National Conference League
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The National Conference League (known as the Kingstone Press National Conference League for sponsorship reasons) is the top British amateur rugby league competition in the Rugby Football League pyramid, and as such is the leading amateur rugby league competition in England. Since 2012, the National Conference operates over a summer season in line with the professional game.
|Number of teams||49|
|Level on pyramid||4 to 7|
|Promotion to||League 1 via application to RFL|
|Domestic cup(s)||Challenge Cup|
League 1 Cup
Conference Challenge Trophy
The league was founded as the BARLA National League for the 1986–87 season with 10 teams: Dudley Hill, Egremont Rangers, Heworth, Leigh Miners Welfare (now Leigh Miners Rangers), Milford Marlins, Millom, Pilkington Recs, West Hull, Wigan St Patrick's and Woolston Rovers. The original NCL concept was one team per town.
The league added a second division in 1989, and expanded to three divisions (now named premier, first and second as opposed to first and second) along with a rebrand to the current name of National Conference League in 1993.
Somewhat confusingly, in the late 1990s and 2000s another major amateur competition was also titled conference: the Rugby League Conference (RLC), which operated a summer season as opposed to the traditional winter season retained by the NCL. The move to a summer season by the NCL in 2012 and a reorganisation by the RFL resulted in a merger of the leagues and the creation of a new NCL 3rd division out of the old RLC National Division, which was replaced by the Conference League South in 2013.
The National Conference League consists of four divisions. Teams can be promoted and relegated through all four divisions, and teams can also be relegated from Division Three into the regional leagues. For the 2018 season, there are three divisions of 12 teams, whilst the bottom tier consists of 13 teams.
Although it is considered the tier below League 1, teams are not promoted and relegated between the amateur NCL and the professional game, although NCL teams do play in the League 1 Cup and Challenge Cup.
Clubs in 2018Edit
|Premier Division||Division One||Division Two||Division Three|
|Egremont Rangers||Bradford Dudley Hill||Askam||Barrow Island|
|Hunslet Club Parkside||Featherstone Lions||Crosfields||Beverley|
|Kells||Ince Rose Bridge||Dewsbury Moor Maroons||Blackbrook|
|Myton Warriors||Leigh Miners Rangers||Drighlington||Clock Face Miners|
|Normanton Knights||Castleford Lock Lane||East Leeds||Dewsbury Celtic|
|Rochdale Mayfield||Milford Marlins||Hull Dockers||Eastmoor Dragons|
|Siddal||Oulton Raiders||Hunslet Warriors||Gateshead Storm|
|Thatto Heath Crusaders||Pilkington Recs||Leigh East||Millom|
|Underbank Rangers||Shaw Cross Sharks||Saddleworth Rangers||Oldham St Annes|
|Wath Brow Hornets||Skirlaugh||Stanningley||Salford City Roosters|
|West Hull||Thornhill Trojans||West Bowling||Stanley Rangers|
|Wigan St Patricks||York Acorn||Wigan St Judes||Waterhead Warriors|