Premier Competition Structures for Season 2020

May 29th, 2020

Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) today announced its proposed competition structures for its 2020 Premier Competitions – if the go ahead to play is provided by the NSW Government .

NNSWF has been consulting with its clubs to understand the key issues impacting them and how clubs would like the adjusted season to look, ahead of a hopeful season restart in July.

Meetings were held with the National Premier League (NPL NNSW), Women’s Premier League (WPL)  and Northern League One (NL1) clubs in April to gain feedback on key challenges and solutions.

From here, through regular consultation, NNSWF developed a series of model competitions which were sent out for feedback.

Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland said several key challenges had been considered following consultation with clubs.

“We have listened to the concerns of the clubs and taken that feedback on board, as well as the parameters we need to adhere to keep players and spectators safe,” Eland said.

“Clubs were rightly concerned surrounding the financial impact of the crisis, which has been felt across all levels of football.

“This along with access to facilities beyond the regular season and the potential for volunteer capability and burnout were all items discussed.”

Should NNSWF get the go ahead for football to resume in July from State Government, the 2020 Premier Competitions will be structured as such:

National Premier League NNSW

  • Each team plays the other teams in the league once to complete nine rounds.
  • The league is then split into two pools of five. The split will be a seeded draw to ensure fair representation of top, middle, and lower end teams in each pool.
  • Teams will play the other four teams in their pool once to reach 13 regular season rounds.
  • Premiership season to be concluded after 13 rounds.
  • Continue with the finals series as outlined in the current regulations (top five played over four weeks).

NNSWF will also open a Player Points System (PPS) registration window in the week leading up to the start of the season to allow clubs to cater for those players who can no longer play, or choose not to, due to the circumstances.

Due to the shortened season, there will not be an additional registration window mid-season as per previous years.

This structure does not include the 18 years age group. Given this is a critical age for development, this age group will now feature in the youth competition match days and will see out a full home and away season followed by a two-week finals series in line with the other youth grades.

There is no material change to the NPL Youth competitions. Clubs will play out their season as it is currently structured, with alterations made only to the fixtures to push the season back.

HERALD Women’s Premier League

  • As the WPL competition has eight teams, each team had been scheduled to play each other three times throughout the home and away season.
  • This is now reduced to twice (once home, once away)
  • The Premiership season will conclude after 14 rounds.
  • Followed by a finals series as outlined in the current regulations (top four over three weeks).
  • All results from rounds one and two which occurred prior to the COVID pandemic stand.

NEW FM Northern League One

  • Each team plays the other teams in the league once to complete 11 rounds (ten matches plus a bye in senior fixtures).
  • A further four Rounds will be fixtured to make a total of 14 matches over 15 Rounds.
  • Those teams drawn against the bye in the extra four matches will have one extra midweek match fixtured to ensure all teams play an equal number of games.
  • Premiership season to be concluded after 15 rounds.
  • Continue with the finals series as outlined in the current regulations (top five played over four weeks).
  • Youth competition will follow the same structure as above, with the exclusion of the bye.
  • All results from rounds one and two will stand.

All NNSWF Premier Clubs returned to training from Wednesday 27 May, with the caveat they abide by the NSW Public Health Order and NNSWF Return to Training Guidelines which were released last week.

This includes:

  • Training in maximum groups of 10 people (including the Coach and/or personnel).
  • Adhering to spatial requirements (one person per 4m2) on pitches.
  • Maintaining physical distancing measures of 1.5 metres.
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices.

Football was suspended across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the week of NPL NNSW Round 1. Herald WPL and NEW FM NL1 senior competitions had played two rounds each.

NNSWF supports the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe app and strongly encourages all members of the football community to get behind this initiative. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App store and Google Play.

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