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The Norwegian Premier League is a Norwegianmarker professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the Norwegian football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Its official Norwegian name is Tippeligaen. It is also colloquially known as Eliteserien ("The Elite Series"), although the name has never been official.

Between 1963 and 1990 the name of the league was 1. divisjon ("1st Division"), a name that has later been used for the second level league from 1991. (In 2005 the second level league was officially named Adeccoligaen after its sponsor Adecco.) From the fall of 1948 to 1962 the top division was called Hovedserien ("The Main League"), and between 1937 and the summer of 1948, it was called Norgesserien ("The League of Norway").

Format

Competition

As of the 2009 season there are 16 clubs in the Norwegian Premier League, half of which are placed in or near the Oslofjordmarker area. The Norwegian league is distinguished for having two teams north of the Arctic Circle: Tromsø and Bodø/Glimt.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 Saturdays, six games on Sundays and one game on Mondays. Midweek rounds are broken up into six games on Wednesdays and one game on Thursdays. 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 one day ahead of 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, because it always precedes a national holiday, games are attended by more spectators than for any other round.

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 the Premier League is also in danger of being relegated and must enter play-offs with teams from the First Division to stay in the top flight.

European qualification

As of the 2009-10 European season the winners of the previous calendar years Norwegian Premier League enter the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, while the second and third placed teams enter respectively, the third and second qualifying rounds of the Europa League. The fourth placed team may also qualify, depending on what happens in the Norwegian Cup. Normally the winners of the Cup receive the final spot (entering the Europa League in the third qualifying round). If the winners have already qualified for Europe, the spot is transferred to the fourth placed team. Incidentally, the cup competition is called The Championship, while the winners of the League are merely that - League Winners.

The Norwegian Premier League is nineteenth in the UEFA rankings of European leagues based on their performances in European competitions over a five year period.

History

The league has enjoyed tremendous popularity in Norway. Viking of Stavangermarker won the first year the league bore the name Tippeligaen, followed by Rosenborgmarker of Trond sitt heim, claiming 13 consecutive titles (1992-2004). During the first years Rosenborg won with a substantial margin, only partly challenged by Molde, Lillestrøm and Brann. However, this was streadily narrowing down towards a dramatic finish in 2004, where the Trondheim team tied with Vålerenga of Oslomarker in game points, but finished ahead on goals scored. However, in 2005 the winning streak came to an end as Vålerenga clinched the title, one point ahead of Start of Kristiansandmarker. 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.

The league has been professional since 1992.

UEFA Rankings

UEFA Country Ranking for league participation in 2010-11 European football season (Previous year rank in italics)

Current members

Tippeligaen title holders
The following sixteen clubs will compete in the Norwegian Premier League during the 2009 season.
Club

Finishing position

in 2008
First season in

/>top division
First season of

current spell in

top division
Bodø/Glimt 1977 2008
Brann 1963 1987
Fredrikstad 1963 2004
Lillestrøm 1975 1975
Lyn 1963 2001
Molde 1974 2008
Odd Grenland 1965 2009
Rosenborgmarker 1967 1979
Sandefjord 2006 2009
Stabæk 1995 2006
Start 1969 2009
Strømsgodset 1967 2007
Tromsø 1986 2003
Viking 1963 1989
Vålerenga 1963 2002
Aalesund 2003 2007


Top flight champions

The following clubs have won the top division in Norwegian football since 1938. Note that this list is in a way misleading, due to the fact that clubs from Northern Norway were not allowed to take part in the league system before 1972. This odd league system caused considerable bitterness in the north in the 50's, 60's and 70's (see also: Bodø/Glimt and List of Premier League Champions from 1938 to present time).



League Winners

Below is a list of the gold, silver and bronze medalists in the Norwegian Premier League for men since its beginning in 1937/38. (The Norwegian football cup has been played since 1902, and is regarded as the Championship of Norway, 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"), 1963-1990 1. divisjon ("1st Division"), and from 1991 Tippeligaen (sponsored name) or Eliteserien ("The Elite League", a generic name).

