New Wagga Touch Association president, Marc Lawrence, says the organisation is keen to hit the ground running with its new juniors competition and hoping for an almost-immediate start if approval comes later this month.
Community sport has been on hold, waiting until 80 per cent of the state's adult population is fully vaccinated.
But Wagga Touch says it wants to roll out the new Thursday night junior league as soon as permitted.
"As soon as we're good to go, we will. It's all gearing up towards a return to community sport on that week beginning the 25th of October. It'll probably just come down to what restrictions will be in place for community sport," Lawrence said.
NSW Touch is consulting the state's Office of Sport to try to clarify what any additional requirements may be but Wagga hopes to have teams and players registered so draws can be finalised as soon as the return date and details are confirmed, for juniors, youth and premier league men's and women's competitions.
"The information we have at the moment is that participants 16 years and up will have to be double-vaccinated to be able to go ahead," Lawrence said.
"The juniors are the biggest competitions. Most of those registrations are still coming in. We're encouraging those that haven't registered to get registered so we can get draws finalised and once we're given the green light, we're good to go."
Participants includes spectators (including parents) and officials as well as players. (Although the state's roadmap suggests the double-vaccination requirement may not continue beyond December).
Lawrence replaced Darrin Walsh as Wagga Touch Association president at the annual general meeting last month.
He said it's an exciting time with around 90 teams registered for a new era in junior touch, which has previously run on Sundays and then Saturdays from August to December but will now be midweek from October to March.
"It's been positive. We're a traditional summer sport and in years gone by we were commencing in late August where footy finals and winter sports were still going on so there was a bit of a cross over," he said.
"We were aiming for a later start date this year anyway, pushing it back to mid-October, to allow those winter sports to completely conclude. Although COVID this year put a quick stop to their finals.
"But it's only going to delay our competition by a week, which is good. We'll break over Christmas, return when school returns and then go through until the first week in March."
Last season, hot weather and then wet weather saw a number of weekend rounds cancelled. It forced a midweek evening of finals which turned out to be popular and prompted change.
"The feedback was quite positive. Weather wise it was a great night so we were fairly well blessed. But not being on weekends, it gives families their weekends back," Lawrence said.
The under eights up to under 14s will be played on Thursday nights with the combined under 16s-18s youth competition going to Tuesday nights.
Lawrence said the 92 junior teams and 15 youth league teams, is roughly on par with previous years although COVID uncertainty has seen many people hold off registering.
It has also played havoc with the premier leagues season, which ordinarily would have started in mid-September, and
"They would've already been three or four weeks in now so by the time we get the green light to go, that'll be six weeks into (what would've been) their competition," Lawrence said.
"So whether we have a shortened season for them or we roll over until next year, we don't know. We're working on a few scenarios for that at the moment."
They expect to have four teams in both the men's and women's competitions.
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