Maitland cricket has split the upcoming two-day round seven into two rounds to ensure greater flexibility to battle COVID-19's impact on scheduling.
Round seven will now revert to a one-day game on Saturday, January 15, played under two-day rules and Saturday, January 22, will be a one-day fixture played under limited over rules.
The move was made ahead of last week's round seven when two games were abandoned as COVID draws with Kurri Weston and Tenambit Morpeth both having five players unavailable because of COVID for their games against City United and Northern Suburbs respectively.
Maitland District Cricket Association secretary Matt Trappel said the association executive will meet with club representatives on February 1 to assess the impact of COVID on scheduling and discuss whether it will be necessary to move to one-day fixtures in first and second grade for the remainder of season and the finals.
"At present we've left two-dayers in for the remaining rounds and finals, but if we are getting heaps of people week in, week out affected by COVID scheduling two-day games will be a nightmare and we could revert to one-dayers for the rest of the season," Trappel said.
"Everyone still loves playing two-day games and that's the reason why we have put a hold on a blanket call very early to make first and second grade just one-dayers.
"We want to see how January pans out and how our games are affected and once we're through that we will make a decision on what is best going forward."
Trappel said a random draw for the extra round on January 22 was conducted by the conference administrator from Cricket NSW.
The extra round is called round 12 on the official online draw for Maitland first grade.
Round 7, Saturday, January 15
- Western Suburbs v Northern Suburbs at Coronation Oval
- Thornton v City United at Thornton Oval
- Tenambit Morpeth Bulls v Raymond Terrace at Morpeth Oval
- Kurri Weston v Eastern Suburbs at Kurri Central
Round 12, Saturday January 22
- City United v Eastern Suburbs at Robins Oval
- Thornton v Kurri Weston at Thornton Oval
- Western Suburbs v Tenambit Morpeth Bulls at Coronation Oval
- Northern Suburbs v Raymond Terrace at Lorn Park
Round 8 will proceed as a two-day fixture played on Saturday, January, 28 and Sunday, January 29,
Meanwhile, Twenty20 cricket comes to Lorn Park on Sunday when the Maitland Flood hosts Newcastle clubs Whips and Magpies in the Summer Bash.
The Flood plays Whips at 9am and Magpies at 3pm with the two visiting teams playing each other from noon.