge the State Government, in particular Sport & Recreation Minster Hon. Mick Murray, and Health Minister Hon. Roger Cook, for their ongoing support of WA Football and our community.
Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray said: "As a key member of the community, the WA Football Commission has worked collaboratively with the State Government and followed all health and safety protocols that have been put in place."
"I am delighted that junior football will return soon, and to see West Australian kids getting back to doing what they love in playing football."
Health Minister Roger Cook said: "There’s nothing better for children than to release some of their endless energy playing sport."
"COVID-19 restrictions have meant the footy season has had to be postponed, which has been hard on Western Australian kids used to participating in the wide open spaces of this beautiful State."
"With Phase 3 of WA’s COVID-19 Roadmap kicking in, that’s about to change for our junior footy players."
"In the coming weeks, children from all across Western Australia will take to footy fields all over the State for that first kick, mark, or goal of the season."
"Participation in community sport offers children an opportunity for fitness, fun, and friends, which is important for their overall health and wellbeing."
"The Go for 2&5 Junior Football Healthway partnership encourages healthy eating and is helping to build happier, healthier, and more active communities across the State."
"While Phase 3 has given the go-ahead to contact sport, we can’t give up all the good work that Western Australians have done so far to stop the community spread of COVID-19."
"Remember to practise good hygiene by washing your hands regularly and physically distancing wherever it’s practicable."
"I wish all the footballers, officials, and volunteers a safe return to play."
The WAFC will continue to engage with the State Government on the next steps for community football in WA and timing for the increase of spectators at games, as we appreciate that spectators play such an important role in supporting the financial viability of our clubs right across WA.
Now more than ever, we will also need our army of volunteers to support our great game. For our existing volunteers, thanks for your support during this crisis and for your contribution to the game. We are also calling on all parents to assist their team and club in any way possible this season so that we can all contribute to making the 2020 junior football season as successful as possible.
On behalf of the WA Football Commission, we’d like to thank you for your efforts to date and ongoing support as we prepare for a safe and exciting return to play.
We look forward to seeing everyone back at the footy soon!
Yesterday’s announcement by the State Government that restrictions will be eased further from next Saturday June 6th to allow contact sport and group gatherings of up to 100 people, is great news for community football in Western Australia as we work towards a full return to play.
As a result, the WAFC will be updating its Return to Play Guidelines ahead of next weekend and working with all football competitions across Western Australia to help finalise their return to play dates.
As we prepare to move towards full competition, we will work through a staged and planned approach with our many stakeholders. This will include working with Leagues, Clubs, Umpires and all volunteers to ensure we can effectively plan a safe return to football.
Importantly, we will need to work with Local Governments across WA to confirm venue availability and access conditions ahead of any return dates being set, whilst also working on fixtures, bylaws and player registrations.
With this in mind, it is acknowledged that football competitions across WA may recommence on different dates and that not all will be ready to resume in line with Government restrictions being eased on June 6th.
This date provides a starting point for a return to play, and also provides the date from which full contact training can occur. This is an exciting outcome made possible by the terrific work of everyone in our community to follow the rules and demonstrate that we are committed to stopping the spread of Covid-19.
We will continue to engage with the State on the next steps and timing for the increase of spectators, as we appreciate that spectators play such an important role in supporting the financial viability of our clubs right across WA.
Over the next week, it is important that all clubs continue following current State Government restrictions and WAFC Return to Training Protocols, which includes the 10-point checklist. Training must also continue to be non-contact under current guidelines.
On behalf of the WA Football Commission, we’d like to thank you for your efforts to date and ongoing patience, support and understanding as we continue working towards a safe return to play.
Due to the significant financial impact of Covid-19 on our organisation the WAFC will continue to operate with a reduced workforce, with those staff placed on stand-down or reduced hours to remain until July 31st.
Thankfully, these employees have been eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment while the WAFC has continued its core business with reduced operational requirements.
This has been an extremely challenging period for our team who have given so much to our great game. Thanks for your patience and understanding that our staff’s response times may be a little bit slower during this period.
Thanks for your ongoing support of WA Football and the role you are playing in the health and wellbeing of our community.
The WA Football Commission is pleased to confirm that community football training can resume under set conditions and protocols from Monday, May 18, 2020 in Western Australia.
This encouraging step towards the full return of community football in WA has been made possible by the easing of social distancing restrictions and group gatherings, as announced yesterday by WA Premier Mark McGowan.
Under the State Government’s COVID-19 WA Road Map, May 18 represents the date that Phase 2 conditions will be applied to WA Communities, which will allow for a return to training.
To ensure the safe return to training from May 18, the WAFC has worked as part of the AFL National Working Group, considered the AIS Framework for Community Sport and importantly, has aligned with Government to develop a series of guidelines for clubs to follow.
This includes a checklist for clubs to complete, hygiene and small group training protocols, as well as online COVID-19 infection control training for key club leaders.
Over the next week all clubs in WA will need to start their planning and preparation if they seek to return to training from May 18.
