The ARLC has scrapped the controversial benefit of the doubt system after a season of clangers and dramatically overhauled the decision-making process for awarding tries.
In a dramatic day at Rugby League Central, the commission also announced new State of Origin eligibility rules and a clarification of what will constitute an illegal shoulder charge next season.
However, the biggest change is in relation to how tries are awarded, after the 2012 season was marred by bungled calls and confusion over the rules.
From the start of the 2013 NRL season, referees will make an on-field call in relation to all try-scoring situations and, if in doubt, will signal "time out" and refer to the video referee.
However, the video referee will only change the on-field referees' original decision if there is sufficient evidence to suggest that decision was wrong.
The benefit of the doubt rule resulted in Greg Inglis being awarded a highly controversial try in State of Origin I which tilted the match in Queensland's favour.
And in a sudden-death semi-final which knocked out North Queensland, Manly's Kieran Foran was given the benefit of the doubt on a crucial try despite replays showing he had clearly knocked on.
The decision to alter the role of video referees was based on recommendations put forward by NRL general manager of football operations Nathan McGuirk, after consultation with NRL Referees' boss Daniel Anderson and competition committee members Wayne Bennett, Tim Sheens, Darren Lockyer, Ivan Cleary, Andrew Ryan, Laurie Daley and John Lang.
State of Origin eligibility was another hot topic in 2012, after New Zealand-born James Tamou was allowed to represent Australia and then NSW.
Josh Papalii is yet to play for Queensland, but has changed his allegiance from the Kiwis to the Maroons.
But from 2013 no player will be eligible to play for NSW or Queensland unless he has lived in that state before the age of 13, or unless he is the son of an Origin player.
The player must also be eligible to play for Australia.
Under the new changes, Tamou and Papalii would have had to represent New Zealand - and at least now future defections can be limited.
NSW has cried foul for years over Maroons star Inglis, who was born and lived in NSW until he was a teenager.
"The intention there is to bring some real clarity around the eligibility. I think we've got some very clear rules," said the general manager of strategic projects, Shane Mattiske, on Fox Sports.
"Importantly, we've got this new father-son rule. Now that we've got a team in Melbourne this becomes important. If Billy Slater's son ever plays for Queensland and his son grows up in Victoria, it means that Billy's son could then ensure he plays for Queensland."
"There's also clarity around the age at which you're eligibility for NSW or Queensland crystallizes.
"It's not a retrospective rule, it's something that will be applied moving forward and it just brings clarity ... which is important to us and I think it's important to all fans of the game."
After banning the shoulder charge in November, the commission provided a definition, similar to rugby union of what would define the tackle as illegal: that tacklers must attempt to make a tackle with arms out.