Announcement: 2022 NSW Junior and Senior State Championships

AO General Manager, Bill Harrigan announces the 2022 NSW Junior and Senior State Cup dates as well as the revised dates of the NSW Development Team tournament. He also comments on the clash between the Senior Australian Championships and Qld State Cup.

Earlier this year Australian Oztag (AO) postponed the 2021 Australian Championships due to Covid.  As a result, the Junior Championships were moved to February 11, 12, 13 and the Seniors to March 18, 19, 20, 2022.

Note, the 2020 Australian Championships were cancelled, so it was very important not to cancel two years in row.

The February and March dates were the original dates for the NSW 2022 State Cup. It was a no brainer to move the Australian Championships to these dates as the venue was already booked and Nationals must be played before the 2022 State Cups. 

This meant we had to move the NSW State Cup tournaments to later in the year.  We knew there would be ramifications but again, it was imperative we play the NSW State Cups. The logistics of fitting the tournaments in was going to be difficult considering a) stadium availability, b) playing them well before the scheduled 2022 Australian Championships and c) contending with Winter sports.

As a result, the 2022 NSW Junior State Cup will be played on the following dates:

13’s-17’s: Wednesday 1st, Thursday 2nd June, 2022

9’s-12’s: Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th June, 2022

Friday will be a lay day.

The reason for this split & Friday being a lay day is on two fronts. 

If we played the four days in a row and the same number of teams which attended the 2021 State Cup attend, then Coffs would simply not cater with the accommodation needed.  It would mean around 380 teams could possibly attend.  The largest tournament we’ve had in Coffs was 325 and people were staying in Grafton & Nambucca Heads.  We also don’t know what restrictions may still be present re crowd size due to covid.

Therefore, having the Friday off allows the 13’s to 17’s divisions to vacate and free up accommodation for the 9’s to 12’s coming in for the weekend. It also allows the 13’s to 17’s who play Winter sport the opportunity to return

home and play on the weekend. This rationale will certainly have a major impact on players & their decision to commit to play Oztag & still be able to fulfil their commitment to their Winter sport.

In addition, the 2022 Senior State Cup will now be played on Friday 24th, Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th June, 2022.

Now that we have more clarity re Covid and community sport, there has been overwhelming support to reinstate the NSW Development Team Tournament which was scheduled for late February 2022.  This tournament will now be played on the following dates:

Juniors: Thursday 5th & Friday 6th May, 2022

Seniors: Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th May, 2022

Both tournaments will be played at the Kingsway Playing Fields, St Marys.

Now I would like to quickly comment on the Australian Champs and Qld State Cup clash.

With all this rescheduling, NSW and AO have received some criticism because the Senior Australian Championships will now clash with the Qld Senior State Cup in March. The NSW State Cup has been played on this weekend for years; Qld have always played on a different weekend, but had to move in 2022 because of venue availability. 

Qld Oztag did ask NSW if they could move the NSW State Cup but we responded no, as this was our date. The Stadium was booked, Touch Football has the stadium the week before, and both associations and players secure their accommodation 12 months in advance. To change would mean major disruptions and inconvenience to NSW Oztag and its players.

So, NSW & Qld Oztag agreed to play both State Cups on the same weekend. The only hassle we could see was referee numbers as some ref’s refereed at both. However, both States agreed they would cope.

After the decision to move the Senior Australian Championships to March, I have worked with Scot Holmes from Qld Oztag on options to move the Qld State Cup to another date. We tried booking their Stadium on various dates acceptable to QLD but bookings were full. Other venues were not available or big enough to host a State Cup. We even offered Coffs Harbour for a one off.

In the end Qld Oztag decided it was best to leave it as is. This was not what AO wanted to hear, but we understood. 

Qld Oztag have assured AO that if any team or player still wanted to attend the Australian Championships they could, and we would welcome them.

Bill Harrigan

AO General Manager