That is a situation Guernsey Commonwealth Games Association chief David Harry hopes not to face, but with now just under a year left until the opening ceremony, he has accepted the possibility of sending fewer athletes than the maximum of 28.
The qualifying criteria for several sports depend on athletes attaining results in off-island competitions, many of which have either been postponed or are impractical to attend.
‘I am hopeful that we will,’ Harry said when asked whether they are still likely to fill the allocated spots.
‘But the way things have unfolded over the last 12 months, with so little progress being made in the ability for athletes to compete off-island, because of the restrictions, it may mean that we will not send 28 athletes.’
One undesirable effect, Harry admits, could be a lasting reduction in the number of places available to Sarnian sportspeople.
‘It is very possible that if we do not send a full team and we do not compete competently, we could well see our numbers cut by the CGF.’
However, with the qualifying window still open for possibly another eight months, Harry says the GCGA hope to be ‘as flexible as possible’.
Several fortunate athletes have already achieved set qualifying standards, while others will be more dependent on cases submitted by sports officials.
‘The sports will be able to nominate athletes on the basis of their performances in the past and prior Commonwealth Games representations, but it will be down to the sports to make a case for those athletes to go.
‘There are some sports where you can see the nucleus of the team being selected and other sports where there’s more work to do by the sports to make their cases,’ Harry added.