Rugby bosses have delayed releasing details of next season’s league conference splits even though they have been agreed and fixtures drawn up.
All league rugby from level five down – that includes Bideford,South Molton, Torrington and Ilfracombe – will be played in geographic sub-divisions at first.
Existing divisions will be divided into seven-team east and west or north and south conferences. In the first tranche of 12 fixtures clubs will only play teams in their own section to keep travelling to a minimum.
Bideford are likely to be placed in the east section of the Western Counties split along with Tiverton, Honiton, Teignmouth, Burnham, Chard and Wiveliscombe.
Tranche two will be games against teams in the other conference, which is expected to comprise Truro, Wadebridge, Penryn, Falmouth, Kingsbridge, Paignton and Newton Abbot.
A league spokesman said postcodes were used to determine which teams were grouped together in conferences.
He added: “League secretaries have confirmed the splits which will be revealed nationally along with the fixtures next Wednesday (July 15).”
Barnstaple, who will be playing National Two rugby at level four once the season starts, have different fixture arrangements.
National Two is a 16-team division which means 30 games home and away, four more than level five and below.
The spokesman said commercial necessities put forward by the National Clubs Association, which represents level-four clubs in league matters, were a critical factor.
“Clubs in National Two largely see themselves as businesses that need games for the revenue they raise and they want to play the full schedule of home-and-away games as planned,” said the spokesman.
“If that means playing on into July to finish the fixtures then that’s what they will do.”