As coronavirus forced the NTFA's hand to suspend its season for the first time since World War II, president Scott Rigby described the decision as "very disappointing" but the right thing to do.
Following the board's decision on Wednesday night to award no premiership points or best and fairests in 2020, Rigby fronted assorted media to lay out the path forward towards season 2021 and beyond.
"We've been working very closely with the member clubs, our partners in football - the umpires, AFL Tas, the junior competitions as well as our colleagues around the state - just looking at the feasibility of playing games under the current circumstances," he said.
"We have 19 clubs that stretch across six different municipalities and just to get a team on the park is a challenge for them in normal circumstances, let alone what we face now, so we've been working very closely and we've been in close contact.
"Two weeks ago, we had a presidents' meeting and there was an overwhelming sense, post that meeting, that they would like a decision to be made and a bit of a direction given for season 2020 and we, in working with them, this is the decision we came to."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
Admitting that the decision was originally a mixed bag among the competition, with around half of the league still interested in playing for points in 2020, the NTFA's leader described the decision as "overwhelmingly respected."
"We all know footy is a passionate game and we live and breathe footy, a lot of people do and that brings out a lot of emotions regarding it.
"But what I will say, is this has been an overwhelmingly respected decision from our clubs and the footy community out there. There's a lot of passionate people out there that want footy to come back no matter what and we do too, but we've got to make sure it's safe to do so."
While six clubs within the league had received approval from their local council to resume training under AFL Tasmania's return to play framework, it wasn't quite enough to save the competition's season.
With regional counterparts the Southern Football League and the North-West Football League yet to announce their season intentions, Rigby said the NTFA's choice proved different.
"I think it's very hard to compare the three different regions - the North is very different to the North-West and the South," he said.
"We've been in close contact with them, our colleagues down there, and liaising with them on a routine basis to see what challenges we face and a lot of them are different.
"We're a big competition with 19 clubs, those two aren't as big and those choices are going to be made under different circumstances for what they need to make."
The path to the future isn't all doom and gloom for the competition's multitude of clubs, with the board foreshadowing a possible opt-in competition for those interested once restrictions allow it.
As several clubs reacted to the news on their social media outlets, University of Tasmania was among those interested in participating.
"The sense of feedback that we get is that people want footy back on the park and if we can provide an option to enable that in some form and what that may look like in the lapse of what comes forward in the future, as long as it's feasible to do so, we will enable that," Rigby said.
"Last night was a big decision to be made and we haven't made it for a long, long, long time so that's going to take a little while to settle in and a little while for clubs to reset and see where they are actually at.
"We will continue our contact with our clubs and continue to look forward to what may or may not be in season 2020 but also towards season 2021."
The 2020 season was originally slated to start on March 28 before COVID-19.
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