The most amazing year of the association's 163-year history has forced officials to implement a top eight system for four competitions, including provincial first grade.
After the most interrupted season in a decade due to rain, last week's COVID-enforced missed round was the catalyst for Thursday's historic decision.
Last weekend's round, which was originally postponed after Victoria called a snap five-day lockdown, has been declared a draw as the association simply ran out of time to reschedule with rep commitments over the next two Sundays.
"We did say at the start of the season if we lost 25 percent to COVID or other matters, we would look at moving from a top six to top eight," CAW chairman Michael Erdeljac explained.
"There was a majority who wanted one way and we've gone with that."
Provincial has a 22-round season, so almost a third has now been impacted.
Provincial first grade has 11 teams, with the association experiencing its most exciting finish for some time as seven teams are separated by only one win.
CAW's decision guarantees there won't be a grandstand finish as that top eight is settled, barring an amazing set of results, but Erdeljac is comfortable with CAW's decision, in a season where COVID has constantly hovered.
"We might have upset a few individuals but, in the bigger picture, we think it's best for cricket and best for our clubs," Erdeljac offered.
Provincial second grade and C grade division one and two will join first grade as a top eight.
In those four grades, it will be 1v8, 2v7, 3v6 and 4v5 in the first week.
Provincial first and second grade will play those matches on Saturday, March 13, with the four winners and two highest ranked losers to meet the following day.
The preliminary finals will be held on March 20, with the grand final still set down for its originate date of March 27.
At district level, it remains a top six, but the qualification for finals has dropped from six matches to five.
At Hume level, again, it's still a top six, but the qualification has dropped from five games to four.
Meanwhile, CAW provincial first grade teams will be without a handful of stars on Saturday as they sit out round 20 due to rep commitments.
Riverina will meet the awesome Newcastle outfit in the NSW Country Championship grand final at Goulburn on Sunday.
"Obviously it's hard and I understand it being so close to finals, but for the greater good of the game we just wanted everyone to be 100 percent on Sunday," coach Trent Ball offered.
Riverina has suffered a major blow with NSW Country quick Ryan Brown still out with a side strain.
He's been replaced by Wodonga all-rounder Tom Johnson.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Newcastle is stacked with all-rounders and NSW Country reps with a number of their tailenders batting in the middle order at club level.
Riverina has won only once in 34 years and will start massive outsiders.
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