The Betfred Championship structure expands to a 14 team competition in 2019 with all teams playing each other once home and away, plus Summer Bash, ending with a play-off series for the top five teams with the winner promoted to Super League, and relegation for the bottom two clubs.
To get to a 14 team Betfred Championship at the end of this current season two teams from Betfred League 1 will be promoted. As has always been planned this season, the team finishing top of League 1 will be automatically promoted.
Teams 2 to 5 will then play semi-finals with the winners of the Promotional Final being promoted. The final place in the Betfred Championship for 2019 will be decided by a Play-off Final between the team that finishes bottom of the Championship Shield and the loser of the Promotional Final.
Betfred League 1 will consist of 12 teams playing each other home and away with the top team automatically promoted. Teams 2-6 will play-off to decide the second team to be promoted.
The revisions follow substantial discussions within all levels of the professional game, led by the Rugby Football League.
Ralph Rimmer, Chief Executive, The Rugby Football League;
“As we have seen this season, the Betfred Championship and League 1 are strong, vibrant and highly entertaining competitions.
We want to see both competitions continue to appeal to Rugby League fans and attract new ones. We have secured guaranteed promotion and relegation to Super League. It is vital that aspiring clubs, players, owners and fans can see their path to the top.
We want to ramp up how we build value in Championship and League 1. This means more marketing and promotion including major focus games; streaming more games as part of a wider digital strategy – already underway with the streaming of Betfred League 1 games exclusively to Our League members; and working with broadcasters to bring these competitions to a wider audience. It also means focusing the investment where it delivers the greatest return for the sport.
We need to now draw a line under the last period and focus on this together as we head to a home World Cup in 2021 and all the opportunity this brings to our clubs and communities.”