Canberra's sporting coalition will meet on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the territory's expanding Covid crisis, and what it means for this year's local winter leagues.
Monday's lockdown extension has blanked out local sport for at least the next two weekends, which effectively rules out the rest of the regular season for most senior leagues, and a significant portion of junior finals.
Top of the COMPS (Coalition of Major Participation Sports) ACT agenda will be the viability of resuming winter sport, should Canberra successfully emerge from its lockdown on September 2.
The possibility of extending winter sporting seasons is likely to be met with pushback from cricket clubs, who endured a delayed start to their summer competitions last year as a flow-on effect from the nation-wide sporting pause in 2020. Cricket grounds need time to recover from winter sporting use before they are fit for purpose, while the cancellation of local grand finals at the start of the pandemic last year is still fresh in the sport's memory.
Further complicating the Canberra sporting landscape is the involvement of numerous NSW based clubs in almost every major sporting code. Regional NSW is locked down until at least this weekend, and that may yet be extended too after the state reported almost 500 new Covid cases on Monday.
Several sports had hoped to postpone last weekend's round of fixtures until a later date, but that is now looking impossible.
The minimum three-week enforced layoff is set to cost several clubs their chance of making a last-ditch bid for finals.
AFL Canberra released a statement on Monday saying it still hoped to complete its winter seasons.
"It is AFL Canberra's main intention to ensure we can finish off all seasons, being juniors, community and seniors," an AFL Canberra statement said.
"Discussions with other winter and sporting codes, as well as ACT Sportsgrounds will take place to assist all sports in planning for a return to play when it is safe to do so.
"Once AFL Canberra have further information and further clarity around the impact on our sport, a club meeting will be held to discuss further scenario planning."
The John I Dent Cup has one round left to play in the regular season before launching into the finals, while ACT Rugby's first division competitions [third and fourth grade] were supposed to begin finals this past weekend.
Those schedules could face a major revamp as ACT Brumbies officials assess the rapidly-evolving scenario.
"The health of the community is our primary consideration at this time and we'll continue to be guided by the public health advice," a Brumbies spokesperson said.
"Following today's announcements around the escalating COVID situation and the extension of the lockdown for the ACT, we need to understand and assess over the coming days what this means for community sport in general and the impact to rugby across our region in particular.
"We will continue to update the rugby community and key stakeholders across our region once we know more."
Hockey ACT are nearing the end of their regular season competitions, with chief executive Rob Sheekey open to extending the winter season and potentially pushing back the summer leagues.
"Our intention remains to finish the season if and when we can. We'll wait to find out how long the lockdown might continue for but at this stage, September 2 would put us into the finals period," Sheekey said.
"We're probably looking at a season extension, or a reshuffle to make sure people are able to finish off their seasons. We're not really looking to lock anything in until we hear something more concrete or we see how the health situation evolves.
"We're trying to still run our summer competitions. We don't have an end date [for winter competitions] but we're looking at the school holiday period between terms three and four. We'll just have to wait and see.
"We're pretty fortunate, we only have two weeks of the competition to go along with the finals period so we're just looking at options. We're not as forced in by time as other sports might be, because we own our own infrastructure.
"We'll work with our members as to what might be a feasible time to get it going or to get the season finished if we can."