2017–present (as Eliteserien)
1990–2016 (as Tippeligaen)
1963–1989 (as 1. divisjon)
1948–1962 (as Hovedserien)
1937–1948 (as Norgesserien)
|Number of teams||16|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Domestic cup(s)||Norwegian Cup
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
|Current champions||Rosenborg (25th title)
|Most championships||Rosenborg (25 titles)|
|TV partners||Discovery Networks Norway|
Eliteserien (Norwegian pronunciation: [e²liːtəserjən]) is a Norwegian professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the Norwegian football league system, it is the country's primary football competition.
Before 1937, there was no national league competition in Norway; only regional leagues and the Norwegian Cup. Starting in 1937–38, the various regional leagues in Southern Norway were aligned into eight districts, with a championship playoff between the winners to crown a national champion. This competition was called Norgesserien (English: The League of Norway). There were plans at the time to merge the district leagues into a national competition, but because of World War II, this process was delayed until after the war.
In 1948, Hovedserien (English: The Main League) was created, consisting of the 16 top teams from the district leagues, who were placed into two groups of eight, with the group winners playing for the national championship at the end of the season. This format was in place from the 1948–49 season until 1960–61, when it was decided to merge the two groups into a single top division, and have the season follow the calendar year from 1963 onwards. The 1961–62 season became a transitional season, where the 16 top-flight teams were placed in a single group, playing a season that lasted 18 months. Officially still known as Hovedserien, the 1961–62 season became informally known as Maratonserien (The Marathon League) because of its unusual length.
In 1963, a single top division containing ten teams was introduced, and the league was renamed 1. divisjon (English: 1st Division). The league was expanded to 12 teams in 1972. Teams from northern Norway were not allowed to qualify for the top flight division before 1972, and were subject to stricter promotion rules until 1979. In 1990, the league was renamed Tippeligaen, after Norsk Tipping which has been the main sponsor of the league since then. However, unofficially the league was still known as 1. divisjon by most people. And ahead of the 1991-season it was decided to let the second level league of Norwegian football "inherit" the name 1. divisjon to help Tippeligaen establish as a brand. In 1995, Tippeligaen was expanded to 14 teams, and in 2009 it was further expanded to 16 teams.
Teams from Northern Norway were not allowed to gain promotion to the top division before 1972. In 1979 teams from Northern Norway were given the same promotion rights as the rest of the country.
As of the 2018 season there are 16 clubs in the Eliteserien, seven of which are located in Eastern Norway, one from Southern Norway, four are from Western Norway, and two each are from Trøndelag and north of the Arctic Circle.
During the course of a season, each club plays the others twice, home and away, for a total of 30 games for each club, and a total of 240 games in a season. The season starts in March and lasts until early November. Rounds played during the weekends are broken up into one game on Fridays, two games on Saturdays and five games on Sundays. For the final two rounds, all games start simultaneously so that no club may gain an unfair advantage by knowing the results of other games in advance of kicking off their own.
The 16 May round, which is played the day before Norway's Constitution Day, 17 May, is one of the most anticipated rounds of the season. It is often referred to as the "national day of football" and since it precedes a national holiday, games usually see higher attendance than other rounds.
Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, goals scored, and then head to head records used to separate teams on equal points. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned "League Winner". The title of "Champions" is reserved for the Cup Winners. The two lowest placed teams are automatically relegated to the First Division and the top two teams from the First Division take their place. The fourteenth placed team in Eliteserien is also in danger of being relegated and must enter play-offs against one team from the First Division to stay in the top flight.
League ranking and European qualification
In the UEFA coefficient, UEFA's rankings of European leagues based on their performances in European competitions over a five-year period, the league ranked 27th at the end of the 2012–2013 European season, its lowest ranking since 1993. The league's highest ranking, tenth place, came in 1998. The winners of the previous calendar year's Norwegian Premier League enter the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, while the cup winners and second placed team enter the second qualifying round of the Europa League. The third placed team enters the first qualifying round of the Europa league. Norway also has an additional place in the first qualifying round of the Europa league for the 2013–2014 season due to its fair play ranking.
The league has enjoyed tremendous popularity in Norway. Rosenborg of Trondheim won the first year the league bore the name Tippeligaen in 1990. Followed by a win by Viking of Stavanger in 1991. In 1992 Rosenborg started a run of 13 consecutive titles until 2004. During the first years Rosenborg won with a substantial margin, only partly challenged by Bodø/Glimt, Molde, Lillestrøm and Brann. However, this was streadily narrowing down towards a dramatic finish in 2004, where the Trondheim team tied with Vålerenga of Oslo in game points and on goal difference, but finished ahead on number of goals scored. However, in 2005 the winning streak came to an end as Vålerenga clinched the title, one point ahead of Start of Kristiansand. Rosenborg was never in contention that season and would finish only 7th. In 2006, Rosenborg returned to the top of the league, coming back from 10 points behind Brann at the halfway point to clinch the title with a match to spare. Brann won the league in 2007, and Stabæk won their first-ever title in 2008. Rosenborg then returned for a two-year winning streak in 2009 and 2010.
Molde's back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 makes it the only other club to win consecutive titles in the current format, and outside Rosenborg, the first team to do so since Vålerenga in 1983 and 1984.
In 2016 it was decided to change from the sponsorship name Tippeligaen to the non-sponsorship name Eliteserien, effecting from the 2017 season.
The league has been professional since 1992.
