Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Serie B

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Level on pyramid


Number of teams

Promotion to
Serie A

Serie B

Serie B ([ˈsɛːrje ˈbi]), currently named Serie B due to sponsorship reasons, is the second-highest division in the Italian football league system after the Serie A. It is contested by 22 teams and organized by the Lega Serie B since July 2010, after the split of Lega Calcio that previously took care of both the Serie A and Serie B. Common nicknames for the league are campionato cadetto and cadetteria, as cadetto is the Italian for junior or cadet.


Serie B was composed of 20 teams until the 2002–03 season. It was enlarged to 24 teams for the 2003–04 season due to legal problems relating to Calcio Catania relegation. The league reverted to 22 teams for the 2004–05 season, while Serie A expanded from 18 to 20 teams.

During the regular season, each team plays 42 games – two games against every opponent. In Italian football, a true round-robin format is used. In the first half of the season, called andata, each team plays once against all its opponents, a total of 21 games. In the second half of the season, called ritorno, each team will play the same teams in exactly the same order, the only difference being that a home game played in the first half will be an away game with that same team in the second half, and vice versa.

Since the 2006–07 season, the Serie B champion is awarded the cup Ali della Vittoria (Wings of Victory). The trophy is 63 cm high and weighs 5 kg. Its structure represents the wings of the goddess Nike, the goddess of victory, holding a cup similar to an olympic flame.

Serie B matches are usually played on Saturday. After one year where all games were played on Saturday, the league is again scheduling one game that is played on Friday called anticipo (the advanced game) and one game that is played on Monday called posticipo (the post-dated game). The league also plays on several Tuesdays to fit in all 42 games. The league also plays on Sunday if Serie A is off.

Promotion and relegation

At the end of the season, three teams are promoted to Serie A and four teams are relegated to the reformed Serie C (formerly Lega Pro Prima Divisione). The top two teams are automatically promoted. If the 3rd-placed team is 9 or more points ahead of the 4th-placed team, it too is automatically promoted, otherwise a playoff tournament determines the third team that will be promoing in the 2013–14 season, anywhere between two and six teams within a "playoff margin" of 14 points from the 3rd-placed team will enter the playoff tournament. Under the new playoff format, up to three rounds may be required. The final two rounds are two-legged ties, while opening round matches (if required) are single legs hosted by the higher-ranked team. If a tie is drawn at the end of regular play (one or two matches, depending on the round), extra time is played. If the two teams are still tied after thirty minutes, the higher classified team advances.

In the relegation zone, the three last-placed teams (20th, 21st and 22nd) are automatically demoted to Serie C. If the 18th-placed team is 5 or more points ahead of the 19th-placed team, then the 19th-placed team becomes the 4th and final team to be demoted, otherwise the conditions for a playoff more commonly called playout exist.

If the playout is necessary, the 18th and 19th-placed teams are paired in a two-legged series with home-field advantage in the 2nd leg going to the 18th-placed team. The team with the higher aggregate score remains in Serie B while the loser becomes the fourth team relegated to Serie C. If an aggregate tie exists at the end of regulation play of the 2nd leg, the 18th-placed team is saved, and the 19th-placed team is demoted.

Brief history

A junior football championship was created at first in Italy in 1904, after seven editions of the major tournament of FIGC: it was called Second Category, and was composed both by senior squads of town clubs and by youth teams of city clubs. If the first ones won the championship, they would be promoted to First Category, which consequentely improved in size: the first team to reach the honour, was Pro Vercelli in 1907, which even won the scudetto in 1908. FIGC attempted many times to introduce relegations on the contrary, but the reform was really adopted only in 1921 by the secessionist CCI in its Northern League, which consisted of a First Division and a Second Division: the first teams to be relegated were AC Vicenza and FC Inter even if, after the reunion with FIGC, the regulations were changed, and Venezia was demoted instead of the Milanese club. Even if part of the same league, differently from First Division, Second Division was based on local group with proximity criteria. Only in 1928, the big reform was conceived by FIGC's President Leandro Arpinati: after a year, a new second division based on the same national format of the major tournament would be born. Serie B began in 1929 with 18 clubs and continued until World War II after whom it was divided again between the northern and the southern part of the country, due to the destructions of the war. The championship became national again in 1948, and for many years in the second half of the 20th century, it was played by 20 clubs. In 2003–04 a single group of 24 teams was formed, the biggest in the history of all levels of the Italian championship. After 2004, a 22-teams format was introduced together with playoffs.

