Considering feedback collected from a club survey, changes to the public health orders that extended the regional New South Wales (NSW) and ACT lockdowns, and information provided by ACT Sport and Recreation, the Capital Football Board has made the decision to conclude all Capital Football Winter Competitions in 2021.
This has been a difficult decision to make, knowing the time and effort invested by players, coaches, volunteers, referees, families, and staff. Capital Football would like to extend sincere gratitude to all those who took part in the survey and provided feedback, all of which was essential for us to best align with the needs of our football community.
Due to the extended ACT and regional NSW lockdowns, ACT Sportsgrounds only being available to winter sporting codes up until the weekend of 24-25 September 2021, the likely transition to a training only period before competitions start once lockdown is lifted, and with no suggestion of a roadmap out before double vaccination figures reach 70-80%, all scenarios where a return to sport was possible, have now passed.
All Winter Competition season finals will not be conducted in 2021 but to acknowledge the achievements of teams through-out the season, Premiers for all leagues from U12’s to NPL will be awarded based on a points per match ratio, using points from all matches played. This method was considered the best way to identify the premier team per league and considers the difference in the number of matches played by teams, aiming to provide the fairest outcome possible under the conditions.
Promotion and Relegation will be applied from the 2021 to 2022 season for NPL1/NPL2 and NPLY1/NPLY2 competitions. Promotion and Relegation will be determined by league table positions for 1st Grade (NPL1/NPL2) and Club Championship (NPLY1/NPLY2) per the Competition Regulations. Acknowledging that not all matches have been played, a points per match ratio will be applied to determine the 1st Grade League tables and Club Championship positions, considering all matches played.
This decision has been made considering that:
- 2021 is different to 2020. In 2020 the competition was suspended before it started, and the clear preference was to prioritise participation when the lockdown was lifted. In 2021, we started the season with intentions of playing all matches, and the principle of best endeavour was in place.
- 16-18 of 21 rounds have been played in the NPL1/2 and NPLY1/2competitions (76-86% of matches played).
- The majority of NPL1/2 and NPLY1/2 respondents, that expressed an opinion about promotion and relegation, supported its application.
- Of the people that supported promotion and relegation, the majority preferred using the points per matches played method to determine league table positions (using all matches played).
With the Government’s plan to relax lockdown restrictions once the vaccination milestone is reached, we hope for a more stable year of football in 2022.
Capital Football will seek confirmation of club intentions to field teams in the NPL Competitions shortly, aiming for the 2022 Leagues to be declared following the October 2021 Board Meeting.