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

Friday 08 Sep 2023
Chelsea were the 2022-23 Barclays WSL title winners

The FA took over the running of the women’s game in 1993 and with over 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 Women’s Super League (BWSL) to the FA Women's National League as well as the Women’s FA Cup. 

We have two dedicated websites for the BWSL and Barclays Women's Championship, and for the Women's National League and Continental Tyres League Cup.

Barclays WSL

The FA Women’s Super League was restructured and re-branded ahead of the 2018-19 season. 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 October in the 2023-24 campaign following the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.

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

Find out more and buy tickets for BWSL games here.

Barclays WSL in 2023-24: 

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

Barclays Women’s Championship

The Barclays Women’s Championship, initially launched in 2018, comprises 12 semi-professional teams, with promotion open to the team that finishes top of the division at the end of the season.

BWC in 2023-24

Birmingham City
Blackburn Rovers
Charlton Athletic
Crystal Palace
London City Lionesses
Sheffield United

The Women’s FA Cup

The Football Association Women's Challenge Cup Competition, now known as the 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 2023 Final between Chelsea and Manchester United attracting a new record crowd of 77,390.

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 2023-24:

Brighouse Town
Derby County
Huddersfield Town
Liverpool Feds
Newcastle United
Nottingham Forest
Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion
Wolverhampton Wanderers

Southern Premier in 2023-24:

Billericay Town
Cardiff City
Cheltenham Town
Hashtag United
Ipswich Town
London Bees
MK Dons
Oxford United
Plymouth Argyle
Rugby Borough

Division One Midlands in 2023-24:

Boldmere St Michaels
Leafield Athletic
Leek Town
Lincoln City 
Loughborough Lightning
Northampton Town
Notts County
Peterborough United
Sheffield FC
Solihull Moors
Sporting Khalsa
Sutton Coldfield

Division One North in 2023-24:

Chester Le Street Town
Doncaster Belles
Durham Cestria
FC United of Manchester
Hull City
Leeds United
Norton & Stockton Ancients
Stockport County
York City

Division One South East in 2023-24:

AFC Sudbury
AFC Wimbledon
Ashford Town
Cambridge City
Cambridge United
Chesham United
Haywards Heath Town
London Seaward
Norwich City
Queens Park Rangers

Division One South West in 2023-24:

Abingdon United
AFC Bournemouth
Bridgwater United
Exeter City
Keynsham Town
Maidenhead United
Portishead Town
Southampton Women's
Swindon Town
Torquay United

By FA Staff