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The Women’s Football League Pyramid in the UK

Women's Football League Pyramid

Although the Women’s football league pyramid is just over two decades old, women’s football has existed in England for over a century. In fact, records show that women had begun playing football as early as the 16th Century. However, womens football england as we know it inauspiciously started when an 1881 match between English and Scottish teams ended in riots and suspension of women’s football in Scotland. The Scottish representative, Helen Graham Matthews, moved to England, setting up a team that will later compete with others across the country.

Due to an initial ban on women’s football in England at the end of the first world war, women’s football took a backseat until 1968 when the Women’s Football Association – founded in 1966 – finally commenced matches. Today the women’s football is under the direct control of the FA with numerous leagues and competitions.

How The Womens Football League Pyramid Is Run

The competition structure for open-age women’s football in Scotland is known as the Women’s Football League Pyramid. This system covers all league competitions from the County and Regional Leagues to the FA Women’s Super League.

In the women’s football league pyramid, new club entrants start their journey at the County League step W5. They then have to earn promotion into the Regional leagues. Teams in the Regional leagues gain promotion to the FA Women’s Premier League by winning their respective leagues. A playoff between the Southern and Northern Divisions winners determines the FA WPL overall champion. The champions earn promotions to the FA Women’s Super League.

Core Features of The Women’s Football League Pyramid

The present-day women’s football league pyramid is designed to be an all-inclusive structure. It gives clubs in all counties within the country an equal opportunity of playing in the highest leagues in the country. These are but a few of the Women’s Football League Pyramid’s core features:

  • Provides equal opportunity for clubs of all counties to participate.
  • Creates a development enabling women of all ages to play
  • Creates one of the most competitive women leagues in Europe

Europe’s Most Competitive Women’s Football League Structure

A far cry from the struggles of the mid-20th century, women’s football in England has progressed significantly. Today it is arguably one of the most competitive leagues in Europe involving over 3 million registered players playing in 5 divisions.

The women’s football league – the largest women’s team sport in England – needs more involvement and it all starts with picking up a pair of boots. From the Wildcats football centres that offer girls aged 5-11 a chance to play to youth teams for players aged 11 to 16, there is an enormous opportunity for everyone.

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