The Southern Interior Football Conference’s Peewee division title game between the Vernon Magnums and Kelowna Greys has been postponed to Dec. 9, 2020 due to new COVID restrictions announced by the provincial health officer Thursday, Nov. 19. (Submitted photo)

Vernon Magnums’ shot at football title postponed by new COVID-19 restrictions

Southern Interior Peewee championship game now set for Dec. 9, pending changes to the PHO order

  • Nov. 20, 2020 12:00 a.m.

The Vernon Magnums will have to wait a few extra weeks for their chance to become the Southern Interior Football Conference’s Peewee division champions.

Meanwhile, the Atom division playoffs have been cancelled altogether.

The Peewee Magnums punched their ticket to the title game with a 40-6 blowout victory against West Kelowna last weekend. They were slated to face Kelowna Grey in the championship game this coming Sunday.

That was before Dr. Bonnie Henry announced sweeping measures to control the spread of COVID-19 Thursday, Nov. 19. The province’s most stringent measures to date include an advisory against all non-essential travel and restrictions on gatherings and events, effective until Dec. 7.

Where sports are concerned, the provincewide restrictions allow for games, competitions and practices to continue with no spectators and no travel.

The Peewee final is now set for Dec. 9, but there is some uncertainty around whether the travel restriction will allow the game to take place at all.

“As the two participants in this game are in communities located about 35 minutes apart, there is some hope that this game can be completed in the future,” said Mark Budgen, president of the Vernon District Minor Football Association (VDMFA). “If the final game cannot be played then the playoff winner will be the team that finished highest in the standings in the regular season.”

There’s no uncertainty when it comes to the Atom division playoffs scheduled between Kamloops, Vernon and Kelowna; those games have been cancelled, as the teams would have to travel up to two hours between cities. The division crown will be given to Kelowna, the team that won the regular season.

“While this is a disappointing end to the season for some of the teams, we are thankful that we were able to play tackle football this year despite the difficulties imposed by the global pandemic,” Budgen said.

The Junior Bantam division will go ahead, with Kelowna Grey playing Kelowna Blue at the CNC Turf in Kelowna from 12:45 – 2:15 p.m. as scheduled, as this does not require travel outside of their community.

READ MORE: Vernon Magnums romp to Peewee football final

READ MORE: COVID-19: B.C. extends private gathering ban province-wide

Brendan Shykora

Reporter, Vernon Morning Star

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