FA Vase

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FA Vase
Buildbase-FA-Vase-172x300.png
FA Vase logo, incorporating the name of sponsor Buildbase
Founded1974
RegionEngland, Wales, Channel Islands, Isle of Man (The FA)
Number of teams638 (2018–19)
Current champions Warrington Rylands
Most successful club(s) Whitley Bay (4 times)
Television broadcasters BT Sport
(final only)
Soccerball current event.svg 2020–21 FA Vase

The Football Association Challenge Vase, usually referred to as the FA Vase, is an annual football competition for teams playing in Steps 5 and 6 of the English National League System (or equivalently, tier 9 or 10 of the overall English football league system). For the 2017–18 season 619 entrants were accepted, with two qualifying rounds preceding the six proper rounds, semi-finals (played over two legs) and final to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Contents

The 2021 winners were Warrington Rylands, who beat Binfield 3–2 at Wembley Stadium.

History

Nantwich Town celebrate winning the Vase after beating Hillingdon Borough in the final in 2006. Nantwich Town FC - FA Vase Parade.JPG
Nantwich Town celebrate winning the Vase after beating Hillingdon Borough in the final in 2006.

Until 1974, football players were either professionals or amateurs. Professionals were paid to play by their clubs, and the only cup competitions such clubs were allowed to enter were the FA Cup and, after 1969, for clubs outside the Football League, the FA Trophy. Amateurs, on the other hand, were not paid (at least not officially) by their clubs, and such clubs had their own cup competition, the FA Amateur Cup.

In 1974, with many of the top amateur players receiving payment for playing, the Football Association abolished the distinction, scrapped the Amateur Cup and introduced the FA Vase for the majority of clubs who had previously played in the competition. Well over 200 clubs entered in the first season, 1974–75, when Hoddesdon Town of the Spartan League beat Epsom & Ewell of the Surrey Senior League 2–1 in the final at Wembley Stadium before a crowd of 9,000.

Eligibility

Whitley Bay take on Abbey Hey in an FA Vase match in 2008. FAVaseAction2008.jpg
Whitley Bay take on Abbey Hey in an FA Vase match in 2008.

In recent years, entry to the FA Vase has been restricted to clubs in the ninth and lower tiers of the English football league system (those in the four levels above the ninth qualified for the FA Trophy). Reorganisation of the National League System for 2004 onwards moved the dividing line down to the new "Step 5" (ninth tier overall). Clubs from the Channel Islands (First Tower United, St. Martins and Vale Recreation) and the Isle of Man (Douglas HSOB) also entered the Vase in the past. Guernsey F.C., who were formed in 2011 and played in the "Step 5" Combined Counties League, gained entry for the 201213 season [1] [2] and reached the semi-finals.

Exemptions

Finals

Only six teams have won the FA Vase more than once. Whitley Bay are the only team to win the FA Vase three times in successive seasons, while Billericay Town, Tiverton Town and Halesowen Town have won back-to-back titles. As of 2017–18, at least one Northern League team has reached the final for 10 consecutive seasons, with teams from the league winning the title in all but two of those years. In 2017 Forest Green Rovers became the first FA Vase winners to go on to play in the English Football League, while one former Football League team (Glossop North End) have been beaten finalists.

Media coverage

BT Sport showed the 2016 FA Vase Final between Hereford and Morpeth Town live on 22 May as part of a double-header along with the 2016 FA Trophy Final. [3] This has continued in more recent years.

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The 2019–20 FA Trophy was the 51st season of the FA Trophy, an annual football competition for teams at levels 5-8 of the English National League System. The competition consisted of two preliminary rounds, three qualifying rounds, and six proper rounds. All matches until the semi-finals were held as a single-match knockout format with reversed replays after first-leg matches drawn in regulation time. The semi-finals were scheduled to be two-legged, but due to their delay by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom they were shifted to single matches, with no replays. The final was a single-match held at Wembley Stadium and decided in extra time or penalties if tied after regulation. First-leg ties throughout the competition could be decided by extra time or penalties if both teams agree and notify the referee at least 45 minutes before kickoff, in accordance with FA Trophy Rule 11(a).

The 2020–21 Buildbase FA Vase is the 47th season of the FA Vase, an annual football competition for teams playing in Levels 9 and 10 of the English National League System. The competition is to be played with two qualifying rounds followed by six proper rounds, semi-finals, and the final to be played at Wembley Stadium. All ties this season are to be played to a finish on the day. For this season there are no replays in any of the rounds to minimise fixture congestion due to late start of the football season brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. If the game finishes level after 90 minutes, the match will be decided by penalties to find the winner of the tie, apart from the Final where there will be 30 minutes extra time followed by penalties if matches are still level after the extra time period.

References

  1. "FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round draw". the FA. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  2. "FA Vase: Guernsey FC face Crowborough Athletic in FA Vase". BBC News. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  3. "Tickets on sale for FA Non-League Finals Day at Wembley". The Football Association . 11 February 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.