The Serie B logo
2010 (Lega Serie B)
|Number of teams||22|
|Levels on pyramid||2|
|Promotion to||Serie A|
|Relegation to||Lega Pro Prima Divisione|
|Domestic cup(s)||Coppa Italia|
|Most championships||Genoa (6 titles)|
|2012–13 Serie B|
Serie B, currently named Serie bwin 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 Lega Pro Prima Divisione. The top two teams are automatically promoted. If the 3rd-placed team is 10 or more points ahead of the 4th-placed team, it too is automatically promoted, otherwise the 3rd through 6th-placed teams enter a playoff tournament to determine the other team that will be promoted.
If the playoff conditions exist, the first round pairs the 3rd-placed team vs the 6th-placed team and the 4th-placed team vs the 5th-placed team in a double-leg series with the higher classified team having home-field advantage in the 2nd leg. The team with the higher aggregate score moves on to the second round. If at the end of regular play in the second leg an aggregate tie exists, the higher classified team moves on. The away goals rule is not used.
The two winners then play in a two-legged 'final' under a similar format with the higher-classified team at home in the second leg. The only difference being that if an aggregate tie exists at the end of regular play in the second leg, extra time is played. If the two teams are still tied after thirty minutes, the higher classified team is the one promoted.
In the relegation zone, the three last-placed teams (20th,21st and 22nd) are automatically demoted to Lega Pro Prima Divisione. 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 Lega Pro Prima Divisione. 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.
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 SSC 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 WWII 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 all 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 season; changed the league name from Serie B TIM in the last season to Serie bwin.
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 2011-12 season
|Genoa||6||1||1935, 1953, 1962, 1973, 1976, 1989|
|Atalanta||5||3||1940, 1959, 1984, 2006, 2011|
|Bari||3||6||1935, 1942, 2009|
|Brescia||3||6||1965, 1992, 1997|
|Verona||3||4||1957, 1982, 1999|
|Como||3||2||1949, 1980, 2002|
|Palermo||3||2||1932, 1968, 2004|
|Torino||3||2||1960, 1990, 2001|
|Varese||3||1||1964, 1970, 1974|
|Vicenza||3||1||1955, 1977, 2000|
|Fiorentina||3||–||1931, 1939, 1994|
Titles by region
Updated at the end of 2011-12 season
||Atalanta (5), Brescia (3), Como (3), Varese (3), Milan (2), Mantova (1), Pro Patria (1)|
||Fiorentina (3), Livorno (2), Lucchese (2), Empoli (1), Pisa (1), Siena (1)|
||Verona (3), Vicenza (3), Venezia (2), Chievo (1), Padova (1)|
||Genoa (6), Liguria (1), Sampdoria (1), Sampierdarenese (1)|
||Torino (3), Novara (2), Alessandria (1), Casale (1), Juventus (1)|
||Bologna (2), Modena (1), Piacenza (1), Reggiana (1), SPAL (1)|
||Bari (3), Foggia (1), Lecce (1)|
||Palermo (3), Catania (1), Messina (1)|
||Salernitana (2), Napoli (1)|
||Udinese (2), Triestina (1)|
||Lazio (1), Roma (1)|
||Perugia (1), Ternana (1)|
Titles by city
Updated at the end of 2011-12 season
Promotions by region
Updated at the end of 2011-12 season
||Atalanta (12), Brescia (11), Como (5), Cremonese (4), Varese (4), Legnano (3), Mantova (3), Lecco (2), Milan (2), Pro Patria (2)|
||Verona (8), Venezia (6), Vicenza (5), Padova (4), Chievo (2), Treviso (1)|
||Bari (9), Lecce (8), Foggia (5)|
||Pisa (5), Empoli (4), Fiorentina (4), Livorno (4), Lucchese (2), Siena (2), Pistoiese (1)|
||Modena (5), Cesena (4), Bologna (3), Piacenza (3), Reggiana (2), Spal (2), Parma (2), Sassuolo (1)|
