In the regular season (preliminary stage), 16 teams are divided into two groups of 8 participants, not geographically (as in last season).
Teams from the same group play four matches (two home and two away), with teams from the other group – one home, and one away. Thus, each participant will play 22 games in the regular season.
Group A: Zenit (Kazan), Lokomotiv (Novosibirsk), Ural (Ufa), Gazprom-Ugra (Surgut region), Belogorie (Belgorod), Kuzbass (Kemerovo), Yaroslavich (Yaroslavl), Grozny.
Group B: Dinamo (Moscow), Iskra (Odintsovo), Dinamo (Krasnodar), Lokomotiv (Kharkov, Ukraine), Fakel (New Urengoy), Guberinya (Nizhny Novgorod), Shakhtar (Soligorsk), Prikamie (Perm).