Last updated : Friday, 01 December 2023
Bristol Downs Association Football League
The Bristol Downs Association Football League is an English football league based in the city of Bristol. It is a completely standalone league system which does not feed into the English football league pyramid.
The league was founded in 1905 and currently has 39 teams competing in four divisions. All matches are played on the Bristol Downs, a large open space in the city.
Organised football first began to be played in Bristol in the 1880s and football started on the Downs around the same time, helped by the introduction of a tram route from the city centre to the top of Blackboy Hill.
The Downs League was formed in 1905 with 30 founder members, all of them teams who were already playing in the city and on the Downs' many pitches. One of the founder member clubs, Sneyd Park, remains in the league to this day, having played in the top division of the league in every season since its foundation.
The Bristol Downs Association Football League currently has four divisions:
- Division 1
- Division 2
- Division 3
- Division 4
Each division plays a double round-robin format, with each team playing each other team twice, once at home and once away. The top team in each division at the end of the season is promoted to the next higher division, while the bottom team in each division is relegated to the next lower division.
In addition to the league competition, the Bristol Downs Association Football League also runs two cup competitions:
- The Norman Hardy Cup
- The All Saints Cup
The Norman Hardy Cup is competed for by the teams in Divisions 1 and 2, while the All Saints Cup is competed for by the teams in Divisions 3 and 4.