An introduction to The FA's women's leagues and competitions

Sunday 01 Aug 2021
Chelsea were named the 2019-20 FA WSL title winners

The FA took over the running of the women’s game in 1993 and with almost three million registered players, football is now the top participation sport for women and girls in England.

The FA run a number of women’s competitions at the elite level, from the Barclays FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) to the Women’s FA Cup and all the latest news can be found on a new, dedicated leagues and competitions website.

Barclays FA WSL

The FA Women’s Super League was restructured and re-branded ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Now fully professional, it is a 12-team competition for the top teams in the country.

The season has moved to a more traditional football calendar with matches taking place from September.

In March 2019, Barclays was unveiled as the league’s title sponsor with effect from the 2019-20 season.

Barclays FA WSL in 2021-22:

Aston Villa
Birmingham City
Brighton & Hove Albion
Leicester City
Manchester City
Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur
West Ham United

FA Women’s Championship

The FA Women’s Championship, launched in 2018, comprises 11 semi-professional teams, with promotion open to the team that finishes top of the division at the end of the season.

FA Women’s Championship in 2019-20:

Blackburn Rovers
Bristol City
Charlton Athletic
Coventry United
Crystal Palace
London City Lionesses
Sheffield United

The Vitality Women’s FA Cup

The Football Association Women's Challenge Cup Competition, now known as the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, began in 1970 and is the largest and most prestigious domestic knockout competition within the women’s game.

Clubs are eligible to enter the competition provided they compete in the top division of a women’s county league or higher and more than 260 clubs regularly enter annually.

In 2015, the Final was played at Wembley Stadium for the first time reflecting the incredible growth in interest in the women’s game, attracting a then record crowd of 30,710.

The Final attendance has grown year-on-year since, with the 2019 Final between Manchester City and West Ham United attracting a new record crowd of 43,264.

FA Women’s National League

The third and fourth tiers of the women’s pyramid, the FA Women’s National League, comprises six divisions: Northern Premier Division, Southern Premier Division, Division 1 North, Division 1 Midlands, Division 1 South East, Division 1 South West.

Northern Premier in 2021-22:

Derby County
Huddersfield Town
Hull City
Loughborough Lightning
Nottingham Forest
Sheffield FC
Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion
Wolverhampton Wanderers

Southern Premier in 2021-22:

Bridgwater United
Cardiff City
Chichester & Selsey
Crawley Wasps
Ipswich Town
Keynsham Town
London Bees
MK Dons
Oxford United
Plymouth Argyle
Yeovil Town

Division One Midlands in 2021-22:

Bedworth United
Boldmere St Michaels
Burton Albion
Doncaster Rovers Belles
Holwell Sports
Leafield Athletic
Leek Town
Long Eaton United
Lincoln City 
Peterborough United
Solihull Moors
Sporting Khalsa
Wem Town

Division One North in 2021-22:

Alnwick Town
Bradford City
Chester le Street Town
Durham Cestria
FC United of Manchester
Leeds United
Liverpool Feds
Newcastle United
Norton & Stockton Ancients
Stockport County

Division One South East in 2021-22:

AFC Wimbledon
Billericay Town
Cambridge City
Cambridge United
Enfield Town
Harlow Town
Hashtag United
Kent Football United
London Seaward
Norwich City
Queens Park Rangers

Division One South West in 2021-22:

AFC Bournemouth
Buckland Athletic
Cheltenham Town
Chesham United
Exeter City
Larkhall Athletic
Maidenhead Utd
Poole Town
Southampton Women's
Swindon Town


By FA Staff