It had been a year in the making, but as a result of COVID and subsequent lockdowns, Orange will no longer host the 2021 U12 softball state championships.
It was announced last year that Softball NSW had awarded the tender to Orange City Council and Orange District Softball Association (ODSA) for both 2021 and 2022 events.
But this week, after discussions with all three parties, the decision was made allow the Cumberland Nepean Softball Association to host this year's competition instead.
ODSA president Geoff Kelly said it was necessary.
"The only weekend they had available to do it was the 18th and 19th of December, the weekend before Christmas," he said.
"With people being allowed to travel, we asked all our committee and volunteers and a lot were going away and it just got very hard."
Another factor that played into the decision was a cross-code clash.
"The other problem we had was, and it doesn't matter much with the restrictions now, we were going to hold it early November and we had to change that because Bathurst races decided to put their event on that weekend so we wouldn't have been able to have accommodation for everyone," Mr Kelly added.
"We picked another weekend at the end of November to make sure it didn't conflict with the Bathurst races, and then they changed it again, so we changed it for no reason."
It isn't all bad news though.
Instead of simply losing out on the rights to host the event altogether, Orange will now play host to the championships in 2022 and 2023.
A statement from Softball NSW read: "Unfortunately, the hosting of the event in 2021 in Orange could not be achieved despite best efforts from all entities. The constant rescheduling of dates due to COVID lockdowns and restrictions created unworkable personnel, logistical challenges and clashes for Softball NSW, Orange City Council, and the Orange District Softball Association.
"Fortunately, a strong partnership between all three entities allowed a solution to be reached for 2021 and ensure that best outcome for the event could occur.
"Dates for both events will be provided to the community upon release of that year's annual calendar."
Mr Kelly added that this way it would have the least negative impact on Orange as possible.
"Basically, with Softball NSW, they're trying to host the state championships with minimal impact for the local association, so it doesn't destroy our local grassroots competition," he said.
"They've chased up Sydney associations to see if any of them could host it, so it is still going ahead, just in a Sydney association. The kids won't miss out, provided they're available.
"We negotiated with them to still be able to host it twice, which they were more than happy with. It was a case of so many decisions, so many deciding factors it just wasn't going to happen."
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