Coronavirus Announcement for the YJFL community (16/3/20)

16th March, 2020

Announcement for the YJFL community,

Firstly, thanks to the many Presidents & Club Officials that have been in contact with myself, the Board and the YJFL staff.

The Board met last night and is meeting again on Tuesday night, to ensure we keep abreast of developments, and work closely together to make the best decisions for the YJFL. Today’s announcement by the Premier, and the suspension/cancellation of so many major global sporting events, does not portend well for our season proceeding unaffected.

There are many things to cover here, but the major point is that the YJFL has neither cancelled nor suspended our season. Events are moving fast, and we may well make a different decision in time, but for the moment we are planning as if a season in some way, shape or form will proceed.

A number of clubs have already suspended pre-season training, and we support & encourage this approach, in line with our own actions for our umpire cohort. I confirm that YJFL umpiring training will not proceed for the foreseeable future. A decision about the YMA Academy squads will be made in the coming days & weeks.

YJFL Executives will be holding a discussion and information session with club presidents on Wednesday evening.

I mentioned it on Thursday, but I wanted to re-affirm to the YJFL community that we believe it is crucial that we run our competitions, in whatever form we can, if we can do so in a manner that the Board believes is safe and that follows the relevant guidelines. We know how important our competition is in the lives of our community, and I again assure you we will run our football competitions if at all possible. At times like this junior football in the YJFL is so important to our community.

Last week there were many developments:

  • We cancelled Umpire training, and the AFL Senior Umpires that were visiting.
  • AFL internal policy released, as they look to ensure their elite competition can proceed – significant new measures have been enacted eg AFL & VFL umpires are not training together, Visitors to AFL Docklands not possible.
  • Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton – interviewed (& available on podcast) by Gerard Whateley, discussing that community footy games may be able to go ahead, but on the basis that spectators were no less than 1-2m away from another person. Would also mean no changeroom attendance, or ¼ – ¾ Time huddles.
    Brett Sutton on Whateley (12/03/20) That podcast can be found here: https://www.sen.com.au/programs/whateley/

Last night, the following decisions have been made by the YJFL Board:

  • The YJFL staff will work from home, every day, unless on skeleton staff roster (roster will have 2 staff working each day on rotation from Bulleen Park).
  • Nobody other than YJFL Staff & Board to enter Bulleen Park.
  • If games are held (YJFL club &/or other clubs as already booked) then access will be to the changerooms only.
  • Changerooms and office areas will be cleaned twice weekly.
  • All Club meetings will proceed as far as possible using video conference services.
  • YJFL umpires will not train in a group at any of the training venues, and are encouraged to train individually.

Other football hygiene measures are of course important and should be followed, when training & competition actually resume:

  • COVID-19 or not, communal use of water bottles should be avoided at all times. All players should be in possession of their own drink bottle, and should not share with any other players
  • Do not share drinks, towels, lip balm, sunscreen with others (have own)
  • Place hand sanitisers around the change room and encourage use of them.
  • Ensure all player facilities are maintained and cleaned to a high standard with appropriate cleaning agents – consider more regular cleaning of facilities.
  • Limit physical contact such as avoiding shaking hands, pre or post game
  • Work with other community clubs that share Club facilities, if appropriate, to implement practices consistent with this communication
  • Limit travelling party to matches/training/sessions where possible.

That’s it for today. Take care & speak soon,

Tim Murray
CEO