The English Counties League ran as a prototype in 1983 and 1984 with sponsorship from P.E.S. In 1985 it was rolled out as a National League with 2 divisions formed from the Inter-County rankings.
In 1986 a third division was added and three area divisions. These three area divisions were converted into the 4th, 5th and 6th divisions by 1988. Second teams, Under 21 and Under 18 were also been added.
Presentations were made on the Saturday of the Inter-county Tournament.
The ECL grew to 7 divisions and more than just the 1st team of each county. The county 2nd, U21 team and U18 team were all added. The ECL ceased with the creation of the Super League and the quest for performance.