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This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2010) FA Vase FA Vase logo, incorporating the name of sponsor Carlsberg Founded 1974 Region England, Wales, Channel Islands, Isle of Man (The FA) Number of teams 549 (2010–11) Current champions Whitley Bay Most successful club Whitley Bay (4 times) The Football Association Challenge Vase is an annual football competition for teams playing below Step 4 of the English National League System. For the 2008–09 season 514 entrants were accepted, with two qualifying rounds preceding the six proper rounds, semi-finals (played over two legs) and final to be played at Wembley Stadium. The 2011 winners were Whitley Bay, who beat Coalville Town 3–2 on 8 May at Wembley Stadium. Contents 1 History 2 Eligibility 2.1 Exemptions 3 Venues 4 FA Vase winners and finalists 5 References 6 External links History Nantwich Town celebrate winning the Vase after beating Hillingdon Borough in the final in 2006. Until 1974, football players were either professionals or amateurs. Professionals were paid to play by their clubs, and the only cup competitions such clubs were allowed to enter were the FA Cup and, for clubs outside The Football League, the FA Trophy. Amateurs, on the other hand, did not get paid (at least not officially) by their clubs, and such clubs had their own cup competition, the FA Amateur Cup. In 1974, with many of the top amateur players receiving payment for playing, The Football Association abolished the distinction, scrapped the Amateur Cup and introduced the FA Vase for the majority of clubs who had previously played in the competition. Well over 200 clubs entered in the first season, 1974–75 and Hoddesdon Town of the Spartan League beat Epsom & Ewell of the Surrey Senior League 2–1 in the final at Wembley Stadium before a crowd of 9,000. Eligibility Whitley Bay take on Abbey Hey in an FA Vase match in 2008. In recent years, entry to the FA Vase has been restricted to clubs in the eighth and lower tiers of the English football league system, (those in the three levels above qualified for the FA Trophy). Reorganization of the National League System for 2004 onwards moved the dividing line down to the new "Step 5" (ninth tier overall). Clubs from the Channel Islands (First Tower United and Vale Recreation) and the Isle of Man (Douglas HSOB) also entered the Vase in the past, though none have done so in recent years. Exemptions Eligible teams who played in the FA Vase the previous season and finished in the top 4 of a Step 5 league are exempt from qualifying and start play in the First Round Proper of the Vase, unless they were promoted to a Step 4 league. (If they were promoted, they would play for the FA Trophy instead.) Eligible teams who played in the FA Trophy the previous season and were relegated from a Step 4 league are exempt from qualifying and start play in the First Round Proper of the Vase as well. Clubs that played in the 4th round or later of the previous season's FA Vase are exempt from qualifying and the first round and begin play in the Second Round Proper. Venues The record attendance for an FA Vase match was set on Sunday 13 May 2007, when 36,232 spectators watched Truro City come from behind to beat A.F.C. Totton 3–1 at Wembley in the final.[1] FA Vase winners and finalists For a full list of FA Vase winners and runners-up, see List of FA Vase winners. Only five teams have managed to win the FA Vase more than once. Two FA Vase winners, Forest Green Rovers and Tamworth, have gone on to play in the Football Conference at the top level of the non-league pyramid. No FA Vase winner has yet reached the Football League, although 2008–09 finalists Glossop North End had briefly competed in the old First Division over a hundred years earlier. References ^ "Totton smash Vase record after FA admit blunder". Southern Daily Echo. 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-07-16.  External links The FA Vase at the FA website v · d · eFootball in England The FA · PFA · LMA National teams England · B · C · U-21 · U-20 · U-19 · U-18 · U-17 · U-16 National Football Centre St George's Park (Burton) League system Premier League · The Football League (Championship • League One • League Two) · Football Conference (National • North • South) · Northern Premier (Premier Division • Division One North • Division One South) · Southern League (Premier Division • Division One Central • Division One South & West) · Isthmian League (Premier Division • Division One North • Division One South) Domestic cups FA Cup · Football League Cup · FA Community Shield · Football League Trophy · FA Trophy · Conference League Cup · FA Vase · FA Inter-League Cup Others Masters Football Lists List of clubs · Current managers · Stadiums by capacity · By location · By altitude Venues · Competitions · Trophies and Awards · History · Records