National League confirm key dates for 2021-22 season: Start, end, play-off and festive dates announced
The Vanarama National League have confirmed the key dates for the upcoming 2021-22 season.
With the final games of the regular 2020-21 campaign taking place this weekend, Hartlepool United and several other National League sides competing for promotion via the play-offs will be hoping these dates won’t apply to them as they look to kick-off next season in the Football League on August 7.
The league have confirmed that the upcoming fifth tier season will start on Saturday, August 21 2021 and end on Saturday, May 21 2022.
It’s a significant change from the current campaign which has ran within a much shorter time frame from October 3 until May 29.
The play-off eliminator round matches are set to take place from Wednesday, May 25 2022 with the final on Sunday, June 5 2022. Play-off dates are yet to be confirmed and will be ratified towards the end of next season.
The National League North and South seasons will run from Saturday, August 14 2021 until Saturday, May 7 2022 with the play-offs pencilled in from Wednesday, May 11 2022 until Sunday, May 22 2022.
The festive schedule, which will apply to all three divisions, will see sides play on Boxing Day as usual as well as the Bank Holiday on Tuesday, 28 December 2021.
The New Year matches will take place on Sunday, January 2 2022 though clubs will be able to move this fixture to Saturday, January 1 or Monday, January 3 if they wish.
All dates are subject to change.