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Hockey in Germany
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In 1997-98, the Deutsche Eishockey League was made up of 16 teams. A double round-robin schedule is played with the top six teams advancing to a second stage, where each one will play the other four times with their points added to their first stage totals. Meanwhile, the teams finishing seventh to 16th play a double round-robin with the best two teams from that stage joining up with the six top teams for the playoffs. All playoff series are a best-of-five. The eight teams that have failed to qualify for the playoffs take part in their own play-down series, where the four winning teams remain in the DEL for the next year. A series is then played among the four losing teams, with the two winners also staying in the DEL. The two losing teams face the two best teams from 1.Liga in a best-of-three playoff with the winners of this series promoted to the DEL.

The lower divisions in Germany hockey are 1.Liga and 2.Liga, both with groups in the north and south. There are also seven regional leagues. The junior Bundesliga is also divided into North and South divisions. There are also national competitions among junior and boys teams of different age groups.

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