ECFA League and Cup Overview
National Premier League
Category One Competition: ECFA National Premier League
AoC Sport leagues are open to member colleges as well as schools, academies and training providers that meet our entry criteria.
The ECFA National Premier League represents the best of college football. Teams who are successfully accepted into the league are separated into National League Groups. Once home and away fixtures are complete, based on group league tables, 16 teams then progress to the first round of play-offs with National Play-Off finals taking place at a professional football ground in May.
The Philosophy of ECFA Category One is to provide the highest quality national league competition for 16 to 19-year-olds. To enhance the quality of the National League and focus on continuous improvement and quality standards, teams submit a specific entry detailing how they meet all the entry requirements of the National League, and in-season are required to meet a minimum of 80% compliance in-line with League Operating Standards. Teams which fall below 80% compliance will be at high risk of losing their Category One status the following year.
Organisations are able to apply for Category One status in February. The ECFA Committee selects entries at the March committee meeting.
For information on how to join contact AoC Sport’s competitions team.
Category Two and Three
AoC Sport Leagues are open to member colleges as well as schools, academies and training providers that meet our entry criteria.
The ECFA Category Two and Three Leagues operate at a regional level. Teams are successfully accepted into the league through the Regional Operations Meetings in May/June. All teams must complete an online entry form in March/April.
The ECFA Category Two Leagues are targeted at teams who have a focus on quality and performance and include teams aspiring to progress to Category One.
The ECFA Category Three Leagues are targeted at participation teams.
For information on how to join contact AoC Sport’s competitions team
ECFA Cup Competitions
Cup competitions are open to member colleges as well as schools, academies and training providers. Teams can enter the cup competitions without entering a league. The following football cup competitions are offered:
- Men’s ECFA Premier Cup (for colleges in Category 1 and 2 leagues)
- Men’s football knockout (for colleges who play in Category 3 leagues or who do not enter leagues)
- Men’s ECFA Knockout Trophy (for schools, academies and training providers)
- Men’s ECFA Ability Counts Cup (Disability Football Cup)
- Women’s ECFA Premier Cup(for colleges in Category 1 and 2 leagues)
- Women’s ECFA Knockout Cup
ECFA Cup Finals take place during the first week of May at a selected professional football club – providing a fantastic occasion which celebrates both teams’ road to the final.
For information on how to enter contact AoC Sport’s competitions team.
If you are interested in sponsoring one of our cup finals, please contact our National Football Development Manager, Lauren O’Sullivan.