Season structure decision incoming, hubs a contingency

THE AFL is aiming to make a decision on the structure and timing of the 2021 NAB AFLW season in mid-to-late November. 

The 2020 season was cut short at the end of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and players in Victoria have only just returned to voluntary training in small groups under COVID-safe protocols. 

INS, OUTS, TRADES, DRAFTEES, ROOKIES Every club's complete list for 2021

Pre-season is due to officially commence at the start of November. 

The AFL Commission last week gave the green light for the AFL to continue planning a range of scenarios for the 2021 season, including hubs as a contingency. 

With the AFLW competition currently part-time, the vast majority of players have external work and/or study commitments, making hubs a far less attractive option than it was for the AFL competition this year. 

The biggest sticking point at the moment is state borders. 

The "hard" Western Australia border is a considerable obstacle, although recent weeks have seen some other borders relaxed somewhat, and the rolling two-week average of cases in Victoria is reducing by the day. 

YOUR CLUB'S DRAFT All you need to know about the 57 new faces

With the situation in flux, the AFL is loath to lock in a plan too early but is aiming for a fixture release in late November, with a partial fixture release also an option. 

The plan for a nine-week home and away season and three weeks of finals in 2021, as laid out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement last year, is still the AFL's preferred option.