The League developed out of the far more limited Scottish League, established in 1962. In 1963, The Wasps, based at Whitley Bay, joined and by 1966 a regular but limited schedule had been established.
In 1966, the better British teams, mostly in Scotland, agreed to form a league to provide matches throughout the season. Initially of seven teams joined. It proved a success, and in 1970 various English teams formed a Southern League, leaving the Northern League as an entirely Scottish competition.