Western Premier League general manager Peter Mitchell knows it's a decision which won't please everyone but the extended lockdown in regional NSW left no choice but to cancel the remainder of the 2021 season.
Following Thursday's announcement from the state government that the lockdown in regional NSW would be extended until at least September 10, Mitchell and Football NSW's Regional Manager for Western, Andrew Fearnley, met and together decided to abandon the rest of the competition.
The WPL season was initially put on hold earlier this month prior to its final round of the regular season, and a four-week finals series still awaited.
Mitchell added it wasn't out of the question for the current stay-at-home orders to be extended again beyond September 10, given the total number of cases in Western NSW went past 400 on Thursday.
"It was a very tough decision to cancel the competition when it was so close to finishing," Mitchell said.
"If we'd got another four weeks without lockdown we could have completed it but at this point it won't go ahead due to time constraints.
"I think 90 per cent of the clubs knew if it (lockdown) was extended the inevitable was going to happen.
"It's not just football. I think all sports are in that boat."
Mitchell had previously said pushing the season back into October wasn't a possibility given one club had already stated it wouldn't have players available at that time of year.
The decision to cancel play is a painful one for the clubs given this season's finals was shaping as an entertaining and high-quality affair.
Orana Spurs were on top of the ladder when play was stopped but Orange's Waratahs FC still had a chance of claiming the minor premiership heading into the final.
Defending premiers Dubbo FC was third and Barnstoneworth FC had found its best form at right time of the season and was guaranteed to finish fourth while Parkes and Panorama FC were battling for fifth and the last spot in the finals.
"I feel for everyone involved," Mitchell added.
"They've played all season and for this to happen, unfortunately, probably doesn't sit well with everyone at all.
"But unfortunately these decisions have got to be made and they don't suit 100 per cent of the people 100 per cent of the time and that's the unfortunate part of our jobs."
The fact two sides were still a chance of claiming the minor premiership when play stopped was a major reason while no premiership is likely to be awarded.
The Western Premier League is the second major regional competition to cancel the rest of its season in 2021 after Central West Rugby Union made the same announcement earlier this week.
The Dubbo Netball Association also announced on Wednesday it's season had been cancelled.
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