New Zealand football league system
A detailed layout of the league system, as of 2022.
CountryNew Zealand
SportAssociation football
Promotion and relegationYes
National system
FederationNew Zealand Football
ConfederationOFC
Top division
Second division
Cup competition
Association football in New Zealand

The New Zealand league system is the structure of leagues nationally and regionally, newly updated for the 2021 season.[1] The system previously had a path from grassroots to the top flight but that stopped in 2004 with the New Zealand Football Championship being created as a replacement to the former New Zealand National Soccer League.

The current top flight of New Zealand Football is the National League, entering its inaugural season in 2021.[2]

The top 4 Divisions of the Northern Region Football leagues for both men and women (Tiers 2–5) will be restructured for the 2023 season.[3]

Cups

The premier cup competition in New Zealand is the Chatham Cup which dates back to 1923.

Regional cup competitions are also run within federations, allowing multiple teams from the same club to enter.

Men's structure

Detailed layout of 2022 New Zealand Football League System

Clubs at the top of the pyramid are only permitted to enter a single team in their confederation's higher levels. Other teams from the same club are permitted to enter teams below this threshold, but have restrictions on promotion.[4][5] Clevedon FC are currently the lowest ranked 1st team in the country, playing in NRF South Division 10 (Tier 15).[6]


Level

League(s)/division(s)

1

New Zealand National League
10 clubs[a]

2

Northern League
12 clubs – 4 qualifications, 2 relegations

Central League
10 clubs – 3 qualifications, 1 relegation

Southern League
10 clubs – 2 qualifications, 1 relegation

3

NRFL Championship
12 clubs – 2 promotions, 1 relegation[b]

Central Federation League
5 teams – 0–1 promotions

Capital Premier
10 teams – 0–1 promotions

Mainland Premier League
8 clubs – 0–1 promotions

Southern Premiership
10 clubs – 0–1 promotions

4

NRFL Northern Conference
9 clubs – 0–1 promotions, 1 relegation[b]
NRFL Southern Conference
8 clubs – 0–1 promotions, 1 relegation[b]

Horizons Premiership – 8 teams
Pacific Premiership – 7 teams
Taranaki Premiership – 6 teams

Capital 1
10 teams

Mainland Championship
10 teams

South Canterbury Division 1 – 4 clubs
Otago Division 17 clubs
Southland Division 112 clubs

5

NRF League One
7 clubs – 1 promotion

WaiBOP League One

8 teams – 1 promotion

Horizons Championship – 7 clubs
Hawke's Bay Division 2 – 5 clubs
Eastern League Division I – 8 clubs
Taranaki Championship – 9 clubs

Capital 2
10 clubs

Mainland Division 1 – 10 teams
Marlborough Division 1 – 6 clubs
Nelson Division 1 – 8 clubs
South Canterbury Division 2 – 6 clubs
Otago Division 2 – 8 clubs
Southland Division 2 – 10 clubs

6

NRF Northland Division 1 – 8 clubs

NRF Division 1 – 8 teams

Waikato Division 1 – 8 teams
Bay League Division 1 – 8 teams

Manawatu Championship – 8 teams
Whanganui Championship – 12 teams
Hawke's Bay Division 3 – 12 teams
Eastern League Division II – 9 teams
Taranaki Division 1 – 9 teams

Capital 3
10 teams

Mainland Division 2 – 10 teams
Marlborough Division 2 – 8 teams
Nelson Division 2 – 8 clubs
South Canterbury Division 3 – 7 clubs
Otago Division 3 – 8 clubs

7

NRF Northland Division 2 – 7 clubs
NRF Division 2 – 8 teams
Waikato Division 2 – 9 teams
Bay League Division 2 – 10 teams

Manawatu Division 1 – 10 teams
Taranaki Division 2 – 6 teams

Capital 4
10 teams

Mainland Division 3 – 8 teams
Nelson Division 3 – 8 clubs
Otago Division 4 – 11 clubs

8

NRF Northland Division 3 – 8 clubs
NRF Division 3 – 8 teams
Waikato Division 3 – 10 teams
Bay League Division 3 – 9 teams

Manawatu Division 2 – 10 teams
Taranaki Division 3 - 8 teams
Wellington 1 – 10 teams
Horowhenua/Kapiti Local League 1 – 8 clubs
Wairarapa 1/2 – 11 clubs

Mainland Division 4 – 8 teams
Nelson Division 4 – 8 clubs

9

NRF Northland Division 4 – 7 clubs
NRF Division 4 – 8 teams
Waikato Division 4 – 10 teams

Wellington 2 – 10 teams
Horowhenua/Kapiti Local League 2 – 9 clubs
Wairarapa 1/2 – 11 clubs

Mainland Division 5 – 8 teams

10

NRF Division 5/5b – 8/8 clubs

Wellington 3 – 10 teams

Mainland Division 6 – 8 teams

11

NRF Harbour Division 6 – 10 teams
NRF Central Division 6 – 8 teams
NRF South Division 6 – 8 teams

Wellington 4 – 10 teams

Mainland Division 7 – 8 teams

12

NRF Harbour Division 7 – 8 teams
NRF Central Division 7 – 8 teams
NRF South Division 7 – 8 teams

Wellington 5 – 10 teams

Mainland Division 8 – 8 teams

13

NRF Harbour Division 8 – 8 teams
NRF Central Division 8 – 8 teams
NRF South Division 8 – 8 teams

Wellington 6 – 11 teams

Mainland Division 9 – 9 teams

14

NRF Harbour Division 9 – 8 teams
NRF Central Division 9 – 8 teams
NRF South Division 9 – 8 teams

15

NRF Harbour Division 10 – 8 teams
NRF Central Division 10 – 8 teams
NRF South Division 10 – 8 teams

16

NRF Central Division 11 – 9 teams

Notes

  1. ^ 9 teams qualify from regional leagues to join the Wellington Phoenix Reserves, who automatically qualify.[2]
  2. ^ a b c Promotion and relegation is dependent on regulations that only allow one team per club in the top grades[4][5][7]

Women's structure

Sources[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Level League(s)/division(s)

1

New Zealand Women's National League
8 clubs

2

NRFL Women's Premiership
8 clubs – 4 qualifications, 1 relegation playoff

Capital W-League
7 clubs – 1 relegation

Mainland Women's Premier League
4 clubs

Women's Southern Premier League
7 clubs

3

NRF Women's Championship
11 clubs – 0–1 promotions, 2 relegations

WaiBOP W-League
6 clubs – 0–1 promotions

Central Women's Federation League
5 clubs

Women's Capital Premier
8 clubs – 1 promotion, 1 relegation

Canterbury Women's Championship League 1 – 11 clubs
Nelson Women's Premiership Division 1 – 11 clubs
Marlborough Women's Social League – 3 clubs
Otago Division One – 6 clubs
Southland Kolk Cup – 7 clubs

4

NRF Women's Northland Division 1 – 5 clubs
NRF Women's Division 1 – 8 clubs
Waikato Women's Division 1 – 8 clubs
Women's Bay League Division 1 – 9 clubs

Manawatu Premiership – 6 clubs
Whanganui Kelly Hiroa League – 8 clubs
Hawke's Bay Women's Division 1 – 5 clubs
Gisborne Eastern League – 6 clubs
Taranaki Women's Premiership – 12 clubs

Capital Women's 1 – 10 clubs

Canterbury Championship League 2 – 6 clubs
Otago Division Two – 8 clubs

5

NRF Northland Women's Division 2 – 6 clubs
NRF Women's Division 2 – 10 clubs
Waikato Women's Division 2 – 9 clubs

Manawatu Women's Championship – 6 clubs

Hawkes Bay Women's Division 2 – 7 clubs

Capital Women's 2 – 10 clubs

6

NRF Harbour Division 3 – 7 clubs
NRF Central Division 3 – 9 clubs

Capital Women's 3 – 11 clubs

7

NRF Harbour Division 4 – 10 clubs
NRF Central Division 4 – 8 clubs

Wairarapa League – 4 clubs

8

NRF Central Division 5 – 7 clubs

References

  1. ^ "The National League System". New Zealand Football. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b "New National League competition details confirmed". New Zealand Football. 26 February 2021. Archived from the original on 17 March 2021. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  3. ^ "2021 NRFL Review". Northern Region Football.
  4. ^ a b "Waikato Bay of Plenty Football, Regulations 2021". WaiBOP Football Federation. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Northern Region Football Playing Regulations". Northern Region Football. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Community Senior Men". Northern Region Football.
  7. ^ "Capital Football Federation Football Playing Regulations". Capital Football. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Capital Football Federation Football Playing Regulations". Capital Football. 2021.
  9. ^ "Northern Regional Football League Regulations". Northern Region Football. 2021.
  10. ^ "Football South - Fixtures & Results". Football South. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
  11. ^ "Southland Football - Senior Fixtures/Results/Table". Football South. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  12. ^ "WaiBOP Football Federation - Fixtures & Results". WaiBOP Football Federation. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Mainland Football - Football Fixtures & Results". Mainland Football. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Football Fixtures - Home". Central Football. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  15. ^ "NO. 4 DISTRICT FEDERATION OF NEW ZEALAND FOOTBALL SENIOR COMPETITION REGULATIONS". Central Football.