Matches were scheduled to be played at the stadium of the team named first on the date specified for each round, which was always a Saturday. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played, a replay would take place at the stadium of the second-named team later the same week. If the replayed match was drawn further replays would be held at neutral venues until a winner was determined. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played in a replay, a 30-minute period of extra time would be played.
1911 was the first year that the current trophy design was used. The FA commissioned Fattorini's of Bradford to design and manufacture a new, larger trophy. Coincidentally, it was won by Bradford City in its first outing. This trophy still exists but is now too fragile to be used, so an exact replica was made by Toye, Kenning and Spencer and has been in use since the 1992 final. The replica of the original, last used in 1910, was presented to the FA's long-serving president Lord Kinnaird. It was sold at Christie's in 2005 to David Gold. Gold has loaned this trophy to the National Football Museum in Manchester where it is on permanent display.
36 of the 40 clubs from the First and Second divisions joined the 12 clubs who came through the qualifying rounds. Four sides, Stockport County, Lincoln City, Huddersfield Town and Gainsborough Trinity were entered instead at the Fourth Qualifying Round. Huddersfield lost to Lincoln City in that round, Stockport County lost to Rochdale, while Lincoln City themselves lost to Stoke in the fifth qualifying round. Gainsborough and eleven other non-league clubs won through to the First Round Proper.
Sixteen non-league sides were given byes to the First Round to bring the total number of teams up to 64. These were: