SENIOR interleague football has been thrown to the scrapheap as the south-west's junior representative carnival faces likely extinction.
An AFL Victoria statement on Thursday confirmed its community championships would not run in 2020. Its long-term future is unclear.
The annual Hamilton junior interleague carnival, which featured teams from across the south-west in the under 14 and 16 age groups, will also likely be cancelled next week.
The Standard understands the carnival, formerly a hotbed for elite pathway scouts, is the victim of a junior league restructure.
AFL Victoria Head of Community Football Stephen O'Donohue said in a statement the decision was based on concerns many raised over the current senior interleague format.
Concerns included the ranking system, inconsistent levels of competition, travel, increasing cost pressure, fixturing, administrative demands, impact on league fixtures and player availability.
AFL Victoria urged leagues to consider interleague games outside the official banner next year.
Leagues who participate in interleague football next year will receive financial support from AFL Victoria.
AFL Western District football development manager Jock Whiting said the junior interleague carnival hadn't yet been ratified but was unlikely to go ahead.
Whiting said the outcome of AFL Western District's junior review - which determined Portland and Hamilton would increase junior involvement in the Hampden league - was behind its fall.
The review was also behind the rise of a new league - the Greater South West Junior Football League - which was a merger of the former Portland and Hamilton junior leagues.
Whiting said the cost of running an interleague was also a factor.
Hamilton Kangaroos chairman John Pepper, whose club has operated the carnival in recent years, said its downfall was disappointing.
"We've kept it going but it's a lot of work," he said.
"It's a lot of work and it's not a big financial gain for anyone. For example, we've outsourced the barbeque to the Lions Club because it's simply harder and harder to get volunteers.
"It's disappointing but it's probably a bit of relief as well as it's been a massive job."
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