The NRL faces its greatest challenge after the coronavirus pandemic forced rugby league to be suspended in Australia for the first time in its 112-year history.
ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys confirmed the news on Monday night in what was the game's biggest announcement since the Super League war.
The league has have left open a return date as it scrambles for alternative options, with players told to stop training but continue to self-isolate so the game can resume.
It came after the NRL was told by a pandemic expert on Monday afternoon the risk was now too great, ending its determined battle to keep the competition going.
"This decision hasn't been taken lightly but we have a world-renowned pandemic expert and they are very concerned at the rate of this infection," V'landys said.
"Due to the rapid rate of infection, we can no longer guarantee the safety of our players to continue to play.
"We will and always will consider the health of our players before anything else."
Already considering drastic measures to keep the competition afloat on Monday, the NRL was dealt several blows after the completion of round two.
Queensland closing its borders put doubt over a series of Magic Round weekends in the state, but that could still form part of plans later on.
There was also concern over when the Warriors would be able to return home to New Zealand, with their government expected to tighten regulations again in the coming days.
But the NRL still refuses to wipe out other options.
It's willing to play until as late as December 20, giving it around three months to return, given split rounds and representative rounds could be manipulated.
Other ideas such as conferences will be explored in a bid to minimise travel but still have games played.
Regardless, the NRL expects the situation to worsen before it gets better and knows any resumption could be a while away.
"We are going to look at every available option to us in the next week or so as to how we can recommence the season," V'landys said.
"Be it in other areas or northern Queensland. All the options are still on the table.
"But the prime decision-making, what's paramount to our decision-making is the health of our players and we're not going to make any risk whatsoever."
Regardless, V'landys warned the decision would have dire financial impacts on the league that could change the face of the NRL forever if the season is lost.
It's believed as much as $13 million could be lost from broadcasters for every round not played or $500 million for the entire year.
Clubs were already suffering setbacks, with gate takings lost in round two and leagues clubs now shut due to the coronavirus measures.
Players had also accepted on Monday before the announcement they could have to take pay cuts, while staff at head office have been made to take leave.
"It's catastrophic," V'landys said.
"I don't think we've ever come across a financial crisis like this. We're all affected.
"We've led by example, by cutting our expenditure immediately and we're hoping the clubs will do the same very quickly.
"We'll sit down with the players over the next week to look at how they're affected.
"You can't understate it. It's probably the biggest financial challenge the game will ever face in its history.
"But co-operatively and united we will deal with it. And hopefully we'll come out the other end."