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

Monday 01 Aug 2022
Chelsea were the 2021-22 Barclays 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 Women’s Super League (BWSL) to the Vitality Women’s FA Cup and all the latest news can be found on a dedicated leagues and competitions website.

Barclays 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 WSL in 2022-23:

Aston Villa
Brighton & Hove Albion
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 2022-23

Birmingham City
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 2022 Final between Chelsea and Manchester City attracting a new record crowd of 49,094.

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 2022-23:

Boldmere St Michaels
Derby County
Huddersfield Town
Liverpool Feds
Loughborough Lightning
Nottingham Forest
Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion
Wolverhampton Wanderers

Southern Premier in 2022-23:

Billericay Town
Bridgwater United
Cheltenham Town
Crawley Wasps
Ipswich Town
Keynsham Town
London Bees
MK Dons
Oxford United
Plymouth Argyle

Division One Midlands in 2022-23:

Doncaster Rovers Belles
Leafield Athletic
Leek Town
Long Eaton United
Lincoln City 
Northampton Town
Peterborough United
Sheffield FC
Solihull Moors
Sporting Khalsa
Wem Town

Division One North in 2022-23:

Bradford City
Durham Cestria
FC United of Manchester
Hull City
Leeds United
Newcastle United
Norton & Stockton Ancients
Stockport County
York City

Division One South East in 2022-23:

AFC Wimbledon
Ashford Town
Cambridge City
Cambridge United
Chesham United
Hashtag United
London Seaward
Norwich City
Queens Park Rangers

Division One South West in 2022-23:

AFC Bournemouth
AFC St Austell
Cardiff City
Exeter City
Keynsham Town
Larkhall Athletic
Poole Town
Portishead Town
Southampton Women's
Swindon Town


By FA Staff