He said clubs supported a united approach to cancelling the senior season.
League and club officials will now focus on a junior football and netball competition, working on a structure that will allow juniors to play safely in some capacity, if they opt to do so.
The league made the decision after several meetings with all HDFNL clubs and feedback from key stakeholders.
Concerns raised by clubs included player numbers; uncertainty about how to generate revenue without opening bars and canteens – including social functions; burden placed on volunteers; inability to effectively manage crowds to comply with the State Government
restrictions; health concerns with COVID-19; and varying financial implications.
Mr Mellington said the organisation wanted to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all members and volunteers, to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the league and its 11 clubs.
He said the league would continue to work closely and collaboratively with AFL Victoria, Netball Victoria and all clubs to manage associated issues stemming from cancelling the senior competition.
Mr Mellington said while he was disappointed to announce the cancellation of this year’s senior competition, league leaders remained committed to ‘giving the opportunity to junior players for the remainder of the 2020 season’.
“The sustainability and long-term survival of all 11 HDFNL clubs was the priority of the HDFNL board,” he said.