The Ovens and Murray Football Netball League has been thrown yet another COVID curveball as it targets a rapid return.
With cases stabilising in Victoria, particularly of those who were infectious in the community, hopes were raised that the league will be back soon.
But when Victoria designated NSW as an "extreme risk zone" as of last Friday night at 11.59pm, those hopes faded.
The Victorian Government introduced a five-kilometre zone for border bubble residents, unless they need to travel for medical reasons, vaccination or permitted work.
For example, if you live two kms from the border, you are able to travel only three kms into Victoria.
Given the fall in cases, speculation had been rising of an end to the lockdown tomorrow night, as scheduled, so the O and M and its clubs will be sweating on any announcements by the Victorian Government.
Meanwhile, O and M general manager Craig Millar gave a detailed outline of the league's plans on The All Rounders sports program on Radio 2AY on Saturday morning.
"There'a a 14-day window there in our by-laws to basically call a special meeting to be able to get the majority of the clubs, eight out of 10, to vote in favour of that (a top eight)," he suggested.
"The majority have come back and said that they want to continue with a top five."
Millar added that he expects the decision to stay with a top five will be ratified at a board meeting tomorrow.
A handful of clubs had been pushing for a top eight with Wodonga confirming its intention at a meeting last Wednesday night, highlighting a host of reasons, including:
The Border Mail canvassed clubs late last week with North Albury, Lavington, Myrtleford and Wodonga Raiders all backing the top five.
Millar admitted clubs have also changed their thoughts on spectator numbers.
"The number is lower than what it was, it looks like it's between 500 and 700 is what clubs are telling us, which is a little different to what it was earlier in the year, it was between 750 and 1000," he revealed.
As it stands, there are now four rounds left after rounds 13 and 14 were cancelled.
Ideally, clubs want at least one home and one away game before finals.
ALSO IN SPORT:
Interestingly, there's been no extensive discussion of hosting double headers or player qualification for finals.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.