Before 1961, the league was divided into two sections, and decided by a final match. Since then it has been a roundrobin 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) were not allowed in the top division until 1972, but a separate Northern Norwegian Cup was played. 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:

Season Gold Silver Bronze Name of league
2009 Rosenborgmarker Molde Stabæk Tippeligaen
2008 Stabæk Fredrikstad Tromsø Tippeligaen
2007 Brann Stabæk Viking Tippeligaen
2006 Rosenborgmarker Brann Vålerenga Tippeligaen
2005 Vålerenga Start Lyn Tippeligaen
2004 Rosenborgmarker Vålerenga Brann Tippeligaen
2003 Rosenborgmarker Bodø/Glimt Stabæk Tippeligaen
2002 Rosenborgmarker Molde Lyn Tippeligaen
2001 Rosenborgmarker Lillestrøm Viking Tippeligaen
2000 Rosenborgmarker Brann Viking Tippeligaen
1999 Rosenborgmarker Molde Brann Tippeligaen
1998 Rosenborgmarker Molde Stabæk Tippeligaen
1997 Rosenborgmarker Brann Strømsgodset Tippeligaen
1996 Rosenborgmarker Lillestrøm Viking Tippeligaen
1995 Rosenborgmarker Molde Bodø/Glimt Tippeligaen
1994 Rosenborgmarker Lillestrøm Viking Tippeligaen
1993 Rosenborgmarker Bodø/Glimt Lillestrøm Tippeligaen
1992 Rosenborgmarker Kongsvinger Start Tippeligaen
1991 Viking Rosenborgmarker Start New name: Tippeligaen
1990 Rosenborgmarker Tromsø Molde 1. divisjon (1st division)
1989 Lillestrøm Rosenborgmarker Tromsø 1. divisjon (1st division)
1988 Rosenborgmarker Lillestrøm Molde 1. divisjon (1st division)
1987 Moss Molde Kongsvinger 1. divisjon (1st division)
1986 Lillestrøm Mjøndalen Kongsvinger 1. divisjon (1st division)
1985 Rosenborgmarker Lillestrøm Vålerenga 1. divisjon (1st division)
1984 Vålerenga Viking Start 1. divisjon (1st division)
1983 Vålerenga Lillestrøm Start 1. divisjon (1st division)
1982 Viking Bryne Lillestrøm 1. divisjon (1st division)
1981 Vålerenga Viking Rosenborgmarker 1. divisjon (1st division)
1980 Start Bryne Lillestrøm 1. divisjon (1st division)
1979 Viking Moss Start 1. divisjon (1st division)
1978 Start Lillestrøm Viking 1. divisjon (1st division)
1977 Lillestrøm Bodø/Glimt Molde 1. divisjon (1st division)
1976 Lillestrøm Mjøndalen Brann 1. divisjon (1st division)
1975 Viking Brann Start 1. divisjon (1st division)
1974 Viking Molde Vålerenga 1. divisjon (1st division)
1973 Viking Rosenborgmarker Start 1. divisjon (1st division)
1972 Viking Fredrikstad Strømsgodset 1. divisjon (1st division)
1971 Rosenborgmarker Lyn Viking 1. divisjon (1st division)
1970 Strømsgodset Rosenborgmarker Ham-Kam 1. divisjon (1st division)
1969 Rosenborgmarker Fredrikstad Strømsgodset 1. divisjon (1st division)
1968 Lyn Rosenborgmarker Viking 1. divisjon (1st division)
1967 Rosenborgmarker Skeid Lyn 1. divisjon (1st division)
1966 Skeid Fredrikstad Lyn 1. divisjon (1st division)
1965 Vålerenga Lyn Sarpsborg 1. divisjon (1st division)
1964 Lyn Fredrikstad Sarpsborg 1. divisjon (1st division)
1963 Brann Lyn Skeid New name: 1. divisjon (1st division)
1961/62 Brann Steinkjer Fredrikstad Hovedserien (Main League)
1960/61 Fredrikstad Eik-Tønsberg Vålerenga Hovedserien (Main League)
1959/60 Fredrikstad Lillestrøm Eik-Tønsberg Hovedserien (Main League)
1958/59 Lillestrøm Fredrikstad - Hovedserien (Main League)
1957/58 Viking Skeid - Hovedserien (Main League)
1956/57 Fredrikstad Odd Grenland - Hovedserien (Main League)
1955/56 Larvik Turn Fredrikstad - Hovedserien (Main League)
1954/55 Larvik Turn Fredrikstad - Hovedserien (Main League)
1953/54 Fredrikstad Skeid - Hovedserien (Main League)
1952/53 Larvik Turn Skeid - Hovedserien (Main League)
1951/52 Fredrikstad Brann - Hovedserien (Main League)
1950/51 Fredrikstad Odd Grenland - Hovedserien (Main League)
1949/50 Fram Larvik Fredrikstad - Hovedserien (Main League)
1948/49 Fredrikstad Vålerenga - New name: Hovedserien (Main League)
1947/48 Freidig Sparta Sarpsborg - Norgesserien (League of Norway)
1938/39 Fredrikstad Skeid - Norgesserien (League of Norway)
1937/38 Fredrikstad Lyn - Norgesserien (League of Norway)


