GROUP Three Rugby League will crack down on clubs for the remainder of the season to avoid more games being postponed due to wet weather.
The competition has been severely disrupted in the last month, with one full weekend of games now cancelled. Five games have been postponed with two spare weekends added to the draw. This necessitated the competition being reduced from 17 rounds to 14.
Group Three chief executive Mal Drury admitted the group has been 'a bit too lackadaisical' with clubs regarding whether games could proceed. The matter was discussed at a lengthy meeting of the group's management.
"If council doesn't shut the field then matches will be played,'' he said.
"But if the home club has concerns about its field, then the two clubs will have to come to an agreement on another venue. If they can't, then the group will step in.''
He said if a game has to be moved to another location, the host club will get the canteen and the home club the gate.
Mr Drury said clubs will be threatened with forced forfeits it they fail to comply with these new guidelines.
"We can't afford to postpone any more games if there's any chance of them being played,'' he added.
Mr Drury said that contingency plans on what to do should the area be forced into a COVID-19 lock down were also discussed.
"Games to be played on any weekends that are locked down would be cancelled,'' he said.
"We could also look at the format of our semi-finals - maybe changing from a final five to a final four.''
Mr Drury explained that a final four series could be played over three weeks, as opposed to four weeks for a final five.
The grand final is locked in for Sunday, September 26 and Mr Drury said that won't change.
"We can't go back another week - we'd be clashing with the NRL grand final,'' he said.
However, he added the uncertain nature of lockdowns makes it impossible to put any real guidelines into place. If the lockdown is protracted, the group would have no option but the cancel the season.
"Hopefully it won't come to that,'' he said.
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