The National Conference League have confirmed they will not be replacing Salford City Roosters for the 2020 season and leaving it at 49 teams for now.
The original plan was to create a fifth division for the 2020 season, but will now leave it at four and restructure for 2021.
Chairman Alan Smith explained he had taken feedback from the clubs regarding the structure of the league going forward.
He said: “One reason is that some Division Three clubs said that 26 games were too many.
“The NCL will therefore be looking at a restructure for 2021 and the NCL Management has decided not to accept any new teams for 2020.
“Division Three will therefore have thirteen teams, playing 24 games. Promotion and relegation will remain the same for 2020.”
Clubs that have applied this time only to miss out are Dalton and Walney Central (the latter former members), both of Furness, and West Cumbria outfits Ellenborough Rangers and Seaton Rangers, together with Yorkshire Mens League sides Bentley (Doncaster) and Wyke (Bradford).