||Palermo (8), Catania (5), Messina (2)|
||Torino (6), Novara (4), Alessandria (2), Casale (1), Juventus (1)|
||Genoa (8), Sampdoria (4), Liguria (1), Sampierdarenese (1)|
||Napoli (5), Salernitana (2), Avellino (1)|
||Udinese (6), Triestina (1)|
||Ascoli (5), Ancona (2)|
||Lazio (5), Roma (1)|
||Catanzaro (3), Reggina (2)|
||Perugia (3), Ternana (2)|
Complete team list
Seasons in Serie B
- 55 seasons: Brescia
- 51 seasons: Verona
- 47 seasons: Modena
- 41 seasons: Bari, Palermo
- 38 seasons: Monza
- 36 seasons: Padova
- 33 seasons: Catania, Como, Genoa,Reggiana, Venezia
- 32 seasons: Messina, Pescara, Vicenza
- 31 seasons: Pisa, Taranto
- 30 seasons: Novara
- 28 seasons: Atalanta, Cagliari, Catanzaro, Cesena
- 26 seasons: Cremonese, Lecce, Parma
- 25 seasons: Salernitana
- 23 seasons: Foggia, Livorno
- 22 seasons: Ancona, Ternana, Triestina
- 21 seasons: Perugia, Reggina, Sambenedettese
- 20 seasons: Alessandria, SPAL, Spezia
- 19 seasons: Cosenza, Lucchese, Pistoiese, Varese
- 18 seasons: Ascoli, Empoli, Piacenza, Udinese
- 16 seasons: Arezzo, Treviso
- 14 seasons: Avellino, Legnano, Mantova
- 13 seasons: Pro Patria
- 12 seasons: Fanfulla, Napoli, Siena, Torino
- 11 seasons: Bologna, Lazio, Lecco, Sampdoria, Vigevano
- 10 seasons: Marzotto, Prato
- 9 seasons: AlbinoLeffe, Crotone, Rimini, Pro Vercelli
- 8 seasons: Chievo
- 7 seasons: Cittadella, Ravenna, Siracusa
- 6 seasons: Brindisi, Fidelis Andria, Grosseto, Seregno, Viareggio
- 5 seasons: Campobasso, Fiorentina, Frosinone, Potenza, Sassuolo, Savona
- 4 seasons: Barletta, Casale, Monfalcone, Pavia, Pro Sesto
- 3 seasons: Cavese, Derthona, Grion Pola, Juve Stabia, L'Aquila, Nocerina, Piombino, Sanremese, Savoia
- 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, Bolzano, Centese, Fermana, Forlì, Gallipoli, Juventus, Maceratese, Magenta, Massese, M.A.T.E.R., Matera, Mestrina, Molinella, Portogruaro, Roma, Sestrese, Sorrento, Virtus Lanciano, 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 Serie A 1945-46. For this reason, this championship is not included in the statistics.
Serie B members for 2012–13
The following twenty-two clubs will be competing in Serie B during the 2012–13 season.
|First season in
|First season of
current spell in
|Last season in
|Cesena||20th in Serie A||1945-46||2012–13||2011-12|
|Novara||19th in Serie A||1928-29||2012–13||2011-12|
|Pro Vercelli||Prima Divisione/A play-off winners||1935–36||2012-13||1934–35|
|Spezia||Prima Divisione/B champions||1928–29||2012–13||Never|
|Ternana||Prima Divisione/A champions||1945–46||2012–13||1974–75|
|Virtus Lanciano||Prima Divisione/B play-off winners||2012–13||2012–13||Never|
List of Lega Serie B presidents
- "La Serie bwin su SKY". legaserieb.it (in Italian) (Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie B). 5 August 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
- "Diritti Tv: a Mediaset la Serie B, ma pagano anche ex abbonati Dahlia". tvdigitaldivide.it (in Italian) (TV Digital divide). 31 March 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Dalla nuova Lega Serie B, nasce il campionato Serie bwin". Lega Serie B (in Italian). 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.[dead link]
- Due to expand from 18 teams to 20 teams of Serie A.
- "Italy - Serie B All-Time Table 1929-2011". rsssf.com. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- The championship was suspended from 1943 to 1945 due to WWII, and the 1945–46 northern edition is not statistically considered by FIGC, even if its promotion result was official.
- "Comunicato ufficiale N.2" (PDF). legaserieb.it (in Italian) (Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie B). 20 July 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.