By Casey O'Connor
Rugby League tragics are counting down to the restart of the NRL season later this month however Community Rugby League remains suspended until at least June 1.
The strict conditions and protocols that the NRL has agreed to adhere to, which allow for the recommencement of the game are well beyond both the financial and operational capacity of Community Leagues.
Although the Cowboys and all TRL teams are ready and raring to go the burning question for them like all clubs is “Will or can Community Rugby League return in 2020?”
The State Government has adopted the recently released AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport as the preferred road map for the return to Community Sports in the State,
In response to this the QRL Region Managers and Chairs met last week to discuss the possible return of Community Rugby League in Queensland.
It is understood that rugby league officials are keen to commence competition around the 11/12 July.
The QRL has indicated that using the guidelines provided by the AIS any return would come in three stages. The QRL will also be required to develop guidelines and protocols specific to Community Rugby League and present them to the State Government and the Chief Medical Officer for endorsement.
While there has been talk of competitions commencing in July, the QRL will only be able to forecast possible return dates once they receive these endorsements.
In addition to start dates and competition structures for individual leagues, discussions will be required around the associated costs such as insurance with the QRL focusing on the sustainability of all leagues and clubs not only this season but into 2021 and beyond.
The three levels set out by the AIS road map provide a general guide to the gradual return to training and competition.
Progression through the levels will require government approval and the easing of current restrictions relating to social isolation, movement and social gatherings. All of these requirements monitored by club and league administrators. The wellbeing of players, volunteers, families and the wider community remains the QRL’s uppermost priority.
In the meantime all players, senior and junior are urged to keeping fit and to focus on keeping fit and healthy and where possible to train in pairs while adhering to the current social distancing regulations.