|17||Pro Vercelli||42||46||11||13||18||43||53||-10 1|
Serie B (Italian pronunciation: [ˈsɛːrje ˈbi]), currently named Serie B ConTe.it 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.