Division

A Soccer Player Kicks a Ball
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The major soccer countries each have a number of divisions where teams generally play each other twice a season, with those at the top earning promotion and those at the bottom getting relegated.

In a country’s top division, such as England’s Premier League or Italy’s Serie A, the winner is crowned the champion and regarded as the best team in the country for that season.

The clubs finishing in the other top spots, such as, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth will typically qualify for European competition the following season, where they will compete against the other top clubs in the continent.

In other country's competitions, such as America's Major League Soccer, the teams finishing in the top six spots qualify for a 12-team playoff competition, with the top two progressing into the MLS Championship Final. The top teams also go through to play in the CONCACAF Champions League.

There is no relegation in the MLS, but in many of the world's biggest leagues, the bottom three teams at the end of the season are demoted to the league below. They are replaced by the best three performing teams from that lower league. Relegation, while an unpleasant experience for clubs involved, helps keep a division competitive. Without it, many teams in a league would have nothing to play for each season if they were not challenging for one of the top positions.

A country, depending on its size, typically has several divisions, with promotion and relegation ensuring that teams have plenty to play for at the start of each season.

Also Known As League, Table