After Serie A split with Serie B to form Lega Serie A, Lega Serie B was formed on 7 July 2010. The league signed a new sponsor bwin for 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons; changed the league name from Serie B TIM to Serie Bwin. The League changed again its name in Serie B due to sponsorship reasons.

Serie B is the lowest division where five clubs have ever played: Torino, Juventus, Milan, Roma and Lazio.

Serie B introduced the "green card" at the beginning of the 2015–16 season. The green card is given to promote fair play and good acts. The green card will not be given during the game, as it would alter sport rules, but awarded after the match to a player or coach who exhibited fair play by the referee. The player or coach with the most green cards at the end of the season will be rewarded.

Promotions by season

  • Italics denotes teams promoted after playoff or qualification match.
  • Parentheses denote teams not promoted.
  • Performance by club

    Updated at the end of 2015–16 season

    Titles by region

    Updated at the end of 2015–16 season

    Titles by city

    Updated at the end of 2015–16 season

    Promotions by region

    Updated at the end of 2015–16 season

    Seasons in Serie B

    This is the complete list of the clubs that have taken part in the 83 Serie B seasons played from 1929–30 to 2016–17 Serie B season. The teams in bold compete in Serie B in the current season.

  • 59 seasons: Brescia
  • 52 seasons: Verona
  • 50 seasons: Modena
  • 45 seasons: Bari
  • 42 seasons: Palermo
  • 38 seasons: Monza
  • 37 seasons: Padova
  • 35 seasons: Catania, Pescara, Vicenza
  • 34 seasons: Como
  • 33 seasons: Genoa, Novara, Reggiana, Venezia
  • 32 seasons: Messina, Pisa
  • 31 seasons: Cesena, Taranto
  • 29 seasons: Cagliari
  • 28 seasons: Atalanta, Catanzaro
  • 26 seasons: Cremonese, Lecce, Parma, Salernitana, Ternana
  • 25 seasons: Livorno
  • 24 seasons: Perugia, Spezia
  • 23 seasons: Foggia
  • 22 seasons: Ancona, Reggina, Triestina
  • 21 seasons: Sambenedettese, SPAL, Varese
  • 20 seasons: Alessandria, Ascoli
  • 19 seasons: Cosenza, Empoli, Lucchese, Pistoiese
  • 18 seasons: Avellino, Piacenza, Udinese
  • 16 seasons: Arezzo, Treviso
  • 14 seasons: Legnano, Mantova
  • 13 seasons: Pro Patria, Siena
  • 12 seasons: Bologna, Fanfulla, Napoli, Pro Vercelli, Torino
  • 11 seasons: Crotone, Lazio, Lecco, Sampdoria, Vigevano
  • 10 seasons: Cittadella, Marzotto, Prato
  • 9 seasons: AlbinoLeffe, Rimini
  • 8 seasons: Chievo
  • 7 seasons: Frosinone, Ravenna, Siracusa
  • 6 seasons: Brindisi, Fidelis Andria, Grosseto, Seregno, Viareggio
  • 5 seasons: Campobasso, Fiorentina, Potenza, Sassuolo, Savona
  • 4 seasons: Barletta, Casale, Juve Stabia, Latina, Monfalcone, Pavia, Pro Sesto, Trapani, Virtus Lanciano
  • 3 seasons: Carpi, Cavese, Derthona, Grion Pola, L'Aquila, Nocerina, Piombino, Sanremese, Savoia, Virtus Entella
  • 2 seasons: Acireale, Biellese, Carrarese, Casertana, Castel di Sangro, Crema, Fiumana, Gallaratese, Gubbio, Licata, Liguria, Milan, Pro Gorizia, Rieti, Sampierdarenese, Scafatese, Suzzara, Trani, Vogherese
  • 1 season: Alba Trastevere, Alzano Virescit, Arsenale Taranto, Benevento, Bolzano, Centese, Fermana, Forlì, Gallipoli, Juventus, La Dominante, Maceratese, Magenta, Massese, M.A.T.E.R., Matera, Mestrina, Molinella, Portogruaro, Roma, Sestrese, Sorrento, Vita Nova
  • The Serie B-C Alta Italia post-war championship

    This championship was organized by geographical criteria with only Northern Italy Serie B and the best Northern Italy Serie C teams taking part. Southern Italy Serie B teams took part to 1945–46 Serie A. For this reason, this championship is not included in the statistics.

    List of Lega Serie B presidents

  • 2010 - Luca Ferrari
  • 2010 - Andrea Abodi
  • References

    Serie B Wikipedia