League structure confirmed for 2012
The RFL has confirmed how the first fully integrated summer-based season for the whole sport will look when it kicks off in 2012.
Over 80 per cent of all Rugby League teams in this country will be playing between March and November in this newly-aligned four-tier pyramid structure.
A new micro-site has also been launched to cover everything you need to know about the summer switch - www.abrighterleague.com
The RFL’s Director of Participation David Gent said: “The whole sport of Rugby League will benefit from having an integrated playing calendar which covers both the professional and community game for the first time.
“The men’s game features Super League at Tier One, the Championships at Tier Two, the Conference leagues at Tier Three and regional leagues at Tier Four.
“The Tier Three Conference leagues will consist of Conference Premier, Conference One and Conference Two, which will comprise those teams from the National Conference League.
“These Divisions will continue to be administrated by the National Conference League Management Committee.
“Below this will sit Conference Three which will be administered by the RFL and consist of teams from the current Co-operative Rugby League Conference National, for whom there will be little change from previous season’s competition.
“But the big difference is that these summer-based clubs now have the opportunity to work towards attaining the minimum criteria for membership of the NCL with the ultimate long term goal of Conference Three becoming an NCL equivalent Conference South.
“The Tier Four Regional leagues will have a premier division as the pinnacle of their individual structures.
“Below this will be other divisions depending on the number of teams in their area as well as the quality of playing standard.
“Within these Regional leagues will be teams from the Co-operative Rugby League Conference Premier and Regional summer competitions as well as clubs that have switched from winter competitions.
“The RFL will make a concerted effort to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for clubs and that the essence of the Rugby League Conference continues as a successful development competition to expand the sport nationally with opportunities at all levels.
“The existing winter-based competitions will also be incorporated into Tier Four of the structure and will continue to be administrated and supported as they are at present.”
Trevor Hunt, National Conference League Chairman said: “It’s a new dawn for Rugby League and one that we all hope meets the demands of players, administrators and spectators intent on enjoying a sport for the 21st century.
“As far as the switch to summer for heartland clubs is concerned, all eyes will be on those 40 NCL clubs who have opted to make the switch, to see just how successful they will be in this whole new world.
“It’s as exciting a challenge at grassroots level as anything that has gone before and we will all be working flat out to make it a success not just for 2012 but for the very future of Rugby League."
To see exactly how the new structure will look and for more information on the summer switch including the list of teams involved, FAQs as well as contact details visit www.abrighterleague.com