A SHORTAGE of referees will result in the Group Three Rugby League women's nines games moving to Friday nights.
It was initially planned to play on Saturday afternoons.
The opening day will still be held on Saturday October 12 at Wauchope. This will be used as an introduction to the game for new players. All teams would be required to attend the day.
"We think the nights will work better. We'll start at 6.30 and all teams will get two games,'' Group Three chief executive Mal Drury said.
"We should be finished by 9pm.''
Mr Drury is a member of a sub committee charged with running the nines fixtures.
He said a number of referees will be involved with cricket on Saturday afternoons, while playing matches in the cooler weather at night is another advantage.
Twelve teams will contest the nines. There are two from Old Bar, Forster-Tuncurry and Long Flat, while Wingham, Beechwood, Kendall, Lower Macleay, South West Rocks and Port City have also nominated.
Mr Drury said it is planned to play matches at two venues per night to cut down the travel. Southern venues will be the Harry Elliott Oval at Tuncurry, Old Bar Reserve and Wingham.
After the introduction day matches will start on Friday October 18.
Mr Drury said up to 150 players could be attending the introduction. He said they will be put into groups of 10 to 15 with skills sessions to be run by qualified coaches including Kylie Hilder, Glen Bampton, Dan Tempest and Dean Hurrell.
Last round matches will be played on Friday November 22, with the southern games at Wingham. No finals will be played.
Mr Drury said there is still a chance more sides could nominate and this would lead to changes to the draw.
Meanwhile Holli Wheeler from Old Bar will be part of rugby league history when she plays for St George against New Zealand in the second week of the NRLW competition on Sunday.
This will be the first NRLW game played at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.
The opening round proved disappointing for Wheeler's St George side when they were beaten by defending premiers, Brisbane.
Forster's Kylie Hilder has an assistant coaching position with the Sydney Roosters this season. However, the Roosters were also first round losers when downed by New Zealand. The Roosters play Brisbane this Saturday evening in Melbourne.