Sweden's Elite League (Elitserien) was created in 1975. In 1997-98, the Elitserien featured 12 teams playing 50 games each. The eight best teams qualify for the playoffs, which are played in best-of-five series. The two bottom clubs play off in a double round-robin promotion/relegation series against the four best teams from Division I, with the top two teams from this series promoted to the Elitserien.
Division I consists of four groups (North, South, East, West) with eight to 10 teams in each. After a double round-robin regular season, the two best teams from each group advance to play in another round-robin series to determine which four teams will move up to the promotion/relegation series. Division II has eight groups (two each in the North, South, East, and West) with 10 to 12 teams in each group. Top junior players in Sweden compete in the Junior Elitserien, which is broken up into age groups of under 20, under 18, under 16, and under 14.