Czech Extraliga is the highest-level ice hockey league in the Czech Republic.
The name of the league is leased a general
sponsor and changes frequently. In 1999-00, it was known as the
for 2001-01 and 2001-02 seasons, it was called the Český
from 2003-04 to 2005-06, it was known
as the Tipsport Extraliga;
for the 2006-07 and
2007-08 seasons, it was known as the O2 Extraliga.
As of 2009, it is
ranked by the IIHF
as the third strongest
league in Europe.
The Czech Extraliga is rooted in the Czechoslovak First Ice
. The Czech Extraliga was spun off in 1993
following the administrative break-up of Czechoslovakia.
A lot of Extraliga players leave every year
on transfers to the North American
and Eurasian league, the KHL
. There are currently 57 Czech ice hockey players based in the
National Hockey League,
making Czechs the third largest nationality represented in the
league, after Canadians and Americans.
14 teams compete in the league. The top 10 teams at the end of the
regular season advance to the final play-offs. After the regular
season (52 rounds), the teams that finished 7th to 10th will play a
pre-quarter final playoff series (best-of-five) to determine who
will join the top six into the quarter finals
Since the 2006-07 season, three points has been be awarded for a
win in regular time, and two points for an overtime victory, while
the defeated team in overtime gets one point. If necessary, penalty
shots are used to decide games after overtime.
There was also only one assist credited for each goal instead of
two since 2006-07, which affected the league statistics, so the
rule was cancelled in the 2008-2009 season. Two assists are counted
The four lowest ranked teams (11 - 14) after the regular season
play in a play out group (12 rounds, all regular-season matches are
counted into the ranking). The last placed team after the play out
group plays with a winner of 1. národní hokejová
play off serie (best-of-seven). The winner of this serie
will play in the Extraliga next season. The loser will play
Note: The names of most teams are leased to general sponsors and
2009-10 Interim positions
The top 10 teams at the end of the regular season play in the final
Starting from the 2003-04 season, the play-offs has its own general
sponsor, with the play-offs' official name being Česká
pojišťovna play-off Tipsport extraligy
. The play-offs
determine the league championship.