MID North Coast Rugby Union Zone chief executive Bob Wilson warns there are still barriers to overcome before a ball is kicked this year.
This is despite Forster Tuncurry's Olympic-class backflip last week, with the club initially withdrawing from the season citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, then agreeing to play.
Another Lower North Coast club, Wauchope Thunder, has reservations about playing because of coronavirus. If Thunder does take part, the club would prefer the competition be decided on a first-past-the-post system, with no semi-finals. Phil Wilkins reported last week.
The other LNC clubs, Manning Ratz, Old Bar Clams, Wallamba Bulls and Gloucester Cockies are happy with the proposed format, although it is still not known if Gloucester will field a men's side.
It is planned to start the LNC premiership on Saturday July 11, with the Upper Mid North Coast competition underway a week later. Both would finish in October, although this has to be ratified.
However, Mr Wilson confirmed there are some important details to be finalised, the first gaining approval to start the competition from federal and State governments along with Rugby Australia.
He added that advice would also be required on whether spectators could attend matches and if clubs can run a bar and canteen.
"It has also been mentioned that a COVID-19 manager/s would be needed at every match, while dressing rooms would have to be cleaned after every game,'' Mr Wilson said.
"Players may have to take their own jerseys home to wash instead of the club taking the full set to a laundromat. There may be other guidelines that need to be put in place as well.
"This could make it hard for clubs to justify playing, as it would be too hard to police these guidelines and would cost clubs money, without any income whatsoever.''
If the all clear is received the first round of the LNC competition would see Wallamba play Old Bar at Nabiac while Wauchope will be at home against Manning Ratz. Gloucester Cockies clash with Forster Tuncurry.