Hopes are high that New Zealand will manage to retain the 45 shearing sports competitions that were cancelled due to Covid constraints and uncertainties last season.
Organisers of all 59 competitions originally scheduled in the season from last October to April this year are planning to go ahead in the new season - with the possibility of two more being added to the programme.
The news was announced at the separate North Island and South Island meetings of Shearing Sports New Zealand that took place earlier this month.
Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan, whose national committee stages its annual meeting in August, said the pandemic had been distressing for most people.
However, Fagan said it was particularly stressful for those having to make the decisions to cancel their events.
"In many cases, these events are significant annual events in small communities and are often part of A and P shows, which were also cancelled. The types of events that knit our rural communities together," he said.
"Some of them have histories dating back well over a century [and] there are many that had run annually for more than 50 years in a row until the postponements and cancellations started just over two years ago.
"There are even officials who have been involved for all of those 50 years – in at least one case ... 60 years."
Fagan said all organisers would be mindful of the possibility that the pandemic could again intervene and bring new factors into planning.
This included strategy on deadlines for decisions about whether competitions could go ahead and remain viable.
But the 2022-2023 season promises to be a big one, focusing on the selection of two machine shearers, two blades shearers and two woolhandlers in the Wools of New Zealand team for the World Championships at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, Scotland, on June 22-25 next year.
Of the six titles, New Zealand won three in Le Dorat, France in 2019, and four in Invercargill two years earlier.
While the calendar of events for the new season is still to be confirmed it will open with the New Zealand Merino Shears Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Alexandra on September 30-October 1.
The Golden Shears will be held in Masterton on March 2-4 and the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti on March 30-April 1.