The ARL Commission has opened up its election process by winding back the three-year stand-down period that has ruled the best administrators from clubland ineligible for commission roles.
The ARLC gave unanimous support for three changes to the constitution on Friday, the first made in its nine-year history.
Commissioners can now be appointed after a 12-month stand-down from club or state affiliations, a significant reduction from the three years previously required.
Former ARLC chairman and current commissioner Peter Beattie was a long-time proponent of the stand-down policy being removed, given club ties effectively ruled out several of the game's best administrators from working at the top level.
This is an important moment for the game... it's an example of how united the game is to grow and improve the product for our fans and participantsARLC chairman Peter V'landys
Under the new rule former Cowboys chairman Laurence Lancini could be eligible to join the commission from March, while Brisbane CEO Paul White is also due to exit Red Hill in a months' time and would now be able to be considered from early 2022.
Nick Pappas, the long-serving chair of South Sydney and a key figure in the Commission's founding in 2012, is another that has been long-touted for a role at head office as well, though he has shown no inclination to step away from the Rabbitohs.
Chairman Peter V'landys described the constitutional shake-up as "common sense governance changes" that ensure the commission is made up of the best administrators available.
"This is an important moment for the game," V'landys said.
"It is the first time since the creation of the commission that members have agreed to changes to the constitution, it is an example of how united the game is to grow and improve the product for our fans and participants.
"These are common sense governance changes.
"Reducing the time a person has to be out of rugby league before being eligible to join the commission will ensure the nominations committee can consider a wider range of people associated with rugby league.
"The commission supports the changes made today. It will ensure the commission will continue to have the very best directors to grow rugby league."
The commission currently has a vacancy after the appointment of ex-Queensland tourism minister Kate Jones last November.
Also approved on Friday was the process to remove commissioners, with more than 50% of a club and state stakeholders vote now required.
Previously the support of 15 from 16 NRL clubs, and both the NSWRL and QRL was required to remove a director.
The length of a commissioner's term has also been capped at six years, or two three-year stints unless under exceptional circumstances.
The rule will not be applied retrospectively, with current directors including Beattie, Jones, Megan Davis, Wayne Pearce, Gary Weiss and Tony McGrath all considered as being in the first year of a three-year term when it comes into force at the next annual general meeting.