The Border and North East will be a senior football and netball-free zone this year after Picola and District cancelled its season on Monday night.
The league had previously conducted a survey with its 13 clubs and not all wanted to play, while the growing COVID-19 crisis in Melbourne also forced the issue.
"It's naturally disappointing for our communities because football-netball is the hub of a lot of our towns," operations manager Shane Railton said.
It's naturally disappointing for our communities because football-netball is the hub of a lot of our towns.Shane Railton
"We have three or four towns that don't have any shops, or just have a pub, Rennie, Blighty, Picola, the only things that survive in the town for a social gathering is the football-netball club."
Railton maintains the lack of senior sport in the region, from around 50 clubs, will cost businesses millions of dollars.
"I think conservatively those clubs would have a turnover of $300,000," he said.
"That money goes into pubs to hold social events, support sports shops, merchandise, those type of areas and a lot of businesses are geared up wholly and solely with the football-netball community."
In a bid to save the season, Railton had asked the Victorian Government for special dispensation.
"Seven of our 13 clubs are from NSW and the remainder are in the Moira Shire and it hasn't had a (coronavirus) case since the 10th of April," he said.
Berrigan coach Ty Russell has adopted a philosophical approach.
ALSO IN SPORT:
"We were still willing to play and were getting good numbers to training but we had no choice," he said.
Picola is hoping to host its three junior football and four netball grades with the early feedback suggesting premierships will be awarded.