ORL: All systems go
Saturday, 25th July, 2020
By Emily Ferguson
The 2020 Outback Rugby League competition is finally getting underway tomorrow, after some delays thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The league can’t wait to be finally kick off the season and Dallas Reeves Far West Competition Support Officer said it was exciting to be able to run a competition in a year like this one.
Sunday will see a big day of rugby league in Broken Hill with games taking place at the Lamb Oval.
The juniors will kick things off for the day from 10am. Under 8s from 10am, Under 10s and 12s from 10.30am and Under 14s start at 11.15am, with Under 16s encouraged to attend.
The seniors side of the league will begin at noon with the first game of the men’s competition between Parntu Warriors and Wilcannia Boomerangs.
A women’s league tag game will take place at 1.40pm between the Silver City Scorpions and the Menindee Yabbies before the same clubs face off in the men’s competition at 3pm.
While the season is going ahead, it will be unlike previous years in the fact that there will be many more restrictions and protocols in place due to COVID-19.
Reeves said public health orders allow the maximum attendance at games to be 500 people.
“With COVID-19 anyone that is unwell we encourage not to attend, anyone that’s been to Victoria in the last 14 days cannot attend, anyone that’s been to a hotspot in NSW or one of the identified NSW/Victoria borders can’t attend,” he said.
“We’ll have signage around the ground, we’ll set up hand sanitiser stations, dressing sheds are limited to five people at a time and we’ll have two COVID-19 marshals as well and probably the big thing is people that attend need to space themselves around the ground and we’ll be monitoring the physical distancing.”
There will be an attendance register at the gate.
“Signing that attendance register with your name and either your phone or email is a condition of entry so everyone that attends has to sign the attendance register,” said Reeves.
Reeves said they have been busily preparing for the season start and cannot wait to get it underway.
“We’ve been busy getting ready all week, and we’re excited. Last week we had 170 registered players right across the board and we just hit the 250 mark last night, so we’ve had a big spike in the last week.
“I think as confidence has grown a little bit that we’re going to have a competition, word has spread and people have signed up so we’ve had a big increase in our senior men’s numbers.
“It’s looking all systems go for a senior men’s competition.
“We’re really excited by that.
“People have got to be really mindful of the physical distancing because we need to comply with all the regulations to keep the competition going so just basically if people can adhere to those we should have a great day.”
Gates to Lamb Oval will open at 9.30am and patrons are encouraged not to arrive any earlier than that, the main rule put in place for the day is to enjoy the footy.