How to set up a sports league at work

The FIFA World Cup 2022 has kicked off and the world is being treated to 29 days of football highs and lows. Exciting times! But what if we could enjoy the drama, camaraderie and post-match glowing all year round, with our colleagues? Launching your own company sports league offers just the ticket. 

For some ideas on how to get started, please read’s guide to starting your own work sports team or skip straight to our summary below.

  1. Choose a popular sport. The first step in starting an office sports league is to find out what team sports most interest your colleagues. Football and netball leagues are the most popular choices, but cricket and rounders rank high in the summer months.
  2. Get your colleagues all fired up about joining. Make some noise about your league idea via all communication channels available – face-to-face, text, WhatsApp groups, the company newsletter or intranet, social media, posters or even a two-minute slot during your weekly company meeting.


If your company is relatively small or you’re not getting buy-in from enough people, put some feelers out to see if other companies in the area might be interested. If you get a bite, ensure the biter takes responsibility for organising their team.

  1. Sort out your venue, timing and equipment. Once you know how many people are interested, choose a nearby location and a convenient time for practice and matches. Right after work usually works best. If necessary, book your slot to avoid disappointment. Stick to the same slot every week.


Make a list of what you need and ask HR to finance drinks, snacks and any necessary equipment – balls, bats and branded t-shirts.

  1. Create your teams. Departments can compete with each other or you can mix things up to give people the opportunity to get to know new colleagues. If involving other companies, stick to company teams to ensure all camaraderie earned on the field skips its way happily back to the office.
  2. Cover the admin factor. Ensure you’ve got everyone’s email address and mobile number so that it’s easy to create email and WhatsApp groups for all your announcements. Remind everyone of the basic rules of the game and share a list of suitable clothing. Secure agreement on your team names. If you’re creating branded t-shirts, find out team members’ sizes.
  3. Create your league schedule. You can alternate matches with training if that boosts participation. Alternatively, host the matches and training sessions at separate times. Promote the matches to drum up support and attendance from non-team members.
  4. Keep everyone’s eyes on the prize. Sometimes a trophy and kudos are more than enough to motivate the players. To go the extra mile, ask HR to finance a more substantial prize, e.g., a year’s free membership to your local gym. Be mindful that if you set the bar high, you’re setting a precedent and future prizes will have to be equally awesome.


And that’s it! You now have all the tips you need to create your own office sports league. Congratulations! Whether your colleagues are running about on the field or applauding from the sidelines, everyone will enjoy the results.


ABL, your trusted recruitment partner, wishes you the best of luck with creating your sports league. If the trophy you’ve currently got in your sights takes the form of a new dream job, please get in touch. With over 30 years’ experience in the field and close working relationships with 400+ companies worldwide, we’ve got all the right moves to steer you to a Maradona-style goal! Please get in touch on +44 (0)20 7092 3939 or at to get the ball rolling.