The top league in Finland, the SM-Liiga, was founded in 1975. The current format has 13 teams playing a total of 56 games, with 48 of those games stemming from playing each team twice in a home and away series. The remaining 8 regular season games are derived when teams are separated into three divisions, based on geographic proximity. The eight top teams advance to the playoffs, which are played in a best-of-five format (plus a one-game series to decide third place among the two losers in the semifinals).
Finland's Division I comprises 12 teams who play a quadruple round-robin regular season. Eight teams advance to the playoffs with quarter final matchups in a best-of-five series. The best-of five format continues in the semi-finals as well as the finals. Since there currently is no promotion to the SM-Liiga, a relegation series for the two bottom teams exists with two teams from the Suomi-Sarja.
Division II is made up of seven different groups containing between eight and 10 teams. Each group plays a double-round robin with the best team in each group qualifying for a promotional pool. Winners from this pool are advanced to Division I for the next season. Finland also has regional Divisions III, IV, V, and VI
Junior hockey is very well organized in Finland, with the top junior players (aged 18-21) playing in three leagues: SM-Liiga, Division I, and Division II. Players under 17 play in Junior B competitions with their own SM-Liiga and Division I. Junior C players (under 16) also have their own SM-Liiga and Division I.