THE coronavirus pandemic had put the Astley Cup's 80-year uninterrupted streak at risk but the tri-school tournament will be going ahead in 2020 after new dates were agreed to in a meeting on Tuesday.
Principals and heads of sport from Bathurst High School, Orange High School and Dubbo Senior College agreed to new timeslots in term three, running the event over weeks six to eight.
Whether the 98thedition of the Astley Cup will be able to have crowds involved is a question which won't be answered for some time yet, but Bathurst High School principal Ken Barwick was happy to see the competition given the green light for a later start.
"The three principals met via Zoom ... to reaffirm our commitment to the competition and it only took us 15 minutes to agree on new dates," he said.
"Hopefully it can run with spectators, that's what we're hoping for. The reason we wanted it to run is that it's the 80th year since it was last cancelled, which was during the war in 1940.
"The two questions coming from our year 12s at the moment is 'When can we return to school?' and 'Is the Astley Cup still on?' and this competition means the world to them."
The big hurdle to address with a term three competition, as opposed to the cup's regular term two timeslot, is fitting the event around trial HSC exams.
Dubbo will play host to Orange in the opening tie, Bathurst will host Dubbo the following week and Bathurst then travel to Orange to round out the competition.
The three schools are also looking beyond this year's edition of the Astley Cup.
Barwick said it would be great to start building up the anticipation for the 2022's centenary event.
"We also made an agreement, as a set of schools, to livestream every event. It may not happen this year but we're looking at how we do that as we get closer to the 100th year," he said.
"That's because in the 100th year we're looking to do a documentary where a media outlet follows the journey of each school during the event.
"We're really committed to making that a huge public event, something the public can get involved in. It would be great to bring everyone back together who had competed in a past Astley Cup."
The Dubbo versus Orange tie will start the competition on Thursday August 27.