PLAYERS from rival competitions could seek special COVID-19 permits to play for Warrnambool and District league clubs in 2020.
The Warrnambool and District league will make a decision on whether or not it will run a season on Wednesday night.
Footballers from competitions which have scrapped their senior seasons, such as the Hampden and South West District leagues, could apply for special permits.
Players from abandoned competitions around Victoria, including the powerful Geelong league, could also apply.
They will have up until July 31 to do so.
The COVID-19 Type 2 permit was introduced from Monday and allows a player to move on loan if their competition is in hiatus due to the pandemic.
The ruling states: "Where a player's club or league either does not submit any teams or does not otherwise participate in the 2020 community football season, that player will be eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Type Two permit no later than July 31, 2020".
"In such circumstances, the COVID-19 Type 2 Permit will allow the player to move to another club for the duration of the 2020 community football season and that player will then revert back to their original Club on November 1, 2020."
AFL Western District commercial and operations manager Matt Ross said players would be "effectively on loan to a club for a season".
"It will stop players transferring registrations and it gives them that flexibility to be on loan for the season," he said.
It comes after former Timboon Demons coach Mick Hunt told The Standard the Warrnambool and District league, if it proceeds, should limit teams to just "four or five" new players - all of which must hail from the south-west region and have junior links to the club.
"If you were allowed to have four come from the Hampden league, it's not out of our zone," he said.
"I think if they had junior links to the club it wouldn't become a money issue at all because they'd just come to have a kick."
The state government's tightening of restrictions following a rise in COVID-19 cases could influence the Warrnambool and District league's decision.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.