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.
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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.
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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.