Group Nine has overcome their first hiccup with the new pre-season tournament.
With Equex Centre ruled out the new nines event will now be held at Les Boyd Oval.
Despite an initial understanding Equex Centre and Parramore Park would be available the annual oversow of the grounds has forced a shift.
The oversow period for Equex Centre is February 18 to March 22, meaning the event on March 16 just falls inside.
Wagga City Council director of commercial operations Caroline Angel said there would be a field available at Parramore.
However Group Nine president Peter McDermott decided to look further afield.
Clashes with cricket commitments and the need for two grounds meant a number of options didn’t suit for the first running on the new concept.
Cootamundra previously ran their own nines pre-season tournament and was deemed the most suitable location.
“When we went through all the ground availability with cricket still going on and as it is first grade and leaguetag we need two grounds,” McDermott said.
“It came down to Cootamundra being the only place that could accommodate us.
“It works out good as they’ve been doing it pretty tough and they’ll get a bit of canteen money, which hopefully will help them.”
McDermott said a lot of grounds were being resown when they were looking to host the event or grounds were booked out for cricket.
“The original plan was Equex and with the date we picked we thought we had it all worked out, and so did council, but they speared us back an email and said sorry but we’re doing the main ground and two thirds of the junior grounds so it couldn’t happen,” he said.
The new nines pre-season tournament remains compulsory for all Group Nine clubs.
Each team will be guaranteed three pool games before the top four head into finals.
The rules are expected to be finalised in the coming days.
Junee president Simon Vanzanten indicated the Diesels will start their preparations for the season at the West Belconnen Nine the week before the new Group Nine event.
They will then take part in the nines with the possibility of a trial before the season starts on April 7.
Junee hosts Cootamundra at Laurie Daley Oval to start the season.
Less Saturday games are a feature of the new draw, although not all Saturday games have been finalised.
McDermott was waiting on club requests before looking in the days although the fixtures for the 18-round season have been confirmed.