|Current season, competition or edition:|
2020-21 Eliteserien (ice hockey) season
|No. of teams||9|
|TV partner(s)||TV 2 Sport|
|Relegation to||First Division|
Eliteserien, known as Fjordkraftligaen due to sponsorship, is the premier Norwegian ice hockey league, organised by the Norwegian Ice Hockey Association. It comprises 10 clubs and works on the premise of promotion and relegation, in which the two teams who placed last must play the top two teams from First Division (the league ranked immediately below) for the rights to play in the next Eliteserie season.
The Norwegian Ice Hockey Association (NIHF) was founded on 16 September 1934. The same season also saw the debut of a national league for ice hockey. It was then known as 1. divisjon (1st division), a name it held until 1990, when the elite clubs broke away and formed a new top league, Eliteserien (The Elite League). In 2004, telecommunications company UPC bought the naming rights for the league. UPC Norway changed its name to GET in 2006 and hence the name of the league was also altered. On October 1, 2020, NIHF and Fjordkraft announced that a new three years naming rights agreement for the league had been agreed, after the one with GET had expired, and from the 2020–2021 season, the league would be known as Fjordkraftligaen.
Notable former teams
The Eliteserien season is divided into a regular season, lasting from mid September to the first week of March, and a postseason, consisting of the Norwegian Championship playoffs, and qualification for the league in the following season. During the regular season, clubs play each other in a predefined schedule. The Norwegian Championship, which is contested in March and April, is an elimination tournament where two clubs play each other in a best-of-seven series in order to advance to the next round. The final remaining team is crowned the Norwegian champion. Teams not qualified for the playoffs must compete with the best teams from the second league level—1. divisjon—for the right to play in next season's Eliteserien.
The league's regular season is organized according to a quintuple round robin format implemented ahead of the 2008–09 season. Clubs play each other five times, at least twice at home and twice away, for a total of 45 games per team. The right to play the fifth game at home is awarded on a rotational basis determined by the final standings in 2007–08. The five highest ranked clubs were awarded a third home game in 2008–09; the other five clubs would then get an extra home game in 2009–10, and from then on, every other season. However, because of the bankruptcy of Comet in October 2009 and reduction to nine teams for that season, a sixth round robin was added to the schedule so that all teams played an equal number of home and away games, amounting to 48 in total.
Points are awarded for each game, where three points are awarded for a win in regulation time, two points for win in overtime or a shootout and one point for a loss in overtime or a shootout. No points are awarded for a loss in regulation time. Teams are ranked by total points; if two or more teams have an equal number of points, they are separated using head to head records, then goal difference head to head and goals scored head to head. If two or more teams are still ranked equally, goal difference and goals scored in all 45 games are used to break the tie. At the end of the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points is crowned league champion.
The Norwegian Ice Hockey Championship, or playoffs, is contested by the eight best teams in the league following the conclusion of the regular season. There are three rounds, each played as a best-of-seven series; the winner advances to the next round, while the loser is eliminated from the tournament. In the first round, or quarter-finals, the highest seed chooses which of the two lowest seeds to be matched against. The highest remaining seed then chooses between the two lowest remaining seeds until all teams have an opponent. In the second round, or semi-finals, the teams are re-seeded, with the highest remaining seed again being allowed to choose which of the two lowest remaining seeds to play against. The remaining teams pair off in the other semi-final, and the winner of each series advances to the finals.
In each round the higher-ranked team is said to be the team with the home ice advantage. Four of the seven games are played at this team's home venue—the first and third, and, when necessary, the fifth and seventh games—with the other games played at the lower-ranked team's home venue. In the finals, the team with the most points during the regular season is given home-ice advantage.
The two lowest ranked teams after the regular season are in danger of being relegated and will have to play in a qualification tournament along with the two highest ranked teams from the 1. divisjon. All four teams must agree to play in the Eliteserien (if promoted) before they are allowed to participate in qualifying. If a team is unable, for whatever reason, to make such a commitment, the position is offered to another team in the 1. divisjon. The tournament is played in March and is organized according to a double round robin format: each club plays the others twice, home and away, for a total of six games. The points system and ranking method used are the same as in the Eliteserien. At the end of the tournament, the winner and runner-up qualify for next season, while the other two are demoted to (or remain in) the 1. divisjon.
Trophies and awards
The winning team of the playoffs is awarded the Kongepokal, commonly known as "Bøtta". The Norwegian Ice Hockey Federation and the teams' organization (NTH) also announce a number of awards, among others Gullpucken (the best Norwegian player of the season, regardless of league) and the Most Valuable Player from the playoffs.
Television and media
List of champions
Titles by team
Team in bold currently competes in the top league.
- "GET-ligaen" at Norwegian Ice Hockey Association – NIHF Archived 17 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Fourth Edition, 2000.
- "Sesongen som gikk – 2008/2009" (PDF). Norwegian Ice Hockey Association (in Norwegian). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- "Comet legges ned, pressemelding 06.10.09". Norwegian Ice Hockey Association (in Norwegian). 6 October 2009. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- "Kampreglement" (PDF). Norwegian Ice Hockey Association (in Norwegian). Retrieved 29 April 2010.[permanent dead link]