UEFA association coefficients as of the end of the 2016–17 season, for league participation in the 2017–18 European football season (Previous year rank in italics):
The following sixteen clubs are competing in the Eliteserien during the 2018 season.
|First season in
|First season of
current spell in
List of champions
Below is a list of the gold, silver and bronze medalists in the Norwegian Premier League since its beginning in 1937–38. (The Norwegian football cup has been played since 1902, and is still officially known as the Norwegian Championship, presented with "The King's Cup".) During 1937–1948 the name of the league was Norgesserien ("The League of Norway"), 1948–1962 Hovedserien ("The Main League"), 1963–1989 1. divisjon ("1st Division"), and from 1990 Tippeligaen (sponsored name) or Eliteserien ("The Elite League", a generic name).
From 1937 until 1948, the championship was decided through a playoff between the winners of the various regional leagues in Southern Norway. From 1948 until 1961, the 16-team league was divided into two groups, and decided by a final match between the group winners. Since then it has been a round-robin decided through a league table. Bronze finals were played in 1960 and 1961; before that no bronze medals were awarded. Note that clubs from Northern Norway (including Bodø/Glimt and Tromsø IL), allegedly due to travel distance, were not allowed in the top division until 1972, but a separate Northern Norwegian Cup was played. Furthermore northern Norwegian teams had stricter promotion rules until 1979. The league did not play during the period 1940–1946 because of the 2nd World War.
See below for a list of medalists by club name.
Medalists by year
The following medals have been awarded:
Note: 1 First season when North Norwegian teams was allowed to play in the Top Division.
Medalists by club name
|Rosenborg||1917–05–19||25||7||3||Gold 2017, 2016, 2015|
|Fredrikstad||1903–04–07||9||9||1||Gold 1960–61, Silver 2008|
|Viking||1899–08–10||8||2||8||Gold 1991, Bronze 2007|
|Lillestrøm||1917–04–02||5||8||3||Gold 1989, Silver 2001|
|Vålerenga||1913–07–29||5||3||4||Gold 2005, Silver 2010|
|Molde||1911–06–19||3||8||3||Gold 2014, Silver 2017|
|Brann||1908–09–26||3||6||3||Gold 2007, Silver 2016|
|Larvik Turn||1906–01–15||3||–||–||Gold 1955–56|
|Lyn||1896–03–03||2||4||4||Gold 1968, Silver 1971, Bronze 2005|
|Strømsgodset||1907–02–10||2||2||3||Gold 2013, Silver 2015|
|Start||1905–09–19||2||1||7||Gold 1980, Silver 2005|
|Skeid||1915–01–01||1||5||1||Gold 1966, Silver 1967|
|Stabæk||1912–03–16||1||1||4||Gold 2008, Bronze 2015|
|Fram Larvik||1894–01–15||1||–||–||Gold 1949–50|
|Odd||1894–03–31||–||2||2||Bronze 2016, Bronze 2014|
|Sarpsborg 08||2008–01–15||–||–||1||Bronze 2017|
Up to 1994 the league consisted of 12 teams (132 matches a year). The number was raised to 14 teams (182 matches a year) in 1995 and to 16 teams (240 matches a year) in 2009. Attendances reached peaks in 1977 and 2007, and were at their lowest in 1986.
|1985||581 177||4 403|
|1986||426 349||3 229|
|1987||469 030||3 553|
|1988||576 257||4 365|
|1989||624 679||4 732|
|1990||647 489||4 905|
|1991||706 508||5 352|
|1992||671 903||5 083|
|1993||731 565||5 542|
|1994||688 589||5 216|
|1995||841 717||4 624|
|1996||841 368||4 622|
|1997||772 197||4 242|
|1998||959 317||5 270|
|1999||983 630||5 404|
|2000||1 024 722||5 639|
|2001||1 013 264||5 567|
|2002||1 092 359||6 002|
|2003||1 198 798||6 587|
|2004||1 458 258||8 012|
|2005||1 727 101||9 489|
|2006||1 655 572||9 097|
|2007||1 914 907||10 521|
|2008||1 785 815||9 812|
|2009||2 151 219||8 956|
|2010||1 947 236||8 117|
|2011||1 919 325||7 994|
|2012||1 680 822||7 003|
|2013||1 637 716||6 824|
|2014||1 670 706||6 961|
|2015||1 610 684||6 711|
|2016||1 669 435||6 985|
|2017||1 607 772||6 699|
Individual all-time records
Most matches played
Last updated: 2017 season. Source: rsssf.com.
Most goals scored
Last updated: Start of season 2014. Source: rsssf.com.
- Toppserien (Women's Premier League)
- Norwegian football top scorers
- List of football clubs in Norway
- List of Premier League Champions from 1938 to present time
Notes and references
- Johansen, Magne (October 26, 1989). "Tippemillionene". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 35.
- Dehlin, Håkon (December 7, 1990). "Alle rykker opp". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 26.
- Fotballforbund, Norges. "Tippeligaen endrer navn til Eliteserien i 2017". Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- In Norwegian "fotballens nasjonaldag"
- Per Svein (16 May 2011). "Nok en 16. Mai kamp i Bergen" (in Norwegian). IK Start. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- Access list for European Cup Football 2013/2014, xs4ll.nl, accessed 13 July 2013
- Sæther, Esten O. (7 August 2009). "Alle heiet underveis". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 8 August 2009.
- Northern Norwegian teams were not allowed to qualify for the top flight division before 1972.
- FK Haugesund is the result of a merger between SK Haugar and Djerv 1919. These two clubs participated in the Norwegian Premier League in 1981 and 1988, respectively.
- "Norwegian attendances". Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "altomfotball.no: Eliteserien, 2014 - Statistikk". Retrieved 1 January 2017.
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