It is important that everyone involved with community football in Western Australia clearly understands the requirements for a safe return to training, so that football continues contributing to positive community health outcomes, while also increasing the possibility of a full return to play sooner.
It is also important to note that although Return to Training in small groups will be permitted, it is still expected to be some time before football Returns to Play, with a number of Government restrictions required to be lifted before this occurs.
At present, all State League Competitions, Senior Community Football, Junior and Youth Football, Auskick Centres, Schools Competitions and participation programs remain postponed until at least May 31.
The Government will be responsible for guiding football’s progression through the stages for a Return to Play and make the final decision on when it is safe to take the next step towards full training and then competition.
The WAFC is also committed to exploring all options to launch a 2020 West Australian Football League season as soon as possible. This will involve further consideration of financial implications, the integrity of the competition plus community and player safety as part of our deliberations. We will also work with Government on the possibility for fans to attend the WAFL this year, as part of exploring all options to get a season away.
We will be ready to go as soon as the green light is given, knowing what an important role football can play in reconnecting communities right across our State.
We thank the AFL and WA Government for their input to our Return to Training guidelines, as well as everyone involved with WA Football for helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Everyone’s ongoing support, patience and understanding as we work through this process is greatly appreciated. Further updates will be provided as soon as they become available.
In the meantime, please look after yourself, your family and everyone involved with your football club and ensure you follow the protocols for your clubs return to training.
Summary of key conditions:
The West Australian Football Commission today announced a broad range of financial sustainability measures to support WA Football during the Coronavirus crisis.
WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said the measures were based on football not returning until at least May 31st and the significant changes that are impacting upon the football economy.
“We know that football, like many other organisations and businesses in our community, needs to take unprecedented action to survive the economic impact of the Coronavirus,” Mr Taylor said.
“The WAFC risks losing half of its revenue this year which means we have been forced to make extremely difficult decisions about our people, competitions and the programs that we help to fund and support.”
“Today every person in our organisation has either been stood down or had their salary significantly reduced. It’s with a heavy heart that we have had to make such significant changes to our business which impact our greatest asset, our people. We are putting support and provisions in place to support our people through this period.”
“I am deeply saddened to see the impact this situation is having on our community, the game of football, and the livelihood of the people who make it great.”
“We will continue to support the safety and well-being of our staff, players, coaches, umpires, officials and volunteers the best that we possibly can so they can take care of themselves and their families, as we work our way through this situation.”
The sustainability measures that have been put in place by the WAFC include:
“Football is in this together at all levels and we must work through this unprecedented challenge in the best interests of the future sustainability of our game,” Mr Taylor said.
“The planning and decisions we are making today will enable us to be ready to rebound when the green light is given for football to recommence. Once we get through the worst of this virus, footy will play a huge part in reconnecting communities right across Western Australia, led by our people.”
To assist clubs, the WAFC will be providing a range of support packages and resources.
The WAFC will contribute $1m from its Reserves to establish a WA Football COVID-19 Emergency Sustainability Fund and access to short term interest free loan facilities.
Funding certainty for the remainder of 2020 has also been provided for WAFL clubs and the WAFC’s affiliates including the WA Country Football League, Perth Football League, Metro Football League, AFL Masters WA and the WA Women’s Football League, to assist them with their financial planning and sustainability measures.
“Each and every one of the 463 football clubs and 55 leagues across WA is important to the future success of our game in this State and we are doing everything possible to support them all during this unprecedented challenge,” Mr Taylor said.
“I urge everyone at every level of the game to stay engaged with your club, keep in touch with coaches and teammates, and check that everyone is OK so we can get through this tough time together, whilst continuing to play our part in supporting the Government’s directions to restrict the spread of Coronavirus.”
“For footy fans, there has never been a more important time to sign up as a member of your WAFL or AFL club or offer your support in some way. I would especially like to thank all of the sponsors that have continued investing in local football clubs, including our key partners in Optus and KIA, who have been unwavering in their support of WA Football.”
“For every parent, there has never been a better time to get the kids having a kick or a handball in the backyard, so they are all set to go when our great game returns.”
“To the State Government, who this week confirmed their ongoing funding commitment, we also say thanks. The financial contribution goes to every level of WA Football, and without this we would not be in a position to survive this unprecedented crisis.”
"I am confident that these measures and our strong partnerships in football will get us through this."
WAFL Council of Presidents chairman Ric Gloede said the WAFL clubs would work together with the WAFC to put sustainability measures in place and access any support or resources available to the clubs.
“We understand that the economic impact from COVID-19 is going to flow through to all levels of our game and everyone has a role to play in overcoming these challenges together,” he said.
“We will do everything we possibly can to preserve our historic WAFL competition and its clubs and thank everyone who has shown their support or commitment to help us do that.”
“We are of the view that this interruption to the game gives everyone the opportunity to review the very structure of footy in WA when this unprecedented event is over.”
“There is no question this is going to be the biggest challenge that the WAFL and the WAFC have ever faced but I’m confident that with the support of our fans, members , sponsors and the broader WA community we can come out of this on top.”
