For this winter season of my favourite sport (bandy) they have just reorganised the series. This made me think about the different alternatives for a series, and which ones are most popular. There are quite a few alternatives here are some, feel free to add more and discuss the pros and cons of each. 1a. A straight open series were each team meet the other teams for a certain number of games, the winner of the series is the national champion, the worst teams in the series are relegated to the series below. The winning team from the series below is moved up the next season. (I think this is the way most European football leagues work) 1b. A straight closed series. Like 1a, but always with the same teams, no teams are moved up or down. 2a. A series where the best teams go off to play off in order to be champions/winner. Just like with 1a you have transfers between the worst teams in the top series and the best teams in the series below. 2b. The series leads to championships, but the series is closed so no teams are moved up or down. (Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this the way most North American leages work?) Personally I think either 1a or 2a is the best, or I simply don't like leagues/series where there's no excitement among the bottom teams, since they can't get kicked out anyway. The comes my favourite version of a system, this is the system that was taken away in bandy, but I still think it worked well. 3 You start off with two geographical series, at the end of that the top teams from each series from a premier series and the bottom teams form a secondary series. At the end of that league the top teams from the premier series go to quarter finals for the championships automatically. The bottom two teams have to go through a play off with the top teams from the secondary series to compete for the two spaces n the quarter finals. This means that even if you are in the secondary series you have a chance to get to the finals. Also in the secondary series the bottom two teams are transfered down to the series below, in exchange for the top teams from that series, and the teams 3 and 4 from the bottom has to play against team 3 and 4 from the series below to decided wich one will play in the higher series. This system mean that for the first half of the series it was important to win in order to get to the premier series. When you got to the premier series it was important get as high up as possible in order to get away from having to play the extra play off games, while in the secondary season it could be a very small difference in points between the top teams and the bottom teams, meaning that each game was important in order to avoid transfer down from that series. So I would love to see a discussion on what kind of system you prefer, and why you think a certain system is better than another.