The impacts of COVID-19 on community sport have been unprecedented and Cricket Tasmania and AFL Tasmania are determined to work together to navigate challenges together, for the betterment of sport within our state.

While a Return to Play for local sport in Tasmania is subject to State Government and Public Health advice, the parties have struck an in-principle agreement without prejudice that provides flexibility for local leagues, clubs, associations and councils in managing venues and fixturing 2020 competitions.

These principles have been agreed to assist clubs, associations, and Local Governments in negotiating the transition from football to cricket at shared venues. The agreed principles include flexibility with traditional fixturing dates and venue usage for the benefit of participation for both sports, and the integrity of their fixtures in 2020-21.

The agreement is made in good faith, and on the basis that where at all possible football and cricket seasons do not overlap and grounds will be made available to transition to cricket at the earliest possible opportunity.

Cricket Tasmania and AFL Tasmania agree to the following principles:

Football should have priority use access to fixture competitions on shared synthetic wicket venues up to and including Sunday 11 October 2020.

As soon as grounds are not being used for fixturing football matches, they will be returned for cricket wicket renovations to enable cricket competitions to commence as soon as possible.

Extended use of these facilities may be negotiated beyond that point on a case-by-case basis.

Football will also have priority access to the following turf wicket venues up until the dates provided:

Queenborough Oval, Sandy Bay – up to and including Sunday 13 September 2020

Youngtown Oval, Youngtown – up to and including Sunday 13 September 2020

Latrobe Oval, Latrobe – up to and including Sunday 11 October 2020, and only in the event that spectator gatherings are permitted

The use of these turf wicket ovals is dependent on the OSFA, NTFA, NTJFA and NWFL seasons going ahead.

Cricket Associations are strongly encouraged to consider delaying the traditional start to their
2020-21 seasons to facilitate extended ground usage by Football, and the transition of facilities and to allow individuals who play both sports to continue to do so.

All other venue arrangements remain as traditionally agreed, subject to club-to-club decisions.

Any adjustment to ground usage in 2020 has no basis for future years.

AFL Tasmania and Cricket Tasmania will continue to work together on the potential that cricket seasons are required to extend later into 2021.

Local football leagues and cricket associations are strongly encouraged to work together as soon as possible, along with their relevant local Council(s) to identify their specific grounds and the cut off dates for both sports’ planning.

Cricket Tasmania Chief Executive Dominic Baker highlighted the importance of sport in communities as they recover from difficult times.

“There is no doubt that sport plays an important role in lifting community spirit, especially in times of crisis”, said Baker. “While it is our role to protect the integrity of the upcoming cricket season in Tasmania, it would be disingenuous of us to not do what we can to help community football have the best chance of playing a 2020 season.”

“I encourage all cricket associations and football leagues to work together on arrangements that suit their individual circumstances, and to not lose sight of what is best for Tasmanian sport through the process.”

“I also urge Local Government to contribute to this process by expediting ground transitions as soon as they are able.”

AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires applauded the generous spirit of Cricket Tasmania.

“We really must commend the collaborative approach of Cricket Tasmania in the face of COVID-19, this agreement is really important for community football in Tasmania.”

“They were on the front foot to assist our sport in playing a season and it is great to find a solution that isn’t to the detriment of either sport and provides clarity on our shared venues.”

“We know football seasons are going to look different in 2020 but this agreement provides the necessary flexibility for councils, clubs and competitions to play a season in 2020.

“We will work closely with all key stakeholders in the practical rollout of this agreement.”