The biggest rule changes in recent memory have trickled down from the AFL and will come into effect for the Wimmera and Horsham District football leagues this season.
Coaches, officials and umpires will have to adapt to six new rules that are intended to open up the game and minimise congestion.
Wimmera-Mallee umpire coach Cameron Pickering said it was the biggest set of changes he had seen.
"I've been involved in umpiring for 25 years and I can't remember there being so many rule changes before a season, and rule changes so significant as well," he said.
"But when you understand the spirit behind the laws, they are actually really good laws.
"It's really going to open up the games, allow transitional play and also reward the backmen to get more space to get it out of the backline."
Pickering said there were two new changes that would cause the most evident change.
From kick-ins, players no longer have to kick to themselves before playing and running outside of the goal square. The designated kicker is also given a larger protective area, with the man on the mark five metres further back than they were previously.
Minyip-Murtoa coach John Delahunty said the new kick-in rule would force teams to alter their zone defence.
"People will try to take advantage of that extra length and get it over the back of a zone," Delahunty said.
"Players are going to have to set-up that bit quicker and with a few different starting points."
Taylors Lake coach Brandon Weatherson said he expected long kicking to be the common tactic.
"Teams are going to be kicking to the centre square from full back," Weatherson said. "It's really going to change things."
A new 50-metre penalty interpretation also gives players the freedom to play on at any stage after receiving a 50-metre penalty.
Opposition players are also not allowed within a protective zone while the player is moving down the field. If an opposition player infringes, a second 50-metre penalty will be awarded.
Wimmera-Mallee umpire coach Paul Clough said umpires would be careful to not enforce the 50-metre rule too strictly in the early stages of the season.
"We probably see the 50-metre rule as the one that is going to cause the most trouble," Clough said.
"If someone tries to encroach or comes behind the player while that first 50 is being stepped out... you could quite easily see a second 50-metre penalty.
"But we will coach our guys and encourage them to use a bit of common sense. If someone has made a genuine effort to get out of the way, then we won't pay it."
The changes have also been the source of some controversy.
Weatherson said he wasn't convinced the changes were necessary.
"I'm not a massive fan of the changes," Weatherson said.
"I don't really like the idea of the game losing its defensive side. A good game of footy can still have a lot of tackles and a lot of pressure.
"The 50-metre rule remains to be seen. Teams are going to take a lot of time to get used to it. I just hope common sense prevails."
Pickering said it was critical that in addition to players, spectators of the sport also understood the changes - and why they had occurred.
"We also want people to know that the AFL directed this call our way, our hands are tied. We have to apply these rules," Pickering said.
"We're encouraging the public and the old-time supporters to be lenient in the early stages as these rules come into play.
"The umpires, players and teams are all adjusting to some really significant changes."
New season, new rules
The new rules for the 2019 season include:
Kick-ins: A player will no longer need to kick to himself to play on from the goal square; The man on the mark will be brought out to 10 metres from the top of the goal square, rather than the previous five metres.
50-metre penalties: The player with the ball must be allowed to advance the mark by 50 metres without the infringing player delaying the game; and will be able to play on while the 50-metre penalty is being measured out.
Marks in defence: When defenders mark or receive a free kick within nine metres of their own goal, the man on the mark will be brought back in line with the top of the goal square.
Kicking for goal after the siren: A player who has been awarded a mark or free kick once play has ended will now be able to kick across their body using a snap or check-side kick, but must kick the ball directly in line with the man on the mark and the goal.
Marking contest: The 'hands in the back' rule interpretation has been repealed so a player can now place his hands on the back of his opponent to protect his position in a marking contest, provided he does not push his opponent in the back.
Ruck contests: A ruckman who takes direct possession of the ball from a bounce, throw-up or boundary throw-in will no longer be regarded as having had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball; and where there is uncertainty over who is the designated ruckman, the ruckman for each team will still be required to nominate to the field umpire.