National Premier League

The National Premier League was formed in 1973 to serve as the top tier of Jamaican professional club football. The league’s inaugural season kicked off on September 22, 1973 as the Kingston Major League, and finished with Santos F.C. as the first title winners. 13 different clubs have been crowned champions of Jamaica. With Portmore United being the most successful team with 7 national titles.

To date, the league has produced four Caribbean champions: Portmore United (2005, 2019) and Harbour View (2004, 2007).

As of the 2020 season, no team from the league has made it past the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League. The league has been more successful in the new CONCACAF League competition with both Portmore United (2018) and Waterhouse (2019) making it to the quarterfinals. The 2019-2020 season was ruled null and void due to COVID-19 pandemic on March 12, 2020.

In May 2021, the Jamaican Football Federation announced that the National Premier League would resume, playing a shortened season between June and September, competed by the 12 teams from the previous season[8] In June 2021, UWI F.C. announced it would withdraw ahead of the 2021 season due to the modified schedule conflicting with other player commitments; leaving 11 teams in the competition.

The Premier League’s regular season typically runs from late August to May the following year. Teams are organized into a single-table format and the competition is divided into three stages, with clubs playing each other once during each stage. Following the third stage (33 matches), the teams are divided into two groups based on point totals and enter the fourth round of league play. The top six clubs contend for the championship, with the bottom six teams fighting to avoid relegation. The bottom two finishers are replaced the next season by the top two finishers of the second division regional playoffs.

The top two finishers in a given season qualify for the CFU Club Championship, a regional club tournament held each spring. A top-four finish in the CFU Club Championship is the only route for Jamaican teams to enter the CONCACAF Champions League and the CONCACAF League.