In a united decision with the AFL and other State football bodies, the West Australian Football Commission has agreed to postpone all senior and junior community football in both metropolitan and regional Western Australia.
Consistent with the decision yesterday in relation to State League football and talent programs, all community football competitions will be postponed until 31st May 2020.
This includes Auskick, AFL 9s and community AFLX competitions, and also extends to football training sessions and face-to-face education courses.
The recommendation was collectively agreed upon based on the nature of shared public facilities across community football clubs and the health and safety of football’s volunteer network.
WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said the health and well-being of players, coaches, umpires, officials, volunteers and the local community was at the forefront of the decision.
“The WAFC is determined to be part of the whole of community response to slow down the spread of Corornavirus and help the broader community and our health systems to cope,” he said.
“We strongly agree with the AFL and other State football bodies that given the current climate of uncertainty and complexity it is best to take decisive action now.”
“We will be working through this postponement with all senior and junior competitions and affiliates throughout WA over the coming days and remain committed to offering our full support to community football during this time.”
“Football is part of the fabric of our community and we will do everything possible to ensure we can overcome this unprecedented challenge together so that football not only survives, but thrives.”
The WAFC will continue to meet with the AFL and other State football bodies in relation to community football and will continually review this decision based on the changing circumstances and advice from government and relevant health authorities and medical experts.
The West Australian Football League, WAFLW, and WA Talent programs have been postponed until May 31st in an effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus throughout our community.
The decision has been made together with the AFL and State football bodies around Australia as part of a national approach to protect the well-being of all players, coaches, umpires, officials, staff and volunteers.
West Australian Football Commission CEO Gavin Taylor said the WAFC was now focussed on guiding and supporting WAFL clubs through this unprecedented and extremely challenging period.
“We will be working through the impact on WAFL Clubs, members, players, staff, supporters and sponsors over the coming days,” he said.
“As an industry we will come together and work through this difficult period.”
“This will include reviewing operations, expenditure and sustainability strategies, so that we are well placed to get through this challenge and focus on our recovery and return to competition following the postponement,” he said.
“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our football participants and the wider community that we are all a part of, and this will remain at the forefront of all decisions that are made throughout this process.”
The WAFC remains in discussions with the AFL and other State bodies with regards to the postponement of senior and junior community football competitions and will provide an update as soon as possible.
Whilst the WAFC will continue to provide updates at www.wafootball.com.au/covid19 the football community is also urged to remain informed via the following key sources of information:
The West Australian Football Commission’s number one priority is the health and safety of all West Australian football participants, players, umpires, officials and volunteers who underpin our great game.
The WAFC, as part of a national working group including the AFL and other State football bodies, is closely monitoring the situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking advice from the Australian Government, World Health Organisation and AFL’s Chief Medical Officers regarding best practice.
It is crucial that all practical measures are taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate any potential impact on State League and community football competitions. This includes ensuring that the number of people at venues does not exceed 500 to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Based on this advice received by the national working group today, WAFL Futures fixtures and Colts and League practice matches will be postponed tomorrow Saturday, March 14th at New Choice Homes Park (East Fremantle), Steel Blue Oval (Bassendean) and Fremantle Community Bank Oval (South Fremantle).
Based on the current advice from the Government in relation to group gatherings, community football matches with limited crowds (500 or less) can proceed until further notice. It is recommended that match attendance is limited to players, families, and key match officials.
The WAFC has set up a risk management working group that will continue to monitor the situation and take a proactive approach. The welfare of staff, volunteers, players, coaches, umpires, and spectators remains at the forefront of all decisions.
The following precautions are recommended to limit exposure to COVID-19 and prevent the spread of germs:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol?based hand sanitiser
- Wash or sanitise your hands before eating
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home and seek medical treatment when you are sick
- Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze
- Communal use of water bottles should be avoided at all times. All players should be in possession of their own drink bottle, and should not share with any other players
- Do not share drinks, towels, lip balm, sunscreen with others
- Place hand sanitisers around the change room and encourage use of them.
- Ensure all player facilities are maintained and cleaned to a high standard with appropriate cleaning agents – consider more regular cleaning of facilities.
- Limit physical contact such as avoiding shaking hands, pre or post game
- Work with other community clubs that share Club facilities, if appropriate, to implement practices consistent with this communication
- Limit travelling party to matches/training/sessions where possible.
Meetings between the AFL and health authorities are taking place regularly to monitor any changes in the situation and to consider implementing any further measures. We are also monitoring the situation as it relates to School closures and the impact of any closures may have on our Community Leagues, Clubs and Auskick centres.
As such, the WAFC and the national AFL working group will continue discussions over the course of the weekend to develop recommended guidelines around a range of scenarios relating to State League, community competitions, Auskick and school programs. Further detail around these guidelines will be provided as soon as possible.
Whilst the WAFC will continue to provide updates at www.wafootball.com.au/covid19 the football community is also urged to remain informed via the following key sources of information: