About our Competitions


(this will open a new window)



As of 19 March 2021, the ESFA is opening entries for all Association and Schools’ Cup competitions for the 2021/22 season, with a view to fixtures beginning as usual in September. Draws will be made prior to the Summer Holidays, to allow schools and teams additional time to plan for the upcoming season.

For fixtures, all relevant FA, ESFA and Government guidelines must be followed. We will continue to provide updates into guidance and limitations as and when it is made available by DCMS and The FA. All guidance will also be uploaded to our website here

Competition Play On Dates

National Competitions 2021/22 

Play on dates: Click here for 21/22 play on dates

National Competitions 2022/23

Play on dates: Click here for 22/23 play on dates

A message from the Chairman 

National competitions are the heartbeat of our Association and are the vehicle for the mass participation that we hold so dear. I can remember very clearly and with great fondness, my school playing days and the excitement in the build up to inter-school fixtures. They always created a unique buzz throughout the whole school, evidencing the special place that schools’ football has amongst players, their peers, the staff and wider families. 

I write this in the hope and expectation that, after the huge enforced disruption of the last 18 months, the 2021-22 season will see the full return and completion of our competitions, thus giving us the opportunity to facilitate the lifelong memories and experiences that I valued so highly and that our children crave and deserve. 

School sport and football in particular, plays such an important role in the overall educational experience for so many and has never been more important than now, not least in helping to address the national rise in child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing issues. I am delighted that our association can play its part in supporting this vital area.  

Whether your school is a serial entrant to our national competitions, whether this is your first year or even if you are just considering entering for the first time, I am sure that you will recognise their value and be enthusiastic to share in the schools’ football experience with all in your school community. As teachers, we are in a privileged position to be able to impact so positively on the lives of our students and what better way to ensure their engagement, experience and enjoyment than providing opportunities to play and compete in the game they love on a national stage.

Mark Hignett
ESFA Chairman

Our Competitions

The ESFA’s National Competition programme attracts around 16,000 team entries each season with teams entering year on year as a result of the exceptional provision of competitions offered. The ESFA carefully ensures that the competition offer meets the needs of the schools which enter and the friendly and professional approach of the ESFA National Competitions’ Department, not only keeps teams returning, but encourages new schools and teams to take part in and experience our National Cup programme, season after season. 

National Competitions are at the very heart of what the ESFA has to offer, in creating thousands of opportunities for children to play grassroots football at a National level. Each season culminates with a period of National Finals, in which finalists travel to various prestigious football stadia across England to compete to be crowned champion of England in their respective competitions. 

The ESFA prides itself in being able to showcase the abilities of the top players and teams, but also offers a variety of categories of competition that will be appropriate for differing levels of ability.  National Finals over recent seasons have been hosted at venues such as West Bromwich Albion FC, Man City FC, Everton FC and Stoke City FC, all of which provide an incredible match day experience for those teams involved.  We always strive to ensure that finalists receive a full match day experience and create memories that will last a lifetime.  

Don’t take our word for it…

Here’s some of the feedback we’ve had from National Finalists…

“Thanks so much to you and all your team for making such great memories for all our students and parents in attendance. The players are already talking about what they can do to get back to another National final” – Shenfield High School, Essex

“The organisation and venue were excellent so well done to you guys there. Although we didn’t get the result we’d hoped for, we all had a brilliant day including the 200 students who came down to watch and the rest of the school who watched it on your tv channel. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get to another final in the years to come” – Our Lady’s, Manchester

“Once again, the venue was excellent and you looked after us so well. Thank you for the hospitality. We appreciate the hard work, effort and attention to detail that goes into events like this so wanted to ensure it did not go unnoticed” – Hartpury College, Gloucester

2019 Playstation Schools’ Cup Festival

View all ESFA National Schools’ Cup Competition Information

Simply download the PDF brochure below which lists all of the ESFA’s competitions and eligibility guidance for each

ESFA National Cup Programme 2021