Riverina Australian Rules competitions will be delayed by several weeks after the AFL ordered community football be shut down until the end of May due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The game's governing body announced on Tuesday afternoon all AFL and AFL State Association leagues will be suspended until May 31.
The recommendations will apply to female football, with the AFL Southern Women's competition to be suspended less than two weeks before the grand final is scheduled.
The Farrer League was due to begin in the first week of April, with the Riverina League to follow a week after.
Each league in the Riverina region will now form working parties to ascertain the best approach moving forward, particularly as clubs look to minimise the financial impact.
AFL Southern NSW regional manager Marc Geppert has no doubt looking after the long-term health of grassroots football will be at the forefront of the AFL's mind as they deal with the crisis.
"I know some others have gone with May 2 (suspension), but the AFL have put a lot of thought into it and taken a lot of advice from experts around that date," Geppert said.
He admitted it's unclear just how hard the suspension of play will hit the back pocket of local clubs.
"The AFL has formed working parties in regards to how it's going to impact leagues and clubs. Obviously the AFL will be very considerate on not only the impact it will have on AFL clubs, but the communities as well."
Geppert, who only recently took over the head role, said it's one of the biggest obstacles community football has ever faced.
"There's no doubt (this is one of our biggest challenges), in my 16 years at the AFL we haven't seen anything like this," he said.
"But I think it's just important that people realise footy is a very small part of our day to day lives. People's health, their jobs, their kids being able to go to school, there's a lot more important things to consider than footy.
"Every league in our region will start forming working parties around what it means for each league, and they're all so different.
"There's so many things that we need to take into account, and we're going to work through all that over the next couple of weeks."
In a note sent to the Australian football community, the AFL urged country clubs and leagues to stick together and will update the situation after further advice from experts.
"It is paramount that support and engagement in community football continues during these times," it said.
"It is vital players, coaches, administrators, supporters, sponsors, volunteers and kids retain close links to their local clubs, Auskick Centres and wider league network.
"The AFL will continue to meet with state and territory associations in relation to community football and will continually review this decision based on the changing circumstances and advice from government and relevant health departments and medical experts.
"We will communicate any updates and provide advice in a timely manner."