Do you wonder when the national leagues around Oceania take place and how they are set up? Football In Oceania gives you a guide to all of them.

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Erakor Golden Star are the reigning champions of Vanuatu’s biggest league (Photo credit: Vanuafoot.vu)

The football in Oceania is far away from the glory of Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and the other big leagues in Europe that most of us know. Most of the club teams in Oceania are amateur or semi-professional and some leagues use one stadium for all the league fixtures.

AMERICAN SAMOA
FFAS National League
Reigning champions: Pago Youth

The American Samoa league consists of ten teams that play each other once before the league is split in half. The top five teams then contend in the Top 5 Group for the championship. The teams all start level again at zero points and they play the other four teams once in a league system to determine the winner. Two time defending champions Utulei Youth had to let the trophy move on to Pago Youth who won last year by winning all their games in the Top 5 Group.

OFC Champions League:
The winner of the Top 5 Group gets a spot in the OFC Champions League Qualifying Group two seasons from the one they win. In other words, the winner of the 2016 championship will enter the 2018 OFC Champions League and not the 2017 edition.

2017 season start date: TBD – There has been no word from the Football Federation American Samoa (FFAS) on when the new season will start but Football In Oceania will update this section as soon as there is any information. Last year’s league started in late August so an educated guess at roughly the same kick-off time this year shouldn’t be too far off the mark.

COOK ISLANDS
Van’s Premier Men’s Round Cup
Reigning champions: Puaikura

The 2016 season saw Puaikura take both the league and cup. They ran away with the league title going unbeaten through the league’s 12 games, drawing twice and winning the rest. The Round Cup has a normal league format where the seven teams in the league play each other twice.

OFC Champions League:
The winner gets a spot in next year’s OFC Champions League Qualifying Group.

2017 season start date: 19th July. The Cook Islands FA has informed Football In Oceania that the CIFA Round Cup will start on the 19th of July with pre-season competition.

FIJI
Vodafone Premier League
Reigning champions: Ba

Ba won the Vodafone Premier League last year and the reigning champions will be looking to defend their title this year. They won the league only losing twice last season. The VPL has a normal league format with eight teams playing each other twice. The bottom team is relegated.

OFC Champions League:
The winner and runner-up gets a spot in next year’s OFC Champions League Group Stage.

2017 season start date: 4th February. The season was originally going to start this coming weekend (28th January) but at a National League board meeting the decision was made to move the league start back a week.

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Ba are reigning champions of Fiji (Photo credit: Ba Football Association on Facebook)

NEW CALEDONIA
Super Ligue
Reigning champions: AS Magenta

Magenta took their tenth league title, their third consecutive championship, and are the most winning team in the Super Ligue. They beat AS Lössi on goal difference to clinch the title. The New Caledonian league is set up as a normal league format with the 13 teams playing each other twice for a total of 24 league games. The points system is a little different from others, you get 4 points for a win, 2 for a draw and 1 point for a loss. The bottom three teams are relegated. As most of the teams are from the Grande Terre island of New Caledonia, the largest one, there is a special rule in place for the teams on the other islands who compete in the second tier “Ligue des Illes”. There are two teams from the other Islands in the Super Ligue and every year the last placed of the two teams get relegated if they finish 8th or lower and have to play  a play-off against the winner of the Ligue des Illes if they finish 7th or higher. This play-off is set to take place in March this year.

OFC Champions League:
The winner and the runner-up of the Super Ligue gets a spot in the OFC Champions League Group Stage two seasons from the one they win. In other words, the winner and runner-up of the 2016 championship will enter the 2018 OFC Champions League and not the 2017 edition.

2017 season start date: TBD – There has been no word from the Fédération Calédonienne de Football (FCF) on when the new season will start but Football In Oceania will update this section as soon as there is any information. Last year’s league started in March so an educated guess at roughly the same kick-off time this year shouldn’t be too far off the mark.

NEW ZEALAND
Stirling Sport Premiership
Reigning champions: Team Wellington

The biggest league on the continent was won by Team Wellington last year after they beat Auckland City in the Grand Final and the new season is well under way after starting back in October. It is scheduled to end in April. The New Zealand Premiership is set up in two phases. The first phase is a league format with ten teams playing each other twice. The top four teams then go on to play in the Final Series with the semi-finals and final being one-match knockout games. The Grand Final is played at the QBE Stadium in Auckland.

OFC Champions League:
The winner of the regular season and the winner of the Grand Final gets a spot in next year’s OFC Champions League Group Stage. If the winner of the Grand Final and regular season is the same the team that came second in the regular season gets the O-League spot.

2016/17 season start date: 16th October. The season is well underway and the Grand Final is scheduled for 2nd April.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Telkom National Soccer League
Reigning champions: Lae City Dwellers

The Papua New Guinea football league was won by Lae City Dwellers for the second time running ahead of record league champions Hekari United.* The NSL is divided into two groups, North and South, which this year will consist of five teams each. The teams play each other twice. The top two teams from each group go through to the final stage called National Champions League where they again play their opponents twice in a league system before the top two teams advance to the Grand Final, a one match final.

OFC Champions League:
The winner and runner-up of the National Champions League gets a spot in next season’s OFC Champions League.

