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NLS regulations 2018/19 - Promotion & Relegation between steps 2, 3 & 4

5 days ago By Nigel Gregg

The NLS regulations for 2018/19 have been published and outline how promotion and relegation will apply at the end of next season. (READ ON)

The addition of an extra league at steps 3 and 4 of the non-league pyramid means that there have been certain adjustments made to the National League Systems regulations as to how promotion and relegation matters will apply at the end of the 2018/19 campaign and these are outlined below -

Between Step 2 and Step 3

The Clubs in the bottom three places in each of the two divisions (National League North & South) at Step 2 at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated to a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 3 for the following Playing Season.

They will be replaced by the Clubs finishing in 1st position in each of the four divisions at Step 3 together with a further two Clubs determined by a series of Play Off Matches.


Where a Club finishes in 1st position but does not meet the criteria for participation at the next Step, the Club finishing in 2nd position shall be promoted and the Club finishing in 3rd position (and so on) shall be the Club in the next eligible position to take part in the Play Off Matches.

Where a Club finishes in a Play Off Position but does not meet the Criteria for participation in Play Off Matches the Club finishing in the next eligible position shall take part in the Play Off Matches.

In each division at Step 3, the Play Off Matches shall be played so that the highest placed of the eligible Clubs plays against the lowest placed and the other two Clubs play each other (the “Step 3 Initial Play Off Matches”);.

The winners of each of the Step 3 Initial Play Off Matches will play each other, resulting in one winner in each of the four Step 3 divisions (the “Step 3 Divisional Play Off Winners”).

The Step 3 Divisional Play Off Winners will play a further match against each other. The ties will be decided by the Committee pairing Clubs on the most suitable geographical basis.

The ties will be played on a single match basis with the home Club being the Club with the best points per match ratio in the Regular Season.

If there are only three eligible Clubs then the highest placed shall receive a bye to a second match where it will play the winner of the other Play Off Match and the winner of that match will play in the further Play Off Match described above. Clubs finishing below position 7 will not be considered for Play Off Matches.

The promoted Clubs will be placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 2.

Step 3 and Step 4

The Clubs in the bottom three places in each of the four divisions at Step 3 at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated to a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 4 for the following Playing Season.

They will be replaced by the Club finishing in 1st position in each of the seven divisions at Step 4 together with a further five Clubs to be determined by a series of Play Off Matches.

Where a Club finishes in 1st position but does not meet the Criteria for participation at the next Step, the Club finishing in 2nd position shall be promoted and the Club finishing in 3rd position (and so on) shall be the Club in the next eligible position to take part in the Play Off Matches.

Where a Club finishes in a Play Off Position but does not meet the Criteria for participation in Play Off Matches the Club finishing in the next eligible position shall take part in the Play Off Matches.

In each division at Step 4, The Play Off Matches shall be played so that the highest placed of the eligible Clubs plays against the lowest placed and the other two Clubs play each other (the “Step 4 Initial Play Off Matches”).

The winners of each of the Step 4 Initial Play Off Matches will play each other and the winner of those matches shall result in seven teams eligible for promotion.

The five Clubs to be promoted shall be the five Clubs out of the seven divisional Play Off winners with the best points per match ratio in the Regular Season.

If there are only three eligible Clubs then the highest placed shall receive a bye to a second match where it will play the winner of the other Play Off Match and the winner of that match will be promoted. Clubs finishing below position 7 will not be considered for Play Off Matches.

The promoted Clubs will be placed in a feeder pool and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 3.

The Clubs in the bottom two places in each of the seven divisions at Step 4 at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 5. These Clubs will be replaced by the fourteen Clubs finishing in first position in each of the fourteen divisions at Step 5 at the end of the Regular Season.

Updated 13:50 - 17 Jun 2018 by Nigel Gregg

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