In response to ongoing lockdowns and restrictions, Football NSW has announced that all competitions within their state will be cancelled for the rest of 2021.
The state federation released a statement today detailing the competition structure going forward based on this decision, which was made on public health advice from the government, amid continuing lockdowns.
Promotion and relegation between leagues will be deferred until the end of the 2022/23 season, with a statement by Football NSW saying that with only 17 of the 22 regular season men’s NPL games completed it would be impossible to fairly promote and relegate clubs.
“Clearly, the Premiership season has not been completed and as such, the sporting integrity associated with our various principles surrounding promotion/relegation have been severely compromised,” Football NSW said.
“The promotion and relegation structure as set out in Section 2, Article 12 of the 2021 Competition Regulations is to be deferred to apply for promotion and relegation from the 2022 to 2023 season rather than from the 2021 to 2022 season.”
No Premiers or Champions titles, trophies, medals, or prize money for the 2021 season will be awarded to clubs.
For women’s and girl’s competitions, only 12 of the 22 games were completed. The structure for the 2022 season will be as follows:
“For the 2022 season, the women’s competition will comprise two competitions (NPLW 1 and NPLW 2) with no more than 12 clubs participating in NPLW 1 and no more than 16 clubs participating in NPLW 2,” Football NSW said.
“The clubs competing in the 2022 NPLW 1 Competition will be each of the 12 clubs that participated in the NPLW1 competition for the 2021 season.”
“At the conclusion of the 2022 season, the top two clubs from the NPLW 2 competition (based on Club Championship standings at the end of the 2022 season) will be eligible for promotion to the NPLW 1 Competition for the 2023 season, subject to any applicable competition regulations as well as any other criteria deemed appropriate by the Board.”
A 2022 NPL NSW girl’s and women’s Operational Structure Document to reflect the above will be communicated shortly.
For junior teams, Football NSW will allocate their positions in next season’s ‘three-tiered’ structure based on their performance in the already completed “Phase one” of competition.
“Football NSW confirms that it will still proceed with moving to the three-tiered structure for 2022 and with expanding the number rounds 30,” they said.
“While Phase Two of the 2021 season could not be completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant cancellation of the season, Phase One was successfully completed and the Board, therefore, resolved to allocate clubs across the three tiers of the Competition based on their standings at the conclusion of Phase One.
“Football NSW recognises some clubs may feel disappointed and aggrieved that they did not have the opportunity to complete the season and improve their standings ahead of the 2022 season. However, Football NSW believes that allocating clubs based on standings at the conclusion of Phase One is the fairer option rather than allocating clubs based on standings at the time that football was suspended (i.e. as at 26 June 2021).”
Skill Acquisition Programs will continue with the same principles and no changes to age grades once they are restarted in 2022.