TALLANGATTA league president Rex Gray has described the mood as "sombre" after clubs voted to abandon their first season since the competition formed in 1945.
Gray said coronavirus pandemic obstacles proved insurmountable particularly with Thurgoona the only club in the league outside Victoria.
Last weekend's spike in coronavirus cases in Melbourne was the final straw for the TDFL who were hopeful of playing as late as Friday.
Clubs voted overwhelmingly in favour of abandoning the season on Wednesday night.
"I think everyone knew what was going to happen on Wednesday night but when it did it was pretty sombre," Gray said.
"It was sombre in the end.
"I think it's all for the best though."
While the decision to abandon the junior competition came as a shock, coaches believe the league had no option but to call off senior football.
"It was always going to be difficult to play," Rutherglen coach Dan Athanitis said.
"It's a common sense decision.
"I had concerns about players living in Melbourne coming to play in the Tallangatta and Ovens and Murray leagues.
"It's disappointing because everyone loves footy and netball but we can reset now and look towards 2021.
"At least we know what is happening."
Barnawartha coach Peter Cook was eager for the season to get underway with the Tigers in the premiership window but believes the decision was a no-brainer.
"To be honest everyone was hopeful but it just couldn't get going," Cook said.
"Last week really hurt us.
"Seven or eight clubs were training but health and safety comes first.
"I can understand why they called everything off including the juniors."
Kiewa-Sandy Creek's Adam Mudra said the Hawks had welcomed the return to training but felt the odds were always against playing.
"Everyone was keen to go but in the end it just got too difficult," Mudra said.
"It's been good for the players to train and socialise as I think that's been important."
The Upper Murray league is due to meet on Thursday night with the competition almost certain to follow the TDFL, Ovens and Murray, Hume and Ovens and King by abandoning their season.