End of year sports calendar

Alright, let’s take stock.

Coronavirus has knocked us around, we’ve been stuck at home watching replays of old encounters and if we’re honest, it hasn’t been the worst thing. If you weren’t previously a punter, you’ve probably opened up an online account and you’ve been keeping occupied on the weekends with horse racing, which, god bless it, survived in most regions.

But we’re ready for sport to resume and jeez it’s going to be good.

So let’s take a minute to look at what we’ve got coming up, we’ve lost a few things for the year, the Olympics, Wimbledon and the Super Rugby Season in its current form and sure the Rugby League and AFL seasons are going to be cut back, but there’s plenty to look forward to in the back end of the year.

It seems as though we’re looking at Rugby League Grand Final on October 25, it isn’t confirmed but you’ll have the AFL Grand Final around that time as well. That puts the AFL Grand Final, potentially on 24th October which will finish at around 5pm. That same day, the Moonee Valley Racing Club announced this week that they are exploring the prospect of a night meeting for the Cox Plate, let’s hope it isn’t past Daryl Braithwaite’s bedtime should crowds be allowed in! Don’t forget in the weekends that precede October 24/25, you’ve got the respective finals for Rugby League & AFL and the normal Spring Racing feature races, albeit it seems the Caulfield Cup has been moved back to after the Melbourne Cup. We now know as well that the greatest spectacle in Rugby League, arguably all of sport, the State of Origin will take place across three weeks starting on November 4.

Late October for the AFL Grand Final? Let's flashback to last year's heroics from Marlion Pickett and the Richmond Tigers (Video credit: Australian Football League)

Who knows what the Rugby picture looks like at this stage, apparently there is going to be a domestic competition, granting the Western Force their opportunity to rejoin the Australian conference but you’d think that’ll all be wrapped up by October and players will go back to club land and give it a major boost.

Keeping up so far?

While all that is happening, the Men’s T20 World Cup is slated to run from October 18 to November 15, thereafter India stick around for the Test Match series, the two top ranked teams in the world. We’ll get a BBL tournament in as well either side of Christmas, let’s hope they shorten it this year - we’ll be all cricketed out by then!

Overseas, the NBA has indicated they have not considered cancelling the season, Commissioner Adam Silver stating that ‘revenue had practically fallen to zero’, they are desperate to get back on the court and have already flagged that Season 2020/21 will be pushed back. So perhaps we have an NBA season finishing in September or perhaps even early October? For those avid consumers of all things American sport, you’ve also got the NFL eyeing a season start in mid-September!

No announcement has been made yet to postpone the US Open Tennis, scheduled to kick off in the later part of August and running through early September. The French Open, unlike Wimbledon was not entirely cancelled, instead, it is currently proposed to kick off the week after the US Open, on September 20, presenting a huge logistical problem for players, whether that changes or not will be interesting to see. Meanwhile the world of golf is barely affording their players a week off from June through to Christmas, with the US Open and Ryder Cup scheduled for September and my personal favourite sporting event each year, the US Masters @ Augusta rescheduled to November.

Amongst all of that, the nation will stop on November 3, the first Tuesday in November, for the Melbourne Cup. It’s going to be full on, so get new batteries for the remote control, get the brownie points up now, right now, syphon some money each week into your betting account and strap yourself in!


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