AN opportunity to minimise the amount of mixed messages on a possible restart date was the key to AFL North Coast's attempt to get ahead of the game.
Regional manager Simon Smyth said a late May start to the 2020 competition was always the preferred date, although that will be dependent on the number of COVID-19 cases.
"(The start date) was really because of the government and health advice the AFL received at a national level," Smyth said.
"We believe the coronavirus will spike through May so if we can get through that period we'll be okay and May 31 was the date we chose," he said.
"That was to try and align all our different programs, competitions and seasons so from an AFL North Coast point of view, May 31 is our day.
"We've told schools, we've told AusKick and we've told talent identification programs that May 31 is our day and it is also the same day for kids looking to be drafted."
Smyth said the best-case scenario at AFL elite level is May 31 so they felt they would fall in line with that.
"We've got a standard day where hopefully the worst is over by then, so let's get through the worst, reload and go again," he said.
"We relied on the professionals to tell us what they think and they tell us it was best to leave May alone."
A full competition would still be possible if they utilised a number of spare weekends culminating in a late-September grand final.
"We can be flexible with our fixturing, we often have the June long weekend and July school holidays where we can potentially make up rounds," Smyth said.
"I'm not saying that will happen, but we have the option there.
"Our role will be to work with councils to see what they do with winter allocation so we'll work collaboratively with them to see if there's an opportunity to extend seasons and if there is, we'll look at that."
What else is happening in sport?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.
If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.