The Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League has abandoned its 2020 senior season after the logistics of border closures, team payments and crowd numbers combined to doom this year's games.
The junior season will go ahead with the blessing of players and teams on the Victorian side - including Kaniva - in the hope that they can rejoin when the Victoria-South Australia border re-opens.
A meeting of the junior board next week will look at a start date for the competition, which is expected to be in July.
The KNTFL senior board met on Thursday night - with Kaniva members attending by Zoom - to vote on abandoning the season. Feelings at the meeting were divided, but the majority decided not to go ahead with a 2020 season.
League president Peter McLellan said that with the border shut Kaniva couldn't travel to take part and other players couldn't cross the border to join their teams.
He said that contact training was already allowed in South Australia, but not yet in Victoria.
Added to that was changes to South Australian player payments, announced recently, which meant there would be no wages for games, just money for travel expenses,
McLellan said there was a mixed reaction at the senior board meeting - the first since COVID-19 restrictions - to the motion to abandon the season.
"Some were try, try, try, wait, wait, wait," McLellan said.
"But you wouldn't want to start such a late season."
The crowds which could have turned up to games also had a bearing on the decision.
As of July 3 football games in South Australia can have up to 500 spectators to games, far less than the normal numbers that turn up to KNTFL matches.
McLellan said average supporter numbers for some clubs could be 800 a game, with a lot of disappointed people stopped at the gates if those numbers were realised.
"It was hard to figure how many would turn up," he said.
" Would they be excited to have the footy back or would some be afraid because of COVID-19?"
McLellan also said the logistics of maintaining 1.5 metre social distancing rules with on-field huddles and off-field gatherings would have been very difficult.
"If you've got 100 blokes having a can of beer, it's hard to keep the distance if they are barracking," McLellan said.
He said there would be a lot of disappointed 18-25 year old players out there, but they were planning on a senior season for 2021, restrictions permitting.
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