Women: Cheltenham, Manchester Comets, Sunderland (these teams finished in the bottom three places in Division 3 in the first half of the current campaign), plus new applicants Exeter, Nova Centurion and Watford. The top three will start next season in Division 3.
Men: Bedford and Chelmsford (bottom in this season’s seven-team Division 5), plus applicants City of Chester, City of Newport and Northampton. The top three progress to Division 5.
See fixtures page for qualification tournament schedules.
Among the “new” faces, it’s particularly encouraging to note that water polo is on the rise again in clubs with long-established national league pedigrees. City of Newport, for example, are direct descendants of Maindee Olympic, men’s National League champions in 1982, 1983 and 1984. Both Nova Centurion and Chester competed for many years in the men’s competition, with Nova playing in the top division for 14 seasons between 1985 and 1998.