Championnat de France Amateur 2 - History and Format

History and Format

The amateur championship of France was created in 1993 under the name National 3. The league's debut coincided with the creation of the Championnat National, the third division of French football, which is commonly known as National. For the first three years of the competition, an amateur champion was crowned in France regardless of whether the club was amateur or a reserve team.

There are 128 clubs that participate in the Championnat de France amateur 2 annually. The clubs are split into eight parallel groups of 16 with their group affiliation being based on the regional location of the club. The league is open to reserve teams in France and amateur clubs in France and both are eligible for promotion to the Championnat de France amateur. During the course of a season, usually from August to May, each club plays the others in their respective group twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Since the league is considered amateur, teams receive four points for a win and two points for a draw. One point is awarded for a loss. A club gets no points from a game for certain disciplinary reasons or if they forfeit. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored.

At the end of each season, the club with the most points, regardless of the group, is crowned champion and promoted to the Championnat de France amateur. If points are equal, head-to-head match results, followed by the goal difference, and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship or for relegation, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The seven other highest-placed amateur teams in the other groups are also promoted, while the three lowest-placed teams from each group are relegated to the Division d'Honneur. Alongside the winners of the groups, the top four second-place finishers, regardless of group, are also promoted to the fourth division.

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