Horsham District League clubs concerned about 18-round fixture

THE Horsham District Football Netball League board is considering changing their recently released 18-round fixture back to 16 rounds after some clubs raised concerns about the length of the season.

The league had put in place a three-year plan to ensure clubs played each other the same number of times over that period. The plan saw 16-round seasons played in 2016 and 2017 with an 18-round season scheduled for 2018.

District league chairperson Graeme King said clubs had approached the league regarding the fixture. 

“With two extra rounds there is a burnout factor with the time and effort involved,” he said.

The league is now considering reverting to a 16-round schedule.

“At the moment we are investigating whether it is an option for us to leave it at 18 or go to 16 rounds,” he said. 

“A few clubs have expressed a concern and asked whether we could look at another option. We are looking at whether that is possible and if it will fit with what we have in place.”

President of Taylors Lake Tammy McDonald said her club was one of those which would like to see the season shortened. 

“We are certainly concerned about the length of the season,” she said. 

“Volunteer fatigue with 18 rounds is going to be a major issue. It’s two extra rounds we have to find volunteers for, not only for canteen duty but for umpiring, support staff and other positions. Two extra rounds is a big ask when volunteer numbers are declining.”

Ms McDonald said the idea behind ensuring ultimate fairness in the league through the rolling three year fixture was flawed. 

“Realistically every season is different anyway,” she said. 

“Unless you were having one grand final at the end of the three years I can’t see any point in making sure you play each club the same amount of times over those three years. I think clubs have learnt the fixture isn’t going to work.”

Mr King said any changes to the fixture would have to be passed soon.

“If the fixture was to change it would have to be done as soon as possible,” he said.

“It’s a consultation process with the clubs. We need to get an indication on how they’re feeling about it, either for or against.”


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