Cricket and rippa rugby are over for the season and all levels of other community rugby has been suspended until at least April 18.

New Zealand Cricket today announced that community cricket and trainings would be cancelled for the rest of the season given the situation with Covid-19 pandemic, recognising "obligations towards the New Zealand cricket family and the wider public interest".

Bay of Plenty Cricket development manager Scott Steward said that included all junior and senior competitions as well as school and festival programmes, coming to a close for the season.

Throughout the region, which includes the western Bay of Plenty, eastern Bay of Plenty and Central North Island, Steward says there are about 2200 registered cricketers. That number does not include the school and festival cricketers, with Steward estimates to be around 1000 children.


"We're just trying to do what's socially best for the community. We've taken the advice from New Zealand Cricket's medical advisor and we're supporting that as well.

"We're lucky as a code that it is the end of our season, it's only the last couple of weeks. I certainly feel for the winter sports."

On Tuesday night New Zealand Rugby suspended all forms and levels of community rugby - including rippa, junior and secondary school rugby - until Saturday, April 18.

This followed the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union's Tuesday morning announcement that the Te Ika a Māui Sevens (formerly known as the North Island Secondary Schools Sevens) tournament on March 30-31 at Mount Maunganui had been cancelled.

Kingston Murray, 5, from Galatea plays junior Rippa rugby last year. Photo / File
Kingston Murray, 5, from Galatea plays junior Rippa rugby last year. Photo / File

The latest announcement has ended the union's rippa rugby competition about three weeks earlier than scheduled and postponed all rugby matches to April 18. Full training has also been postponed until April 13, allowing only non-contact training activities to continue for now.

According to Bay of Plenty Rugby Union, all forms and levels of community rugby have been suspended because playing and contact training involve high degree of contact, close proximity and a high risk of fluid exchange; and people attending games to spectate cannot be limited in number, or registered to be contactable after the fact should that be necessary.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union's community rugby manager Pat Rae says he and his team will continue to monitor the situation with the Ministry of Health.

"Obviously the Covid-19 pandemic is an ever-moving situation with updates provided by both New Zealand Government and New Zealand Rugby coming out daily.


"While we are all disappointed with what has happened, we fully understand why these decisions have been made."