The British League will have an exciting new look in the 2011/12 season when the country’s top men’s and women’s teams battle for places in an elite competition – the Super 5s.

It’s all part of a reorganisation plan that BWPL chairman David Andrews says “will add an extra competitive ingredient for clubs in all divisions as well as demonstrating our determination to continue providing the best possible tournament environment for nearly 70 teams from England, Scotland and Wales.”

Next season’s format sees the programme divided top-to-bottom into two distinct phases.

Phase one, starting in September, will involve divisions of eight but with the top five in Division 1 then splitting off in phase two to play each other twice more. Men’s and women’s Super 5s culminate in title deciders at Manchester Aquatics Centre in January 2012.

The bottom three in Division 1 after the first half of the programme drop into a new division – it will be known as Championship 1 – along with the leading five from Division 2. These teams play each other once.

The same system – bottom three in one division playing the top five in the next division down – then cascades down through the league to create Championship 2, 3 and 4.

The BWPL continues to expand and will welcome six new teams in September. Joining the women’s competition will be:

Tyldesley – the club’s men have competed successfully at national level since joining the old NWPL in 1988.

Iceni – a new team formed specifically to enter the BWPL by a combination of six clubs in the Eastern region.

New men’s teams:

Bridgefield – a club with a strong junior set-up that will restore Merseyside representation to men’s national league.

Scottish Students – expands Scottish representative student polo beyond the annual three-nations event.

City of Birmingham II – the additional team will support a new development policy for polo in the West Midlands.

Watford – another club with a strong junior base. Back in national league competition for the first time since the 1970s.

Three men’s teams have withdrawn form the league – Otter 1869, the RAF and Warley. The four new men’s sides will therefore form a small new Division 5 in the first half of next season; then move into Championship 4 alongside the bottom three clubs from Division 4.

Detailed fixture lists will be available soon."