Brothers celebrate winning the Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade grand final title last year. The side will remain as the reigning premiers for this year and next year after the BRL cancelled the season.
Brothers celebrate winning the Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade grand final title last year. The side will remain as the reigning premiers for this year and next year after the BRL cancelled the season.

UPDATE: Why the BRL called time on season

LEAGUE: The Bundaberg Rugby League says it was left with no other choice but to call off the season.

The association made the call to end its season in seniors today after the Queensland Rugby League released its document on how competitions could return to playing in July, if they wanted to and could adhere to restrictions.

After consultation with clubs and the board today the BRL made the decision to not hold games in the under-18s, reserves, A-grade and the women's competition this year.

"Everyone knew this was likely to be the decision we took," BRL chairman Mike Ireland said.

"To be honest, what we wanted was changes from the Queensland Government and the Queensland Rugby League but we didn't get that.

"Players also wanted to know so we made the decision to can it for 2020 and play in 2021."

Ireland said numerous restrictions on the season prevented it from starting.

The document stated that no more than 100 people could be at a venue while matches were played and teams couldn't use the change rooms before, during and after games.

Car pooling was not allowed so every player in all grades would have been required to drive to the match.

The other factor was the number of volunteers required to actually implement the changes and in some instances require personal information from people attending games, which some might not have wanted to do.

It was a bridge too far for the BRL and the clubs.

"Clubs felt it was impossible to do what they wanted us to do," Ireland said.

"If it was 500 at a venue we would have considered it.

"But it's too impossible to do.

"We don't blame the government for the decision."

Ireland said another reason for the decision was the upcoming cricket season.

The potential July restart would have forced the BRL to talk to the Bundaberg Cricket Association about using Salter Oval for a couple of weeks but with cricket having its own events that was unlikely to happen.

The hoops the competition had to go through outweighed the positives of running.

Ireland said the focus is now on 2021 and making sure the BRL and the clubs can survive until then.

"QRL doesn't want any clubs to fold due to this, they've all said they will back clubs and divisions," Ireland said.

"I can't thank the club presidents enough who were very understanding and on the same page as us."

Ireland said he would have a talk to the Bundaberg Cricket Association over the next few days about what to do with Salter Oval before the cricket season is expected to start in September.

The BRL has been paying a groundsman over the past three months in preparation for the season resuming.

The clubs and board will also meet in the next few weeks to discuss what happens with the 2021 season.

The BRL's decision is for seniors only at this stage.

The Bundaberg Junior Rugby League Association will make a decision on their future at a meeting on Thursday.

The Northern Districts Rugby League will also decide later this week about what to do with its competition.

From what the NewsMail is hearing neither competition is likely to be staged this year.

Read more about the BRL ending its season this year in tomorrow's NewsMail and at news-mail.com.au.



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