Previously, only the teams from third to sixth would be able to compete in the playoffs, though the league has voted to change the regulations. Starting this season, a minimum of two teams to a maximum of six teams can compete in the playoffs, depending on how close to the third-placed team they are.
If the team in third place has more than a nine point advantage over fourth, the playoffs will be cancelled and the third-placed team automatically promoted, along with first and second. If the gap between third and fourth isn't over nine points, the playoffs will go ahead. Every team between fourth and eighth place will then be entered into them, providing they're within the 'playoff perimeter' of 14 points from third place.
That means that as little as two teams could compete in the playoffs, if the gap between fourth and fifth is over 14 points. If all six teams from third to eighth are within the perimeter, an initial one-legged preliminary round between fifth and eighth and sixth and seventh will be played. The team that finished third would then play the winner of the match between fifth and eighth, while the team that finished fourth would then play the winner of the other preliminary. From here, the four teams compete in the standard semi-final/final home and away playoff format we saw last season.
The Serie B season kicks off on Friday evening, with two of last season's relegation strugglers, Reggina and Bari, contesting the opening match.