Spudsy2061
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Understanding Football: Lesson 4 - The League

We've seen what the game is about in movement off the ball, the different formations, the types & history of clubs; now it is time to understand the format for which they play in: the league. In Europe, each country has it's own league in which clubs from around that country will compete in. The current top leagues in the world are in descending order: Barclays Premier League - England Bundesliga - Germany La Liga - Spain Serie A - Italy Ligue 1 - France Liga MX - Mexico Major League Soccer - United States J-League Division 1 - Japan K-League Classic - South Korea A-League - Australia The number of teams differs from country to country. For example the Premier League has 20 teams while the Bundesliga has only 18. Every team plays every other team once at home and once away. Wins are worth three points, draws one, losses nothing and the primary tiebreakers for teams tied on points in the standings is Goal Difference (Goals Scored minus Goals Conceded), followed by the number of wins. MOST seasons will run from August to May, with other seasons such as the MLS running from March to December (to avoid competing with bigger leagues like the NFL or NBA) or from October to April in the A-League (due to Australia having their summers in December-March). The important thing to take in here is that most seasons run August to May and every team plays every other team twice. At the end of the season, the team at the top are crowned champions. There are no playoffs (except in the MLS & A-League) and teams are either demoted, promoted, or qualify for continental tournaments based on their position (more on that in lesson 7). In addition, bar the MLS, there are no conferences divisions, or sub-groupings of any kind. The "table" as it is referred to is universal and all teams are ranked based on their points in comparison to every other team in the league. This is what helps make the leagues more exciting and competitive right up until the last week of the season, but more on that next week when we look at what relegation is.
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