The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament. The format changed for 2014/15 with the expansion for the final tournament from eight to 16 teams.
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 five third-placed teams with the best record against the top pair in their groups.
In the elite round, played in early spring, those 31 qualifiers plus the top seed, give a bye, compete in eight mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the sides first and third in their section progress to the finals to join the hosts.
At the final tournament the contenders are split into four groups of four, with the top two from each progressing to the knockout phase.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.