CRICKET Wagga is preparing itself for the impact of COVID-19 on the second half of the season.
Action resumes on Thursday with the commencement of the first grade Twenty20 competition, with the rest of the senior grades returning to the field on Saturday.
Wet weather has been the biggest hurdle for Cricket Wagga to navigate so far this season, with COVID-19 yet to wreak too much havoc on the competition.
But officials expect that to change with cases surging in Wagga and across the region.
The Cricket Wagga board formed a COVID-19 policy earlier this season, which was agreed upon by clubs, after a scare in the Wagga City camp leading into a first grade game that was eventually washed out.
Cricket NSW south western area manager Luke Olsen, who is also a Cricket Wagga board member, expects the policy to be called on for the first time in coming weeks.
"We've agreed on a policy but we never had to use it," Olsen said.
"It went quiet, we got through the games and there was no issues after that Wagga City one. We put it in place but we didn't have to use it but now we will need to.
"I'll be very surprised if we don't."
The policy centres around providing flexibility to any club that is impacted hard by COVID-19, either via a positive test result, an exposure notification from NSW Health or being considered a close contact.
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At any time until the start of the game, a club can select a replacement to take the place of an isolating player, but it must come from a lower grade. The same process will be repeated from each grade a replacement player is used from.
However, in the case of three or more players being affected prior to the match and should the club be unable to replace them or unwilling to play the match, a draw can be declared.
The Cricket Wagga match committee has the right to declare the game a draw, where both teams will receive the average points for that round.
The Cricket Wagga board will adjust the policy if necessary and clubs will discuss the requirements around finals next month.
Olsen explained that the policy was designed to help clubs manage COVID but stressed there was a certain amount of honesty required.
"We don't want clubs each Friday night to be ringing around rearranging teams and finding players and putting pressure on them to get games done," he said.
"If more than a certain amount of players (three) are affected by COVID then the game becomes a washout basically and the points are shared.
"We've got to trust the clubs a little bit here as well."
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