This article is really only for our English readers. To everyone else, hopefully you’ll get your own People’s Cup soon!
It’s back for 2016, bigger and better than ever: an FA and BBC sponsored UK-wide traditional 5-a-side football competition for the common man (and woman)!
The second national English 5-a-side tournament
In 2015 the English FA brought back a knockout 5-a-side tournament to crown the best team in England. Thousands of you participated, making it a phenomenal success.
So, building on the success of the tournament, it’s back for 2016. The people’s cup is returning where it left off… here’s how you can get on board.
Things move fast in the People’s Cup: the competition will take place over just three rounds:
- 22-24 January – Round 1, qualifying round held at multiple national centres over the country.
- 17-28 February – semi-finals, held at eight regional venues
- Sunday 20 March – The finals (TBC) – held last year in Manchester
The venues used will be a mixture of Goals, Powerleague and Play Football venues. The competition will be run in 10 categories, with pretty much everyone, male or female, from teens upwards, catered for. The categories are the same as in 2015, but this year a ‘disability’ category has been added:
- Adult Male (16+)
- Adult Female (16+)
- U16 Boys
- U16 Girls
- U14 Boys
- U14 Girls
- Male Veterans (35+)
- Female Veterans (35+)
- Walking football mixed (50+)
Read more at http://www.thefa.com/the-fa-peoples-cup/faqs
Why you need to be involved
In England, traditional 5-a-side still is the people’s game (by participation numbers), so this is going to be BIG. In total, it’s possible that up to 14,000 small-sided teams and more than 100,000 players could end up participating and it’s definitely worth thinking about joining them!
How would you like to be able to say that you played a part in one of the biggest tournaments ever? And what an opportunity to test yourself against the very best teams in the country, or at the very least have a team-building jolly down to your local venue.
Secondly, it’s free. Most tournaments ask for a fee to cover the costs, but this one is on the FA’s tab, so there’s absolutely nothing lost by entering. So no matter if you’re an established team or just 5 friends, workmates, students, or drinking partners who just fancy giving it a crack – you’ve got nothing to lose.
And thirdly, should you be a lucky winner, you’ll be given a VIP trip to the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on 21 May 2016 to swan around acting like the champions you will deservedly be. What’s more, as the BBC are getting involved, there’s a chance you’ll appear on the BBC’s Get Inspired website, so make sure that you get your hair cut and wash your kit before you turn out for the later rounds.
How to get involved
The first round begins on 22-24 January 2016 so act fast. Aim to register at least by 10 January 2016. Do it fast as there are limited places at each qualifying centre and, whilst they’re catering for a lot of teams, demand will be high too!
Tip: even if you don’t have a full team of your own – you can even register as an individual. This new feature for 2016 will enable people to be matched up with other like-minded players to form teams.
Good luck everyone – If you’re entering a team, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! I’m off to try and round up a team of my own…
If you want to find other tournaments, check out our tournament directory.