|Instituted||1902-1995 (as Second Division)|
1996-1998 (as Division One)
1999-2002 (as Northern Premiership)
|Most titles|| Leigh Centurions |
Salford Red Devils
|Related competition||Challenge Cup|
|Promotion to||First Division|
|Relegation to||Third Division|
The Rugby Football League Championship Second Division was founded in 1902 and was the second tier of professional rugby league in the UK until 2003.
During the 1990s a third division was established and there is automatic promotion between the second and third division.
The Second Division was formed in 1902 by splitting the RFL Championship into two divisions of 18. After three seasons the Second Division was abolished and not resurrected until 1962. Two seasons later in 1964 the Second Division was scrapped for the second time.
The division was resurrected again in 1973 and has been played every season since. During the 1991-92 season, a third division was established and, for the first time, two teams were relegated. There was no regular relegation from the Second Division until 2003.
In 1995, in anticipation for the Super League starting in 1996, six teams were relegated from the RFL Championship, five were relegated to the Second Division and one was relegated to form the Third Division. Controversy was caused as London Broncos, who finished 4th in the Second Division, were elected to the Championship ahead of Keighley, Batley and Huddersfield.
In 2003, the divisions under Super League were reorganised into the National Leagues with Second and Third Divisions becoming National League One and National League Two.
|1905-1962: No Second Division|
|1964-1973: No Second Division|
Hull Kingston Rovers
|1||Leigh Centurions||3||1976-77, 1985–86, 1988–89|
|=||Salford Red Devils||3||1990-91, 1995–96, 1996|
|=||Oldham||3||1963-64, 1981–82, 1987–88|
|4||Barrow Raiders||2||1975-76, 1983–84|
|=||Featherstone Rovers||2||1979-80, 1992–93|
|=||Keighley Cougars||2||1902-03, 1994–95|
|=||Dewsbury Rams||2||1904-05, 2000|
|=||Wakefield Trinity||2||1903-04, 1998|
|=||Huddersfield Giants||2||1974-75, 2002|
|=||Hull F.C.||2||1976-77, 1978–79|
|=||York City Knights||1||1980-81|
|=||Hull Kingston Rovers||1||1989-90|
The Championship, known as the Betfred Championship for sponsorship reasons, is a professional rugby league competition. It is the second-tier competition organised by the Rugby Football League, the governing body for the sport in England, and consists of 14 teams, with promotion to the Super League and relegation to the third-tier competition, League 1. The league announced a two-year sponsorship deal with the bookmaking company Betfred ahead of the 2018 season. The current champions are Toronto Wolfpack, winners of the 2019 season. The 2020 season was cancelled in its entirety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rugby Football League Championship Third Division was founded in 1991 and was the third tier of professional rugby league in the UK until 1998.
The Bradford Bulls are a professional rugby league club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, currently playing in the Championship. They have won the Challenge Cup five times, the league championship six times and the World Club Challenge three times. Having vacated Odsal Stadium, Bradford intend to play their home games next year at Tetley's Stadium. The team jersey is predominantly white with red, amber and black chevrons.
The Widnes Vikings are an English rugby league club in Widnes, Cheshire, which competes in the RFL Championship. The club plays home matches at the Halton Stadium. Founded as Widnes Football Club, they are one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895. Their historic nickname is "The Chemics" after the main industry in Widnes, but now they use their modern nickname, "The Vikings".
The Barrow Raiders are a semi-professional rugby league team in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. The club was formed in 1875 as Barrow Football Club. For the 1995-96 and 1996 seasons the club was known as Barrow Braves, becoming the Barrow Border Raiders for the 1997 season following a merger with Carlisle Border Raiders, dropping the Border part of the name in 2002 to become the Barrow Raiders.
Featherstone Rovers are a professional rugby league club in Featherstone, West Yorkshire, England, who play in the Championship. Featherstone is a former coal mining town with a population of around 16,000 and Rovers are one of the last "small town teams" which were common in rugby league in the early 20th century. The club has produced many junior players who have gone on to play for Super League clubs. Their local rivals are Castleford and Wakefield Trinity, and in the Championship, Halifax.
The Keighley Cougars are a professional rugby league club from Keighley in West Yorkshire, England who compete in League 1, the third tier of English rugby league. Keighley's home ground, Cougar Park has a capacity of 7,800.
The British rugby league system is based on a five-tier structure administered by the Rugby Football League.
The major national club competition in France is the Elite One Championship, below this is the Elite Two Championship and a number of regional leagues. The teams in each competition will change each year depending on final standings and relegation/promotion.
League 1 is a professional rugby league competition based in the United Kingdom. The competition also features clubs from Wales, and previously included clubs from Canada and France. It is the Rugby Football League's (RFL) third-tier competition, below the Championship, with which it has promotion and relegation.
The Super League (SL), sponsored as the Betfred Super League and officially known as Super League Europe, is the top-level of the British rugby league system. The league currently has twelve teams, eleven of which are from Northern England, reflecting the sport's geographic popularity within the UK. The final team is Catalans Dragons, from southern France.
The 2009 Co-operative Championship is a semi-professional rugby league football competition played in the United Kingdom and France one tier below the first tier Super League. The two worst performing teams during the season, with the exception of Toulouse Olympique, will be relegated to Championship 1.
Rugby league is played across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but it's heartland in the North of England is where the sport is most popular, and is where the majority of professional clubs are based. The sport was first established in the George Hotel, Huddersfield, where 22 clubs from the Rugby Football Union split to form the Northern Rugby Football Union.
The Rugby League Championships are the two professional divisions below the Super League, consisting of 12 teams in the Championship and 14 teams in League 1. Promotion and relegation is in use between the Championship and League 1 as well as between the Championship and Super League but not between League 1 and the National Conference League and French Elite One Championship. The RFL can promote teams between the NCL, Elite One Championship and League 1.
The 2012 Championship 1 was a semi-professional rugby league football competition played in England and Wales, the third tier of the sport in the country. For one season only, the top four teams were promoted to the 2013 Rugby Football League Championship, while the champions of the division were decided by a six-team play-off, which was won by Doncaster, who beat Barrow 16–13 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The 2013 Championship 1, known as the Kingstone Press Championship 1 for sponsorship reasons, was a semi-professional rugby league football competition played in England and Wales, the third tier of the sport in the country. The 2013 season will see three new teams enter the division alongside the six remaining teams that were not promoted during the 2012 season. Coventry, who had been considered for entry into the division for 2013, will enter the division in 2014. This means that the 2013 Championship 1 season will consist of 9 teams.
Since the formation of Super League in 1996, the Rugby Football League (RFL) has continually expanded the top three divisions of rugby league in Britain with an aim to expand the competitions outside the traditional heartlands.
The 2016 Rugby Football League Championship, known as Kingstone Press Championship due to sponsorship by Kingstone Press Cider, was a rugby league football competition played in the UK, one tier below the first tier Super League. The 2016 season was the second to consist of a new structure combining the championship and super league divisions three quarters of the way through the season.
The 2020 RFL League 1 was a professional rugby league football competition played in England and Wales and is the third tier of the sport for Rugby Football League (RFL) affiliated clubs. The sponsors for the league were the bookmakers, Betfred and the league continued to be known as the Betfred League 1.
The 2020 Rugby Football League Championship is a rugby league football competition played primarily in England but including a team from France. It is the second tier of the three tiers of professional rugby league in England, below Super League and above League 1. Following rule changes agreed at the end of the 2018 season, the Super 8's format was abandoned and the Championship was to have featured a play-off system leading to promotion to Super League for one club while results during the regular season would have led to relegation to League 1 for two teams.