THE potential health risk for volunteers is among several issues being considered as junior football and netball seasons try to restart in the Wimmera.
July 25 has been penciled in as a potential start date for a modified junior season involving clubs from both the Horsham District league and Wimmera leagues.
AFL Wimmera-Mallee's Jason Muldoon however said there were many protocols clubs needed to abide by for a season to go ahead, to ensure the safety of players and community members.
Clubs would have to limit and control crowd sizes, thoroughly clean facilities before and after games, and abide by any extra protocols outlined by local governments.
Mr Muldoon said clubs across both leagues were due to register their interest in each junior football and netball grade by the end of the week.
"Some clubs are still deliberating, now that they have some clarity around what it's going to take and the requirements that they have to abide by," Mr Muldoon said.
"They will come back at the end of this week to say yes or no, whether it's too difficult."
Mr Muldoon said clubs would be separated into groups based primarily on geographic location for an eight-week season, with no finals.
"We're also doing all this work, but at the end of the day, the government could come in and put in in tighter restrictions because of the spike in infection rates (in Melbourne)," Mr Muldoon said.
"So we're just planning and waiting to see what happens."
Mr Muldoon said there was still enthusiasm from clubs for a season to be played.
"But there's also an understanding of the reality of what clubs have to do for this to happen," he said.
"The protocols are going to very onerous on volunteers.
"We all want the juniors to be out there playing, but we have to keep in mind the toll it takes on volunteers."
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Mr Muldoon said the rising rates of infection also heightened concerns around the health and safety of volunteers.
"To a certain degree we have to look at it and ask, 'Are we doing the right thing by running a junior structure?'" he said.
"It will of course have benefits for the mental health and enjoyment of the kids, but are we also putting volunteers at risk? Maybe.
"There will certainly be good to come out of it, but is it worth the risk?"
To minimise crowd sizes, Mr Muldoon said there would likely be a rule allowing just one parent or guardian per family to attend each match.
"The expectation will be that if that family has four kids playing, only one parent or supervisor will be allowed to go with them," he said.
"Does that compromise the club feel and atmosphere? Probably, but it's what we have to do."
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