The 2016/16 edition of the FA Vase is underway, and this season sponsored by Buildbase.
The tournament has 11 rounds kicking off in September and finishing at Wembley Stadium in May.
Strictly speaking though, if you were to go through every round of the competition to the final, you would play 12 matches with the semi-final a two-legged affair.
There are two ‘qualifying rounds’ followed by round 1 – 6, the quarter finals, semi finals (2 legs) and final.
Teams and when they enter
The FA Vase is open to teams from the ninth tier and below of the English Football Pyramid – more commonly known as ‘step 5’. The Hellenic League Premier Division is a step 5 division.
It is ground grading dependent, but the Vase usually encompasses steps 5 to 7 – so in this area that would be the Hellenic Premier, Hellenic Division 1 East and Thames Valley Premier League Senior Division – though it is up to clubs to enter.
The round your club enters depends on their performance and division the previous season.
- If a club finished in the top 4 of a Step 5 league they are exempt from the qualifying rounds. If the club was promoted to Step 4 however they would play in the FA Trophy).
- Any team relegated from a Step 4 league the previous season are exempt from the qualifying rounds.
- A club that reached the fourth round or later of the previous season’s FA Vase are exempt from the qualifying rounds.