The AFL Southern NSW Women's competition will feature two conferences, one with established teams and others with newcomers, to ensure matches are as competitive as possible this season.
The other major change to the league, which begins on February 4, is the introduction of an extended three week finals series after a six-week regular season.
Premiers in previous seasons have been decided with a stand alone grand final straight after the regular season. But the introduction of four new teams - Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, Marrar, Coolamon and Turvey Park, has prompted the change.
The four new clubs will be joined by Collingullie-Glenfield Park and Narrandera, who finished bottom two last season, in one pool.
The other pool features more established clubs East Wagga Kooringal, North Wagga, Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, Brookdale, Griffith and defending premiers Charles Sturt University.
AFL NSW-ACT competition coordinator Jess Markut said the conferences were designed to ensure regular season games are as competitive as possible.
The established clubs will be tested more regularly against each other, while it gives newcomers a chance to find their feet.
"We looked at how we would do it, and an established pool and a new pool was the way we went so new clubs have the opportunity to work their way into the year," he said.
"It's hard to tell at this stage because Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong were new to the competition last year and finished third."
The top four in each pool will qualify for finals, with teams to cross over from their pools in a system designed to give the higher-placed teams the best chance of progressing.
"The feedback from clubs is they wanted a finals series, and it gives the top teams in both pools the best opportunity to get there (grand final)," Markut said.
Fielding a team in the women's competition is one of the criteria to be considered for inclusion in a revamped Premier League, which will commence in 2023.
Wagga Tigers had initially lodged an expression of interest in playing this season, but were forced to withdraw before nominations closed on Friday.
"It's unfortunate they had to pull out but they've got 12 more months now to get everything together," Markut said.
"We were pleasantly surprised with how many teams put forward their expression of interest for this year's competition."
Each team will play four teams in their pool once, and another twice during the regular season.
Matches will be played on Friday nights, aside from round three where all games will take place at Narrandera Showgrounds on Sunday, February 20.
The grand final will be played on Friday, April 1.
AFL SOUTHERN WOMEN'S ROUND ONE
Friday, February 4 (home team listed first)
Griffith v CSU, GGGM v Brookdale, East Wagga Kooringal v North Wagga, Narrandera v Coolamon, Collingulie-Glenfield Park v Turvey Park, Marrar v MCUE
Week 1 - Friday, March 18
Semi Final 1: 1st placed team in Pool A V 4th placed team in Pool B
Semi Final 2: 1st placed team in Pool B V 4th placed team in Pool A
Semi Final 3: 2nd placed team in Pool A V 3rd placed team in Pool B
Semi Final 4: 2nd place team in Pool B V 3rd placed team in Pool A
Week 2 - Friday, March 25
Preliminary Final 1: Winner of Semi Final 1 V Winner of Semi Final 4
Preliminary Final 2: Winner of Semi Final 2 V Winner of Semi Final 3
Grand Final - Friday, April 1
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.