This evening Monday the 9th of August, all clubs were contacted by the AFL Queensland SEQ competition managers with an update on the state of play with the Covid effected finals. The below is communications from SEQ Juniors.
"The Queensland Government’s direction yesterday that no community sport can be played for the next two weeks in SEQ has impacted all senior and youth competitions across the region. With Grand Final dates already set, arguably the greatest impact is in the youth space, as every other competition still has enough time to include a minimum of at least 4 teams in a finals series, whereas the 44 x youth competitions in its current format would be required to go straight into 1 v 2 Grand Finals.
Adjusting a Grand Final date, particularly this close, is certainly something we wanted to avoid. We understand that clubs/players/parents have planned around this final date, and any adjustment may have a significant impact on them. However, we also wanted to give clubs the opportunity to consider an alternative option and provide their feedback on whether this is practical, noting we would require an overwhelming majority to make such a significant change at this late stage.
We would ask that all clubs with a team in the top four of any youth competition, to please confirm whether they would prefer option A or B by 9am Wednesday 11thAugust, taking into consideration the other factors listed below.
Can you please let us know, in the event Option B eventuated, whether your club would be able to host preliminary finals on either/both Friday 27th and Sunday 29th, noting the attached host club responsibilities.
Option A – keep same GF dates (August 27-29) and progress straight into 1st v 2nd
Option B – move GF dates back one week to September 3th – 5th with preliminary finals the week prior to be 1st vs. 4th & 2nd vs. 3rd and the two winners advancing to the GF.
Considerations for Option B:
Grand Finals will clash with Senior Grand Finals below (which will impact on availability of players, coaches, volunteers, and spectators);
Due to AFLQ staffing impacts of not having a staggered finals series, competing teams will likely be required to provide additional volunteers (scoreboard, timekeeper etc) to help run the day;
Should the Queensland Government restrict community sport for another week, the Grand Final date wouldn’t be pushed back again and it would be played off between 1st vs 2nd on September 3rd – 5th.
Once feedback has been received we will confirm the final outcome with Clubs as soon as possible."
Teams that finished either 3rd or 4th on their competition ladders are currently subject to clubs deciding on whether to extend the Grand final date into September. If clubs agree to have a top 4, our U13 Girls Div1 and Div 2, plus our U14 Div 3 boys will be in the mix to play in a preliminary final on the 25th and 27th of August. (TBC) None the less, we hope all clubs will support a minimum top 4 format for finals, over a 1 v 2
For absolute clarity, sadly our teams that finished outside the top 4 (U12 Div 2, U14 Div1, U14 Div2 & U17 Girls) that had qualified to play finals, are now unfortunately out of the finals equation.
Teams that finished either 3rd or 4th on their competition ladders are currently subject to all clubs deciding on whether to extend the Grand final date into September. If clubs agree to have a top 4, our U13 Girls Div1 and Div 2, plus our U14 Div 3 boys will be in the mix to play in a preliminary final on the 25th and 27th of August. (TBC)
If the decision by clubs and SEQ Juniors is to have a, 1 V 2 Grand Final on the 25th & 27th of August, Southport will be represented by U12 Div1, U16 div 2 & U16 div 3.
We understand there is a bit to digest around teams who were going to play finals, that are now not in the finals picture, and secondly, the teams in 3rd and 4th position on ladders are in a holding pattern until confirmation on either Wednesday night or Thursday this week.
We will continue to update everyone as soon as this information is finalised and appreciate all stakeholders involved are working to provide the best outcomes to close the season.