2017 season start date: 29th April. Originally scheduled for the 18th of February the PNGFA decided to push the start date back to allow the two teams in the OFC Champions League, Lae and Madang, to prepare for that and the PNG national team to prepare for the Third Round of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers 

* The other league:
Since this article was published Hekari United and the other associations suspended by the PNGFA back in December last year, for protesting against the re-election of PNGFA President David Chung. have started their own association called the Football Federation Papua New Guinea (FFPNG). The FFPNG is lead by Hekari president John Kapi Natto.< This FA is not recognised by the OFC but they have started their own league, the National Premier League which started on 22nd April and consists of a Northern and Southern zone.

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Hekari United have started their own Association and league. (Photo credit: The National)

SAMOA
Upolu Premier League
Reigning champions: Lupe ole Soaga

Lupe ole Soaga won the Samoan Upolu Premier League on goal difference ahead of Vaimoso last season and they will also be Samoa’s representative in the OFC Champions League later this month. The Samoan league has a standard league format with 12 teams playing each other once. The bottom two teams have to play in a relegation playoff with the top two teams from the division below, each team play each other once in a mini-league and the top two teams will compete in the next year’s Premier League while the other two go down.

OFC Champions League:
The winner gets a spot in the OFC Champions League Qualification Group two seasons from the one they win. In other words, the winner of the 2016 championship, will enter the 2018 OFC Champions League and not the 2017 edition..

2017 season start date: TBD – There has been no word from the Football Federation Samoa (FFS) on when the new season will start but Football In Oceania will update this section as soon as there is any information. Last year’s league started in June so an educated guess at roughly the same kick-off time this year shouldn’t be too far off the mark.

SOLOMON ISLANDS
Telekom S-League
Reigning champions: Marist FC

The Solomon Islands Telekom S-Ligue saw Marist FC win the league for the third time with five points down to Western United. The S-League has a standard league format with nine teams playing each other twice for 16 games in total. No teams are relegated.

OFC Champions League:
The winner and runner-up gets a spot in next year’s OFC Champions League Group Stage.

2017 season start date: TBD – There has been no word from the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) on when the new season will start but Football In Oceania will update this section as soon as there is any information. Last year’s league started in August so an educated guess at roughly the same kick-off time this year shouldn’t be too far off the mark.

TAHITI
Ligue 1 Vini
Reigning champions: AS Tefana

The league system in Tahiti is divided in two, first a regular league with a normal league format where 10 teams play each other three times for a total of 27 games. The points system is a little different from others, you get 4 points for a win, 2 for a draw and 1 point for a loss. After the regular season the top four teams go into the Championship playoff for a single game knockout semi-final and a single game final.

OFC Champions League:
The winner and runner-up in the Championship Final gets a spot in next year’s OFC Champions League Group Stage.

2017 season start date: 16th SeptemberThe season is well underway and the Championship Final is scheduled for 27th May.

TONGA
Major League
Reigning champions: Veitongo

There is not a whole lot of information on the Tonga Major League. Last season Veitongo came out on top for the second year in a row after beating Marist 8-2 in the Final.

OFC Champions League:
The winner gets a spot in the OFC Champions League Qualification Group two seasons from the one they win. In other words, the winner of the 2016 championship, will enter the 2018 OFC Champions League and not the 2017 edition.

2017 season start date: TBD – There has been no word from the Tonga Football Association (TFA) on when the new season will start but Football In Oceania will update this section as soon as there is any information. Last year’s league started in March so an educated guess at roughly the same kick-off time this year shouldn’t be too far off the mark.

VANUATU
VFF National Super League
Port Vila TVL Premier League
Reigning champions:
VFF NSL: Nalkutan
PV PL: Erakor Golden Star

There are two main leagues in Vanuatu. The National Super League hosted by the Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) and the TVL Premier League hosted by the Port Vila Football Association (PVFA). The PVFA is considered the best and largest FA in the country and has since 2016 hosted their own competition in the Premier League. All teams in the PVFA leagues are based in the capital Port Vila. The Port Vila TVL Premier League is made out of 9 teams where they play each other twice for 16 games. The bottom two are relegated while the third from bottom will play a relegation play-off. The top four teams enter the PVFA Top Four Super League where the teams start at zero points and play each other once in a league system.

The other league in the country, the VFF National Super League is made up of the rest of the associations in Vanuatu and consists of three groups where two groups have five teams and the last group has four teams. The teams play each other once and the top two from each group goes through to the Final Round where the six teams play each other once in a league to determine the winner of the National Super League.

OFC Champions League:
The winner off the VFF National Super League gets a spot in the OFC Champions League Group Stage two seasons from the one they win. In other words, the winner of the 2016 VFF NSL championship, will enter the 2018 OFC Champions League and not the 2017 edition. The winner of the PVFA Top Four Super League qualifies for the next year’s OFC Champions League Group Stage.

2017 season start date:
Port Vila Premier League: 26th January.
VFF National Super League: TBD – 
There has been no word from the Vanuatu Football Association (VFF) on when the new season will start but Football In Oceania will update this section as soon as there is any information. Last year’s league started in October so an educated guess at roughly the same kick-off time this year shouldn’t be too far off the mark.