The Norwegian Premier League, also known as the Tippeligaen, is the top flight of Norwegian football. Also known (informally) as the Eliteserien (The Elite Series), the Norwegian league is very much popular among the people of Norway.
The Norwegian Premier League was founded in 1937. Between 1963 and 1990, the league was known as 1. divisjon. In recent years the league has been dominated by Rosenborg, who won the league 18 times in a row between 1992 and 2004. However in recent years the likes of Valerenga and Brann have provided stiff challenge to Rosenborg’s dominance.
The Norwegian Premier League currently comprises of 14 clubs and shall be expanded to 16 clubs from 2009 onwards. Every season, each club plays the others twice, once at home and once away from home. The season starts in early April and ends in early November. Three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw; no points are awarded for a defeat. The team with the maximum number of points at the end of the season are said to be the League Winner.
The bottom two clubs at the end of a season are relegated to the First Division. The 12th placed team faces a playoff against the third placed team of the First Division to determine whether it drops down or sustains its place in the Norwegian top flight.
The winners of the Norwegian Premier League enter the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League while the second and third placed teams enter the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup.