THE Horsham district 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 fixture featured 16 rounds over the past two years and 18 rounds in 2018 to ensure each of the league’s 12 teams played each other the same amount of times over the three year period.
District league chairperson Graeme King said some clubs had approached the leaue regarding the fixture.
“Some clubs are concerned about the length of the season,” he said.
“With two extra rounds there is a burnout factor with the time and effort involved.”
The league is now considering reverting back 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.”
Swifts senior football coach Scott Carey said while the two extra rounds may be difficult, “it isn’t anything new”.
“My opinion is we are happy enough for 18 rounds,” he said.
“Having a few extra byes would obviously help but we have had 18 round fixtures before with no issues.”
Carey said the draw works well for football in Stawell, with the HDFL and Wimmera Football League fixtures balancing out.
“It works well for the town, with us and the Warriors playing home games on alternating weeks,” he said.
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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