|Relegated||Veino Mogilev Raion|
|Goals scored||670 (2.79 per match)|
Team changes from 1997 season
Two best teams of 1997 Belarusian First League (Gomel and BATE Borisov) were promoted to Belarusian Premier League. They were initially replaced by two lowest-placed teams of 1997 Premier League (Torpedo-Kadino Mogilev and Shakhtyor Soligorsk).
Two teams that finished at the bottom of last season's table (Lokomotiv Vitebsk and Stroitel Starye Dorogi) relegated to the Second League. They were replaced by two best teams of 1997 Second League (Dinamo-Energo Vitebsk and Svisloch-Krovlya Osipovichi as the winners of their respective groups).
Following the dissolution of two Premier League clubs (Transmash Mogilev and Ataka Minsk) BFF decided to reinstall both previously relegated clubs (Torpedo-Kadino Mogilev and Shakhtyor Soligorsk) in Premier League. To replace them, Polesye Mozyr Raion and ZLiN Gomel (2nd and 3rd teams of 1997 Second League Group B) were additionally promoted. Veras Nesvizh (Second League Group A runners-up) were offered promotion ahead of ZLiN Gomel but declined.
Two best teams of the season (Lida and Svisloch-Krovlya Osipovichi) were promoted to the Premier League. Two lowest placed teams (Veino Mogilev Raion and Belenergostroy Beloozyorsk) were initially relegated to the Second League. Belenergostroy Beloozyorsk disbanded at the end of the season and never played in First of Second league again. Belcard Grodno, who finished 8th, also disbanded, and as a result, Veino Mogilev Raion were saved from relegation.
Teams and locations
|Team||Location||Position in 1997|
|Dinamo-Energogaz||Vitebsk||Second League, Group A, 1|
|Svisloch-Krovlya||Osipovichi||Second League, Group B, 1|
|Polesye||Mozyr Raion||Second League, Group B, 2|
|ZLiN||Gomel||Second League, Group B, 3|
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||Lida (P)||30||23||5||2||65||19||+46||74||Promotion to Belarusian Premier League|
|2||Svisloch-Krovlya Osipovichi (P)||30||18||6||6||63||27||+36||60|
|8||Belcard Grodno (R)||30||11||7||12||36||37||−1||40||Disbanded|
|11||Polesye Mozyr Raion||30||10||4||16||39||54||−15||34|
|15||Veino Mogilev Raion||30||5||5||20||31||83||−52||20|
|16||Belenergostroy Beloozyorsk (R)||30||2||8||20||20||56||−36||14||Disbanded|
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd matches won; 3rd head-to-head (points, matches won, goal difference, goals scored); 4th goal difference; 5th goals scored
(P) Promoted; (R) Relegated.
|4||Aleksey Denisenya||Dinamo-Juni Minsk||12|
|Alyaksandr Kavalyow||Vedrich-97 Rechitsa||12|