British rugby league system.

Professional structure

The league pyramid of rugby league in the United Kingdom is topped and very much dominated by Super League (Europe), with the 12 top teams from England and France competing.

Below Super League, there are National Leagues one and two. There is promotion between National League one and two as well as between National League one and Super League. National League three was created with teams from the Rugby League Conference and from the BARLA amateur leagues. It was intended that there would be promotion and relegation between National League two and National League three when League three became more established. In 2007, National League Three was rebranded as the Rugby League Conference National Division and transferred to the Rugby League Conference structure.

Rugby League Conference

The Rugby League Conference is an 'open' rather than amateur though most teams do not pay their players. There is no promotion or relegation between divisions, teams may apply to join higher divisions and may or may not be accepted based on different criteria.

The London League and Midlands Merit League act as feeders for the Conference but there is no automatic promotion system and no relegation.

There is no automatic promotion between the Conference and the National Leagues but one of the aims of the Conference is provide teams that will join the National Leagues. To date only London Skolars have done so.

Amateur leagues

BARLA administer different amateur competitions which run throughout the winter in the heartlands. The leading competition is the National Conference League which consists of three divisions (Premier Division, Division One and Division Two) of up to 14 teams each. The There is promotion and relegation between each division of three up and three down. The bottom two teams from Division Two face re-election, but usually they are both re-elected as enough teams resign from the league to allow new teams entry.

Other major amateur leagues include the North West Counties League, CMS Yorkshire League, Pennine League, Cumberland League, Barrow & District League and the Hull & District League. Teams from these regional leagues can apply for election to the National Conference League if they meet minimum criteria. There is not normally promotion or relegation from BARLA leagues into the National League structure.