BYE WEEK: Mullumbimby front-rower Josh Castellano is tough to bring down in NRRRL. The competition had a week off for Splendour in the Grass.
BYE WEEK: Mullumbimby front-rower Josh Castellano is tough to bring down in NRRRL. The competition had a week off for Splendour in the Grass. Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

The surprising reason why sporting codes cancelled games

SPORT on the Northern Rivers is at the mercy of Splendour in the Grass as the music festival tightens its squeeze on weekend competitions.

Far North Coast rugby union, Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League and Football Far North Coast (soccer) all went into recess with bye rounds over the weekend.

NRRRL played on the June long weekend to accommodate the three-day music festival.

"We'd prefer it didn't happen that way but it's how the clubs voted on it," NRRRL president Robin Harley said.

"I think we need to be better than that but I don't know if it will change," Harley said.

"Crowds were poor over the June long weekend and there were a lot of people away then, too.

"But everyone seemed more worried about the Splendour weekend.

FNC rugby is in a similar boat with teams feeling the pinch by being near the event.

It has first-grade teams at Ballina, Bangalow, Byron Bay, Casuarina and Lennox Head.

Football Far North Coast general manager Steve Mackney admitted it was not ideal but was a sign of times.

Mackney said there were catch-up games played over the weekend but there could have been several more after wash-outs earlier in the month.

"There are people critical when we don't go ahead and others find it unreasonable when we say we want to play that weekend," he said.

"It's obviously a challenge and part of a broader community issue where people's attitudes are changing.

"Our focus is to get players on the field and there were any number of games that could have been played across that weekend.

"We're definitely not alone and the decision to play on that weekend will be a dilemma that will continue."

There were no games of Northern Rivers Aussie rules over the weekend. Baseball and hockey went ahead in Lismore.