EIGHT sides, down one from the past two seasons, will contest the 2019/20 Mid North Coast Premier League cricket competition.
The champions from the inaugural year, Macquarie Hotel, didn't nominate. After dominating in 2017/18 Macquarie struggled last summer and missed the semi-finals.
"They've told us they're in a rebuilding year,'' Mid North Coast Cricket Council chairman David Burley said.
However, Mr Burley said an eight team competition works in perfectly with the draw.
"We'll be able to play two rounds of home and away 40 overs a side games and a full round of T20s,'' Mr Burley explained.
T20 matches will count towards competition points this season, unlike the part two years when the games were separate. A T20 final, won by Wingham over Macquarie, was played at Oxley Oval at Port Macquarie last season on Australia Day.
However, Mr Burley said it is unlikely a final will be played next season as all matches will be incorporated into the competition-proper.
"All the pathways in Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia are for 50 over cricket and T20,'' Mr Burley explained.
"If a player is selected for North Coast it's for 50 overs. Those who make the Macquarie Coast Stingers play T20s.''
The premier league will be underway from Saturday October 12. There'll be a general bye on October 27 when the Regional Big Bash, involving the Stingers, is played at Armidale. Here sides will be vying to make the State finals to be played at the SCG.
Mr Burley said the final draw has been signed off yet. At this stage it is planned to start the T20s on December 7, with matches on December 14 and 21. However, clubs have still to agree on playing games on December 21.
The 40 over games resume on Saturday February 1. Mr Burley said there will be a spare weekend should weather intervene for the grand final.
Manning club United will be the defending champions. United, captained by Ricky Campbell, defeating Wauchope in a grand final thriller last March at Chatham Park.
Wingham and Taree West will again be the other Manning clubs involved this season.