U11 Pokémon Primary Schools’ Cup – Season 2023-24

The English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) and The Pokémon Company International are delighted to announce the return of the Pokémon Primary Schools’ Cup for the 2023/24 season.

The multi-year partnership between the ESFA and The Pokémon Company International is now in its second year, giving opportunities to over 5,000 primary school football teams and over 50,000 players across England. Schools across England will be getting ready to rally their teams and get stuck into the competition.  To read more about the Pokémon Primary Schools’ Cup launch visit the ESFA websitehttps://schoolsfootball.org/2023/10/03/get-ready-for-the-pokemon-primary-schools-cup-23-24/

Important – please pay particular attention to the following:

Please note the eligibility of players and teams below:

  *   School Teams’ Cup (girls are permitted to take part in ‘mixed’ teams)
  *   Small Schools’ Cup (to be eligible to enter the Small Schools’ Cup, the affiliated school must have fewer than 65 pupils on roll in total in Years 5 and 6, according to the numbers on roll as confirmed by the preceding year’s summer census.  Schools that qualify for the Small Schools’ Cup may enter that competition OR the Schools’ Cup for School Teams – not both.  Girls are permitted to play)
  *   Girls’ Cup (specifically for the development of girls’ football, so no boys in this competition, please)

Please remember that only pupils in School Years 5 and 6 are eligible to take part in this competition (see attached toolkit for specific date qualifications).  We have had to withdraw a number of schools at Regional Final stage over the past few years, which is obviously a cause of great disappointment to the children involved.  Please adhere to this rule – failure to do so will lead to disqualification.


A new ‘toolkit’ that is specifically designed to support competition organisers and team managers is attached along with a player participation certificate and a noticeboard teamsheet for schools to use. We hope that this will help to explain the format and rules of the competition and also promote the pathway created by the partnership between the ESFA and Pokémon.

The local District tournaments must be completed by the date as set by your local County Schools’ FA (the national deadline for completing local District tournaments is Saturday 2 December 2023).  Winning team details must be sent to the County Schools’ FA secretary so that the team(s) can be invited to participate at the County Finals.

The ESFA has set a deadline of Saturday 27 January 2024 for all County Finals to be completed.  County Final winners will be invited to compete at one of four Regional Finals which will be held in March 2024.  Details of Regional Finals will be communicated directly to the competing teams and published on the ESFA website as soon as arrangements have been finalised by ESFA Regional Organisers.

The winners and runners-up of each Regional Final will be invited to compete at the National Finals which will be held at a Premier League or Football League stadium in May 2024.

Social media interaction for these competitions helps to promote the activity and helps to support the campaign, so we have provided some helpful information on how to get involved in the toolkit. You can share the document with schools in your area if you haven’t already hosted a local competition to help recruit new teams to get involved and also with those already taking part. There are also social media assets which can be downloaded for your use from the Pokémon Primary Schools’ Cup page on the ESFA website<https://schoolsfootball.org/national-competitions/esfa-pokemon-primary-schools-cup/>.

Risk Assessments and Insurance

A template risk assessment can be downloaded from the ESFA website – https://schoolsfootball.org/for-associations/resources/.  Please ensure that you undertake a risk assessment and share it with the participating teams ahead of the event.  A copy of ESFA insurance is also attached along with guidance notes.


All tournament organisers are advised to produce a risk assessment for hosting the event and share it with the participating school teams.  A risk assessment template can be downloaded from https://schoolsfootball.org/for-associations/resources/

If the host organisation or participating schools have any safeguarding concerns, then please contact the English Schools’ FA National Welfare Officers:

Martin Duffield – [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> or phone 07852 276416

Remember, the welfare of the young participants is paramount, so we recommend the use of a  qualified first aider at all tournaments.

If you have any enquiries or if your association has never entered the competition before and would like to register to host a competition for the primary schools in your area, then please contact the tournament co-ordinator, via [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>

Simon Jones