U11 Primary Competition toolkit

The ESFA offers the Under 11 7-a-side Schools’ Cup competition to schools in affiliated membership with the English Schools’ FA, via the local District Association, for school children in Years 5 and 6, in the following categories:

  • U11 School Teams’ Cup
  • U11 Schools’ Cup for Girls
  • U11 Small Schools’ Cup

The competition was established in 1979 and regularly attracts over 3,000 boys’ teams and 2,000 girls’ teams on an annual basis, making it one of the largest schools’ football competitions in the world.

The tournament pathway is organised through, District, County and Regional competitions, which culminate in a national final which will be hosted at a Premier League or Football League stadium at the end of the season.

The ESFA U11 7v7 Schools’ Cup toolkit can be downloaded below to support local and county competition organisers; it can also be shared with the participating teams. It contains essential information such as eligibility criteria and competition rules.

District SFA rounds must be completed by Saturday 4th December. Winning team details must be sent to the local County Schools’ FA secretary. 

County Finals must be completed by Saturday 29 January. A county winners form has been sent directly to County Schools’ FA secretaries.

Regional Finals will be hosted in March / April 2022. We will publish a complete list of dates and venues in due course, when the details have been confirmed. 

Regional Finals Date and Venues

  • South West Regional Finals will take place on Saturday 2 April at Somerdale Pavilion, Keynsham, Somerset.
  • North– The Small Schools’ Cup North Regional Final will be hosted on Wednesday 16th March at the Activity Dome, Walker, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Other competitions TBC.
  • Midlands– TBC
  • South East– U11’s School Teams’ Cup finals will be hosted on Friday 25th February at Sporting Thamesmead, Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, SE28 8NJ. The Small Schools’ and Girls competition will be hosted on Friday 11th March at the same venue.

Important – please pay particular attention to the below team and player eligibility criteria for this competition:

  • School Teams’ Cup (girls are permitted to take part in ‘mixed’ teams)
  • Small Schools’ Cup (new rule – to be eligible to enter the Small Schools’ Cup, the affiliated school must have fewer than 65 pupils in total in Years 5 and 6 according to the numbers on roll as confirmed by the preceding year’s summer census.  Schools that qualify for the Small Schools’ Cup may enter that competition OR the Schools’ Cup for School Teams – not both.  Girls are permitted to play)
  • Girls’ Cup (specifically for the development of girls’ football, so no boys are allowed to compete in this competition)

Please remember that only pupils in School Years 5 and 6 are eligible to take part in this competition (see attached toolkit for specific date qualifications).  Please adhere to the competition rules – failure to do so will lead to disqualification.

Risk Assessments and Insurance

A template risk assessment can be downloaded here. Tournament organisers are required to undertake a risk assessment and share it with the participating teams ahead of the event.  A copy of ESFA insurance has been shared with host associations and is available upon request.


If you have any safeguarding concerns relating to this tournament, then please contact the ESFA National Welfare Officers:

Martin Duffield – martin.duffield@schoolsfa.com or phone 07852 276416

Sarah DaCosta – sarah.dacosta@schoolsfa.com or phone 07960 500723

For more information contact competitions@schoolsfa.com