Take a look at the rules and format of the Checkatrade Trophy...
Rochdale start their Checkatrade Trophy campaign on Tuesday night, hosting Sunderland in the first group stage game of the newly-formatted competition.
Dale were drawn in Northern Group F and will also face Hartlepool and Notts County during the group stage of the competition.
Teams will be awarded three points for a win and one point for a draw. In the event of a draw after 90 minutes, the game will go straight to penalties and the winning team will earn an additional point.
The top two teams in the group will progress to the knockout stages of the competition, meaning eight winners and eight runners up from the north and south group stages qualify for the round of 32. All other clubs are eliminated from the competition.
If two or more clubs are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied in the order give to determine their rankings:
- goal difference.
- higher number of goals scored in the group matches.
- number of wins after normal time (i.e. not the result of any drawn match followed by penalties).
- the record against each other in the group match, taking into account in order of precedence, points gained, goal difference, higher number of goals scored.
- if the Clubs still have an equal ranking after the application of (A) to (C), by the drawing of lots.
EFL clubs must field a minimum of five first-team players in their starting eleven. For invited Clubs, six of the starting 11 must be under 21 as at June 30th.
No player may play for more than one club in the competition in any one season.
New disciplinary rules for the revamped cup competition mean that cautions and sending-offs are exclusive to the tournament.
Therefore, any EFL or Premier League player who is serving a ban or is set to serve a suspension for a yellow or red card offence committed in another competition, will be eligible to play in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Likewise, any cautions or dismissals collected in the Checkatrade Trophy won’t affect other EFL or Premier League fixtures.