MANNING Cricket Association will meet on tonight (October 13) to determine when the 2021/22 season will start.
However, association president Michael Steinmetz fears this could be as late as Saturday December 4, when those players not fully vaccinated are permitted to take part.
While community sport could be given the green light to go ahead from Monday, October 25 when the State hits the 80 per cent double vaccination mark, an e-mail from Cricket NSW this week has complicated Manning Cricket's planning for the new season.
"Cricket NSW will continue discussions with the NSW government, with the view to community sport being able to start once the State reaches the 80 per cent double dose vaccination milestone. We will keep our community updated,'' Cricket NSW said.
"As part of the NSW government's re-opening roadmap, the government has indicated that from December 1, it will no longer restrict unvaccinated people from participating in community sport. However, it should be noted that this date is indicative and could change.''
Mr Steinmetz said Old Bar might not be able to field an open grade side this season as expected due to players leaving the area, while he understands others won't be sufficiently vaccinated.
This would reduce the competition to five - Great Lakes, Taree United, Wingham, Gloucester and Taree West. Mr Steinmetz understands all other open grade teams will be right for the start of the season. The association plans to run a two tier competition this summer, with the second tier splitting into two at the completion of the first round.
Under normal circumstances the 2021/22 season would have been underway from last Saturday.
Mr Steinmetz said previously the association will do everything possible to ensure as many games are fitted into the season as possible, despite the late start.
"We will have an executive meeting first on Wednesday and then the general meeting,'' he said.
"We'll definitely come up with a starting date.''
This is Mr Steinmetz's first term as president.
"I picked a good year to start,'' he quipped.