New structure for NBL3 to be introduced following 2023/24 season

NBL Division Three teams will be fighting for promotion to Division two this season – or to secure a place in a new-look Division Three in 2024/25. 

Division Three will operate with an eight-pool set-up in 2023/24 before moving to a new format for the following season. 

From 2024/25, the eight pools will be merged into four pools of ten teams to allow a smoother promotion and relegation process with the two pools of Division Two with one promotion place available from each Division Three pool to Division Two.

It means Division Three will be capped at 40 teams. The teams from the current 82-strong cohort which fall below the cut-off point will play in the NBL Conference pools, where they will be joined by any new teams that apply to join the league. 

There will be annual promotion and relegation between the Conference pools and D3 pools, with promotional playoffs determining these places. The top Conference teams will playoff against the bottom places of D3.  

How it will work 

  • D3 will be limited to 40 teams, split into four regional pools – named Pool 1, Pool2, Pool 3, Pool 4 - from 2024/25 with four promotion places, one from each D3 pool. Two teams will be relegated from each of the two D2 pools. 
  • In 2023/24 four teams will be promoted from D3 to D2. The remaining top 36 teams in D3 in 2023/24 will be joined by four relegated D2 teams to make up the 2024/25 D3 field. 
  • The top 36 will be ranked across the current eight-pool set-up in the same way teams are ranked for playoff purposes, first by win percentage and then by points difference. 
  • Teams below the 36th team cut-out point will drop into one of the Conference pools. 
  • The Conference pools will be a steppingstone from local league into the National League competition, meaning there will be some different standards and rules for the Conference, with information to follow on this for entries into the 2024/25 season. 

Competitions Delivery Manager Gail Richards said: 

“The new Conference pools will create a more suitable introduction to NBL basketball than the current D3 tier and allow a fairer and more seamless promotion and relegation processes between D3 and D2.” 


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