Increasing concerns about the roles of volunteers to keep the competition running has led to the 2020 AWFA season being cancelled.
A crisis meeting was called on Sunday night between league executives and the clubs with nine of the 12 clubs voting to call an end to the season for all age groups.
Melbourne's spike in COVID-19 cases was also factored into the decision, with a number of players and club officials regularly travelling to the city for work.
AWFA president Mark Leman said a lengthy discussion was had about the pros and cons of running a shortened season, before ultimately making the hardest decision in the association's almost 50-year history.
It's the first time a season has been cancelled since AWFA was founded in 1973.
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"Some volunteers were saying it's becoming extremely difficult and the conditions of Victoria and NSW, when we merged those two documents together, the role became even harder again," Leman said.
"We felt in the best interest of our sport and our volunteers going forward, it was the right decision. Some clubs were struggling to find enough volunteers to do some of these tasks.
"We have a large number of volunteers that work in health care as well, so I think it's important to protect those people.
"The community is our number one responsibility and we don't want to put the community at risk just for a game of football at this point in time."
Leman added some clubs initiated the idea of having intra-club games and continuing to train, which the association welcomes providing they follow the guidelines.
"They obviously can't de-register, but if they want to continue to play and train, we'll certainly get clubs to investigate that over the coming weeks," he said.
"Let's say a footballer in a senior match got COVID-19, what impact does that have for the game, our brand and how does that affect the people at the top of the tree making the decision to continue to play?
"I think the decision has been a really good one for the benefit of the game and the benefit of the community and not putting our volunteers at risk."
There was also a sense of relief from Leman and the executive that a decision has been made.
"Our secretary Gary Holt would be doing 30 to 40 hours a week, seven days a week just to keep on top of these changes," Leman said.
"Every EC member has been involved at some level through meetings and decision making processes and it's got to the stage where there's four of us that were starting to feel the pinch of the decision.
"For me personally as a president, I'm quite relieved the decision has been made because I actually work in health care as well and I think it's important we protect the community."
AWFA's representative teams will continue to train with the NSW Country Cup tournament still scheduled at this stage for the October long weekend, while the Riverina Branch titles could also go ahead in October.