Medalists by club name

The following clubs have won one or more Premier League medals since 1937/38:

Club Founded Gold Silver Bronze Last merits
Rosenborgmarker 1917-05-19 21 5 1 League gold 2009; cup gold 2003
Fredrikstad 1903-04-07 9 8 1 League gold 1960/61, silver 2008; cup gold 2006
Viking 1899-08-10 8 2 9 League gold 1991, bronze 2007; cup gold 2001
Lillestrøm 1917-04-02 5 8 3 League gold 1989, silver 2001; cup gold 1985, cup gold 2007, cup silver 2005
Vålerenga 1913-07-29 5 2 3 League gold 2005; cup gold 2008
Brann 1908-09-26 3 5 3 League gold 2007, silver 2006; cup gold 2004
Larvik Turn 1906 3 - - League gold 1955/56; cup silver 1956
Lyn 1896-03-03 2 5 4 League gold 1968, silver 1971, bronze 2005; cup gold 1968, silver 2004
Start 1905-09-19 2 1 7 League gold 1980, silver 2005
Skeid 1915 1 5 1 League gold 1966, silver 1967; cup gold 1974
Stabæk 1912-03-16 1 1 2 League gold 2008; League silver 2007; cup gold 1998
Moss 1906-08-28 1 1 - League gold 1987; cup gold 1983
Strømsgodset 1907 1 - 3 League gold 1970, bronze 1997; cup gold 1969, 1970, 1973, 1991, silver 1993, 1997
Fram Larvik 1894 1 - - League gold 1949/50
Freidig 1903 1 - - League gold 1947/48
Molde 1911-06-19 - 6 3 League silver 2002; cup gold 2005
Bodø/Glimt 1916 - 3 1 League silver 2003; cup gold 1993, silver 2003
Tromsø 1920 - 1 2 League bronze 2008; cup gold 1996
Bryne 1926 - 2 - League silver 1982; cup gold 1987, silver 2001
Mjøndalen 1910 - 2 - League silver 1986; cup gold 1937, silver 1968
Odd Grenland 1894-03-31 - 2 - League silver 1956/57; cup gold 2000, silver 2002
Kongsvinger 1892-01-31 - 1 2 League silver 1992
Kvik Halden 1905 1 - - Cup gold 1918
Eik-Tønsberg 1928-03-14 - 1 1 League silver 1960/61
Sparta Sarpsborg 1928-11-23 - 1 - League silver 1947/48; cup gold 1952
Steinkjer 1910-05-29 - 1 - League silver 1961/62
Sarpsborg 1903-05-08 - - 2 League bronze 1965; cup gold 1951, silver 1964
Ham-Kam 1918-08-10 - - 1 League bronze 1970


Attendance

From 1995 the league was expanded with two teams, and has 182 matches a year. Before that the number was 132 matches a year.The league has been expanded to 16 clubs for 2009 (240 matches a year).

Year Total Average
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


Individual all-time records

Most matches played

Player Time Matches
Roar Strand 1989–present 423
Christer Basma 1993–2008 348
Ola By Rise 1977–1995 346
Runar Berg 1990–present 344
Erik Hoftun 1992–2005 336
Bjørn "Bummen" Johansen 1987–2005 334
Svein "Matta" Mathisen 1973–1989 327
Daniel Berg Hestad 1993–present 325
Jan-Derek Sørensen 1992–present 316
Fredrik Kjølner 1994–2007 316
Arne Vidar Moen 1991–2005 310
Morten Berre 1996–present 308
Tom Gulbrandsen 1983–1997 307
Torgeir Bjarmann 1988–2003 306
Charles Berstad 1983–1998 303


Most goals scored

Player Time Goals Matches Average
Harald Martin Brattbakk 1990–2005 166 255 0.65
Petter Belsvik 1989–2003 159 299 0.54
Odd "Ivers" Iversen 1967–1982 158 225 0.70
Sigurd Rushfeldt 1992–present 154 250 0.62
Per Kristoffersen 1957–1968 146 194 0.75
Arne Pedersen 1951–1966 120 217 0.55
Jostein Flo 1987–2001 112 213 0.53
Jan Fuglset 1967–1982 109 209 0.52
Thorstein Helstad 1995–2008 108 199 0.54
Svein "Matta" Mathisen 1973–1989 106 327 0.32
Bengt Sæternes 1998–present 105 225 0.47
Arild Sundgot 1995–present 103 290 0.36
Jahn Ivar "Mini" Jakobsen 1988–2000 98 194 0.51
Henry Johannessen 1946–1961 96 139 0.69


Foreign players

See also



Notes and references

External links




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