IZone MenuBar
IIHF Home About the IIHF IIHF Honor Roll Member Countries World Championships Tournaments Olympic Winter Games Pro Classics
Finnish Flag
Hockey in Finland
Finnish Collage
Finnish Hockey Scrapbook
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.

Back to Country Information
Back to List of Countries