Melbourne-based players were thrown a COVID curve ball on Thursday night ahead of the weekend's round.
As of 6am on Friday, southern Riverina council areas moved from a green zone to an orange zone under Victorian government rules.
The increased unlinked COVID cases in Sydney prompted the move.
It means a Melbourne-based player, who is therefore naturally outside the border bubble, can play in NSW, but must have an orange zone permit to re-enter Victoria and must then isolate and get tested within 72 hours until he receives a negative result.
A player would have to weigh up his employment situation because if he didn't think he could get a COVID test back in Victoria on Sunday morning and therefore not receive a negative result in time for work on Monday, he might have to miss the game.
The revelation became public around 7pm on Thursday night.
It doesn't affect those travelling within the border bubble from Victoria to NSW.
"Under the current restrictions, players are eligible to play providing they meet the government's obligations," O and M general manager Craig Millar said last night.
Players are eligible to play providing they meet ... obligations.- Craig Millar
Three of the league's 10 clubs have a heavy emphasis on Melbourne players in Myrtleford, Wangaratta and Wangaratta Rovers, albeit many are local juniors.
The rules could, potentially, have taken some gloss from Sunday's eagerly anticipated Wangaratta derby, but the teams have named their star Melbourne-based players, among them Callum Moore and Mat Grossman (Wangaratta), plus midfielder Matt Jones and Nathan Cooper (Rovers).
Meanwhile, Lavington utility Brant Dickson is back for Saturday's vital home game against Myrtleford.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Wodonga coach Jordan Taylor returns for his first game in three months, while Albury's Isaac McGrath, the son of former coach Tom, will debut in the same match.
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