The competition began on 22 October 2002 and ended with the final on 6 April 2003 at the Millennium Stadium.
In the first round, there were two sections: North and South. In the following rounds each section gradually eliminates teams in knock-out fashion until each has a winning finalist. At this point, the two winning finalists face each other in the combined final for the honour of the trophy. In addition to the 48 League teams, 12 teams from the Football Conference were also invited to participate in the competition.