What is campus league football and how do you play?
woman in black and white soccer jersey kicking soccer ball on green field during daytime
Photo by Tobias Flyckt on Unsplash

Campus League Football: Truly Everyone's Game

Alex Fletcher January 25, 2022

So here you are, you’ve successfully started at your new university. Whether you’re a fresher coming straight from college at 18, or a mature student returning to studies in your 50s, it certainly feels special. You spend your time at the freshers fair taking in every single new society your university has to offer. You spend hours vociferously searching on the university website for something to fill your time away from studies. Yet in your mind, you already know deep down what you want to be doing of an afternoon. You want to play football.

You follow football, you love football, you’re obsessed with football and you want nothing more than to take to the hallowed turf of the university sports pitches perhaps a few times each week. There’s just one small issue. No matter how much you love the game, you can’t get away from one simple fact. You’re not very good. You love the sport to death, but you’re just not made to be a footballer. 

True story

It would be no secret to say that the above paragraph is somewhat autobiographical. I was just as obsessed with football then as I am now and wanted nothing more than to play. But one unsuccessful trial after another had chipped away at me, to the point where I was just about ready to give up on the hope of finding somewhere to play. However, it was in fact at one of those unsuccessful trials where I heard a phrase I’d never heard before. Campus league.

From there I’ve really never looked back and now play weekly for not one, but two campus league football teams. So I suppose the question really is, what is it? 

What is campus league?

Campus league, or campus football as it is sometimes called, is a chance for students of all ages, abilities and genders to get involved with playing the beautiful game. It allows university societies and departments to form football teams and proudly represent their university course on the pitch. I myself, for example, have proudly kissed the badge of AFC History at the University of Birmingham for almost two years now. But it extends even further than that.

A small group of football obsessed friends can simply sign up, for a small fee, to play weekly competitive matches in an ability appropriate league. If you want my advice, try to do your best to play with people who make you look a lot better at football than you actually are. I’ve been doing that for two years now and no one has suspected a thing!

With the mixture of abilities, ages and genders, campus league football really is for everyone. And it doesn’t just stop at football, as universities offer a wide variety of sporting leagues to get involved in on campus. There is something for everyone. So if you are like me and you want to be able to display your shocking excuse for sporting ability on a pitch every week, then head down to your student’s union or guild and check out your university’s campus league. Truly making football (other sports are available) everyone’s game.

Read next: Why you should join a social sport club at uni

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Hi, my name is Alex Fletcher. I’m a second year history and politics student at the University of Birmingham, originally from Portsmouth. My main passion is sport and I am a big supporter of Portsmouth football club and the McLaren F1 team. I also take an avid interest in music, theatre, politics and current affairs and I have a strong passion for writing and presenting.