Italian Serie A: standing, rules, European qualifiers and relegationsNovembre 2, 2022
The Italian Serie A championship is one of the most followed by football fans from all over the world. On this page we explain how Serie A works by offering an overview and a complete guide of all the rules of the Italian championship: from winning the Scudetto to European qualifiers, from promotions to relegations, from points to the standings. On our site there is also a page about how Conference League works.
Serie A: birth, rules and teams
Serie A is a league competition created for the best Italian teams. It has existed since 1898, but it did not have the name of Serie A. Serie A is considered one of the best leagues in the world. The first Italian championship was born in 1898 with the Genoa Cricket Athletic Club, the oldest foundation, the pioneer club of Italian football, under the influence of the English who, for reasons of work or trade, traveled to Italy to the port of Genoa and in the industrial and student areas of Turin and Milan. Only in 1914 did the Federation also involve teams from the center-south, giving a national sense to the tournament. The first tournaments were very short, with a single elimination system from 1900. There is also a special on our website on how Uefa Champions League works.
Format of the Italian Serie A
The Italian league consists of 20 teams. The team with the most points after 38 games wins the championship, the Scudetto. The teams compete twice, at home and away. Matches are held every weekend throughout the season, except when there is a scheduled break for international matches, which must be played during the season. Normally, three games are played on Saturday nights. The rest of the games are played on Sunday and also on Monday. There are midweek matches at intermittent periods throughout the season. In the first half of the season, in the first round, the teams face each other once, for a total of 19 games. In the second half of the season, called the second round, they face each other again in the same order, but with the home and away situations reversed.
Serie A, the points system in the standings
Three points are won for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. If two teams are tied in the points standings, head-to-head matches come into play. Then, the goal difference in head-to-head matches and then again the overall goal difference for all matches. When more than two teams share the same number of points, however, the detached ranking is taken into account (the points accumulated in the matches between the teams involved). Then, goal difference is used if necessary. If that’s not enough for a draw, the goal difference will be used throughout the season and goals will be scored. Additional restrictions are rarely needed beyond this point.
Serie A standings: the European qualifiers
The top 4 ranked teams automatically enter the next Champions League edition, directly to the groups. The teams that finish in fifth and sixth place go directly to the Europa League. The seventh goes to the preliminaries of the Europa League, but only if the two finalists of the Italian Cup have already won the qualification in Europe in the following season thanks to the position in the championship standings. This is because the winner of this competition is entitled to a place in the Europa League, but if he has already qualified for Europe, he will be the one ranked next.
Italian Serie A, promotions and relegations
The bottom three Serie A teams are relegated to Serie B – the next division under Serie A. These teams are replaced by the three highest-scoring teams at the end of the Serie B season. Usually forty points are enough to maintain a team in the league.