Football Sport Icon

The national sport is an invasion game, traditionally played between two teams of eleven players, but can also be played in other formats such as 5v5, 7v7 and 9v9. The game was born in England but has since become the most played sport in the world.

Continue reading Arrow icon
Football 1.jpg

The Basics

  • A game which involves kicking a ball into a rectangular goal with a net. Players will generally score with their feet, but can actually use any part of their body apart from their hands and arms. The game always starts with a kick off from the centre mark of the pitch
  • Each team has a designated goalkeeper, who is permitted to use their hands and arms within a marked area, to try and prevent the opposition team from scoring. 
  • Various other rules are in place to prevent foul play or unsportsmanlike conduct, e.g. the offside rule (in 9v9 and 11v11), which prevents attacking players from waiting by the opposition’s goal, so they are best placed to shoot when the ball comes to them.


  • The FA Cup, England’s national cup competition, is the oldest association football competition in the world. It was first held at the climax of the 1871-72 season, with Wanderers defeating Royal Engineers 1-0 at the Kensington Oval.
  • As well as competing in domestic competitions, including the FA Cup and the Premier League and English Football League, the best teams from each country will also compete in continental competitions, such as the Champions League – previously the European Cup.
  • Women’s’ football has been played for many years but the game really took off in 2010 when The Women’s Super League was formed, with Liverpool Ladies, Manchester City Ladies, Arsenal Ladies  and Chelsea Ladies all winning the title since its inception.
  • An international competition, the World Cup, has also been held for men’s national teams since 1930. Brazil is the competition’s most successful team having won the tournament on five occasions. England has won it once, in 1966.
  • Wembley Stadium, London is the National Stadium and St George’s Park, Burton is the National Training Centre, which is home to The FA’s 24 National Sides.

Famous Competitors

  • Harry Kane – the England and Tottenham Hotspur Striker and Captain has been a key player for both of his sides over the past 3 years. At the age of 25 he already has 100 Premier League goals and 20 goals for England, including winning the ‘2018 FIFA Golden Boot’ – the award for the top goalscorer at the World Cup in Russia. He also has 2 Premier League ‘Golden Boots’ and was awarded an MBE in 2019 for his services to the game.
  • Steph Houghton – the England Lionesses captain has reached a century of caps for her country, including a bronze medal from the 2015 World Cup in Canada. She also plays for and captains Manchester City in the WSL and was awarded an MBE in 2016. 
  • Jack Rutter – was the England Cerebral Palsy team Captain, having debuted in 2013 for the national side, despite only playing CP football for 12 months. In 2017, Jack led the England team to a best ever 4th place at the CP World Cup in Argentina.

National Governing Body

Football Association (FA) – please click here for more information.

Within schools we also have English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) and The Independent Schools’ FA (ISFA) – please click on their respective links for more information.

Please click to read the Football School Games Position Statement


  • Intra-School Primary: Competition Card
  • Intra-School Primary: Challenge Card
  • Intra-School Secondary
  • Local Inter-School
  • Inclusive Specific Sport Format

In order for a competition to be considered part of a School Games provision, it must follow a School Games format. All School Games registered users have access to our sport formats and can access the formats for this sport by clicking the button below. Alternatively, you can download the full Football format pack by clicking here

Access football formats

Register or go to your dashboard to see these formats

Your School

Our sports