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With the VAFA confirming last week that the Premier Grand Final will return to the same weekend as the Premier B and Premier C deciders, the issue of when will the extra bye required to make this happen be scheduled? The extra bye is necessary for the three Premier Grand Finals to be contested a week after the Division Grand Finals. 
The VAFA has scrapped the idea of delaying the start of the season for the top three sections as was the case for Premier in 2014, with all sections set to commence Round 1 on the weekend of 11th April. Therefore an extra bye needs to be scheduled somewhere within the season. 
The VAFA are considering two options. The first is to schedule an extra bye for the Premier sections in August as has been done in the past to allow the season to be pushed back a week for finals. 
The second more radical option is for the VAFA to introduce a two week mid season break in the July holiday period. 
A proposed two week break in July has many positives. It would be a win for clubs with large numbers of students in their playing ranks as well as being a positive for those clubs that face an injury crisis mid year. The July university/school holidays are a time when many amateur footballers find themselves on a plane to warmer climes and even to Europe and North America for for short breaks, thus teams wouldn’t face a player shortage for an extra week in this period. 
The two week mid season break would allow bodies to rest up, players to take a holiday if they chose to and would also allow grounds to recover in traditionally the worst part of the year weather wise. 
One problem raised with a potential two week break is the stop in momentum that it might bring to clubs in good form, however the break would surely be of benefit more than a hindrance for all clubs regardless of form. Another issue is that with the Queen’s Birthday by a few weeks earlier it would see a pattern of Bye, then three weeks of footy, then two bye weekends, then into the closing games for the year.
Whilst junior sections and the Divisions would still get the normal July bye when representative football, the Premier sections would get an extra week off on the weekend of 4 July. However, whilst the Divisions and junior sections are playing on 4th July, there are benefits here too. If VAFA umpires wanted to continue umpiring then clubs would have more senior umpires rostered to their games. Alternatively if umpires wanted a break they could also enjoy this too. 
Next year Tasmainia will be hosting the AAFC U23 Carnival from the 3rd-6th July in conjunction with their celebrations for 150 years of football. This means the VAFA’s best U23 players from the Premier clubs will also not miss a club game. 
Whilst a final decision has not yet been made with consultations with clubs, players and coaches all taking place before the schedule is confirmed, you can have your say below. Let us know your thoughts and vote in the VAFA poll below, would you welcome a mid season break for the Premier sections?