Football is currently one of the most-watched games in the world. Every football fan looks towards the start and end of the season of their favorite league. Essentially, football leagues set aside specific periods to host their season, so football seasons vary depending on the league involved. In this article, we’d explore a major debate for most football fans, “How long is football season”. Also, other information about how a football season is determined will be discussed.
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What is a Football Season?
In the game of Football (or any other organized sport), a season is a part of one year in which a league hosts games regularly. Football seasons can vary in length and time depending on the country and location. However, most leagues in the world set aside a single period in which the main match is played alongside any other cup tournaments or competitions. Generally, a sporting year can be categorized into three major parts. They are:
- A preseason – during this season, there are a number of friendly matches played solely for training purposes
- A regular season – this is the main duration of the competition
- An offseason – the time in which official games are not being played
The pre-season period is the duration before the regular season. This period precedes the regular season. During the pre-season, players will have to return to their club to start pre-season training.
When it is almost time for the regular season to start, the league will arrange pre-season friendly games to help improve the fitness of players. Friendly games also help to assess team tactics and formations. Doing this is extremely crucial if fresh players just joined the team. Essentially, it creates time for them to practice together.
2. Regular Season
The regular season in football is the major period of the match. This season is called the “home and away season”. Generally, the main competition uses the format of a regular points-based league. The teams competing in the season are usually divided into different groups. Each team will have to play a specific number of matches against a specific number of opponents.
In most parts of the globe, football leagues are played in a double-robin format. Essentially, in this format, each team has to play against every other team two times. They play at their home venue and at the home venue of their opponent.
When the competition ends, the outcome of each game will be accumulated and a winner will be declared.
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3. Post Season
Many football leagues have matches that are played after the end of their regular season. In some cases, the top teams may even enter into a playoff contest to decide the overall champion or the team that gets promoted. This method is adopted in major sports leagues in the U.S., such as the Stanley Cup, Super Bowl, World Series, as well as NBA Finals.
What Determines The Start and End of a Football Season?
Here is a list of two major factors that can determine the start and end of a season in football:
1. Domestic Leagues and International Competitions
Generally, the dates of a regular season determine the opening and ending of their transfer window. During this period, players may easily transfer between clubs.
To avoid clashes or discords, it is important for the timing of a regular season to correspond with other international contests. During international matches, national football teams with various regular seasons will have to compete.
However, in some countries, many of the top players do not partake in their domestic football league program. Hence, the harmonization of their regular league and other international competitions becomes less important since most of the players in their national team do not participate in the domestic league.
2. The Weather
When it comes to football, the general rule is that seasons are always dictated by the weather. Since most matches are played on completely natural grass football pitches, they are susceptible to freezing, becoming water-logged, and may even dry out completely during very hot weather.
Fortunately, many football leagues make provisions for proper draining and heating systems. This helps to enhance the quality of the football pitch.
Who Sets The Football Calendar?
The body that sets the football calendar for a season depends on if the match is a national or international competition. We’ve provided more details below:
1. Club Football
The club football timetable is fixed by the association that manages the competition. For instance, the English League match schedules are determined by the Premier League, while in Spain, fixtures are usually set by La Liga.
2. International Football
FIFA, the world governing body of football, oversees national football. At the beginning of every year, FIFA sends out an international football calendar to all clubs. This calendar reserves specific weeks within the specified year for regional club competitions, national friendly, and competitive matches
For matches that clash with a country’s domestic football season, clubs are instructed to send out any player to represent their international team. International matches are generally fixed outside of a country’s domestic season. For example, the FIFA World Cup is hosted either in June or July.
How Long is Football Season?
So, how long is football season? Below, we’ve provided a list of different prominent leagues and when they start and end their season in one year:
- England – Both Premier League and Football League span from August to May
- France – Ligue 1: spans from August to May (with just one month-long winter break)
- Scotland – Premiership and Football League spans from August to May
- Germany – Bundesliga spans from August to May (with just one winter break of about one to two months)
- Republic of Ireland – League of Ireland spans from March to October
- Netherlands – Eredivisie spans from August to April
- Norway – Eliteserien spans from March to November
- Greece – Superleague spans from August to April
- Russia – Premier League spans from August to May
- Italy – Serie A spans from August to May
- Portugal – Primeira Liga spans from August to May
- Ukraine – Premier League spans from July to June (with just one winter break given from December to February)
- Spain – La Liga spans from August to May (with just one break for both Christmas and New Year)
- Sweden – Allsvenskan spans from April to October
- Turkey – Süper Lig spans from August to May (with just one winter break of one month)
So, the answer to the question “How long is Football Season?” is not specific. Football seasons usually vary in both periods and lengths all over the world. However, the most common time frame for leagues to set their matches is between August to May. Usually, there will be a short holiday to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. One major reason why most leagues host their matches between August to May is to allow their calendar to harmonize with the calendar of the FIFA World Cup, which is hosted between June and July. So there is no chance for national matches to clash with international competitions.
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