Serie D is the top level of the Italian non-professional football association called "Lega Nazionale Dilettanti". The association represents over a million football players and thousands of football teams across Italy. Serie D ranks just below
Lega Pro Seconda Divisione(the 4th and last professional league), and is thus considered the 5th ranked league in the country.
1948the three Leagues running Division 3 (Italian Serie C) had to be reorganized due to ever growing regional team joining, FIGC decided not to relegate the exceeding teams to regional championships. Choosed just winners and few runner-ups from the 36 Serie C championships to be added to the new third division setted up into 4 championships.The rest of the teams attended the new Promozione Interregionale which changed name in 1952into Quarta Serie (Division 4) and then in 1959into Serie D. From 1959each player attending the Serie D championships had to opt for the semi-professional status signing a special issued status attribution form.Serie D had to be re-organized in 1981when championships had to be reduced so that league name changed too into the new name Interregionale and players lost semi-pro status because converted to amateurs.From 1992to 1999had the name changed into Campionato Nazionale Dilettanti before coming back to the actual Serie D name.
Since the early 1990s, Serie D has consisted of 162 teams split into 9 regional divisions ("Gironi"), usually formed of 18 teams each divided geographically. For the 2008-09 season, the distribution of teams by region is as follows:
* Girone A - teams from
Piedmont, Liguria& Aosta Valley
* Girone B - teams from
* Girone C - teams from
Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia& Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
* Girone D - teams from
Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto& Tuscany
* Girone E - teams from
Tuscany, Umbria& Lazio
* Girone F - teams from
Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo& Molise
* Girone G - teams from
* Girone H - teams from
Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria& Molise
* Girone I - teams from
Campania, Calabria& Sicily
Only the first-placed team from each division is promoted to
Serie C2each year, and replaces one of the 9 teams from Serie C2 that is relegated down to Serie D.
Inevitably each year, one or more Serie C2 teams fail to meet the regulatory or financial requirements to remain in the league. These vacancies are usually announced in the summer rest period as the new season is being organized. If a newly promoted Serie D team fails to meet the requirements, the Serie C2 league asks the second-placed team in that Serie D team's division to fill the vacancy. Failing that, even the third-placed team may fill the vacancy, and so on.
On the other hand, if a Serie C2 vacancy is created by the failure of an existing Serie C2 team (one that was neither promoted nor relegated), by the failure of a
Serie C1team newly relegated to Serie C2, or by the fact that a Serie C2 team was needed to fill a vacancy created in Serie C1, the first such vacancy is usually filled by the winner of the Serie D "playoffs". Any second vacancy is filled by the runner-up in the playoffs.
Playoffs are held after the regular season is over and involve teams placed second through fifth in each division. The first two rounds are single game elimination matches. In round one, for each division, the fifth-placed team plays at the home of the second-placed team, and the fourth-placed team plays at the home of the third-placed team. Tie games are extended into extra time and may be settled by penalty kicks. Round 2 matches the two winners at the home of the higher-classifed team. At the end of round 2, one team from each division survives. The nine winners are grouped into 3 groups of three and play each team in their own group once (one at home and one away). The three group winners and best second-placed team qualify for the play-off semi-finals. The semi-finals are a two-legged tie, with the winners qualifying for a one-game final match played at a neutral site. There is no guarantee that the two finalists will be promoted to Serie C2, as any promotion depends on a vacancy being created in Serie C2.
Four teams from each division are relegated each year to
Eccellenza, a regional amateur league below Serie D. The 2 bottom teams (17th and 18th) are relegated directly, while teams ranked 13th to 16th play a two-legged "playout" (13 vs 16, and 14 vs 15). If the two teams finish in an aggregate tie, the higher classified team is considered the winner. The two losers of the playout are relegated to Eccellenza, while the two winners remain in Serie D. In total, 36 teams are relegated to Eccellenza.
If at the end of the regular season ties exist between the 12th and 13th-placed teams, or between the 16th and 17th-placed teams, single-game tie-breakers are held at neutral sites before any play-out games are played. The outcome will determine which team remains in Serie D and which team must play in the play-outs in the first case, and which team plays in the play-outs and which is directly relegated in the latter case.
Each year, after the end of the regular season, the winners of the nine Serie D divisions qualify for a championship tournament in order to assign the so-called "Scudetto Dilettanti" (amateur champions' title).
Round one divides the nine teams into three groups of three teams each where each team plays a single game against each of its other two opponents. The three group winners and best second-placed team advance to the semifinals.
The first "scudetto dilettanti" was assigned in 1952-1953, when the Serie D was still called "IV Serie" (fourth division). Its assignation was suspended from 1958-1959 to 1991-1992.
*1952-53 - Catanzaro
*1953-54 - Bari
*1954-55 - BPD Colleferro
*1955-56 - Siena
*1956-57 - SAROM Ravenna
*1957-58 - Cosenza, OZO Mantova & Spezia
*1958 to 1992 - "title not assigned"
*1992-93 - Eurobuilding Crevalcore
*1993-94 - Pro Vercelli
*1994-95 - Taranto
*1995-96 - Castel San Pietro [successively not admitted to Serie C2]
*1996-97 - Biellese
*1997-98 - Giugliano
*1998-99 - Lanciano
*1999-00 - Sangiovannese
*2000-01 - Palmese
*2001-02 - Olbia
*2002-03 - Cavese
*2003-04 - Massese
*2004-05 - Bassano Virtus
*2005-06 - Paganese
*2006-07 - Tempio [successively not admitted to Serie C2]
*2007-08 - Aversa Normanna
* en icon [http://w3.serie-d.com/ Official website of the Serie D]
* en icon [http://w3.interregionale.com/ Official website of the "Interregionale" committee (organizer of the league)]
* [http://www.seriedi.com/ News of Serie D/I]
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