The UEFA European Under-19 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four teams playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each progress alongside the third-placed team with the best record against the top pair in their group.
In the elite round, played in the spring, those 27 qualifiers join the top seed, given a bye, in seven mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners then join the hosts in the finals.
The seven qualifiers plus the hosts are split into two groups of four who play each other once, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals. The winners of those ties contest the final.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after extra time in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Germany will host the UEFA European Under-19 Championship from 11 to 24 July 2016. Seven teams will join Germany in the finals, the 15th to be held since the switch from U18 classification.
Group 1: England
Group 2: Austria
Group 3: Italy
Group 4: Netherlands
Group 5: Croatia
Group 6: Portugal
Group 7: France
Draw: 12 April, Stuttgart
Group stage: 11/12, 14/15, 17/18 July
Semi-finals & FIFA U-20 World Cup play-off: 21 July
Final: 24 July, Sinsheim
• The four semi-finalists and a winner of a play-off between the two third-place group finishers qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea from 20 May to 11 June that year. Holders Serbia will not qualify to defend their title.
• The U18 tournament was staged in Germany three times. The inaugural 1981 edition took place in West Germany and was won by the hosts in front of 56,000 fans in Dusseldorf, with the unified nation subsequently the venue in 1992 and 2000.
• Germany also hosted the 1997 U16 and 2009 U17 finals, beating the Netherlands in the latter decider in front of a competition-record 24,000 crowd in Magdeburg.
Venues: Aalen, Aspach, Heidenheim, Mannheim, Reutlingen, Sandhausen, Sinsheim, Stuttgart, Ulm
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.