The league is played as a round-robin tournament where all teams play each other four times during one season.
After the regular season, four teams from the league play along with the two last placed teams from Elitserien in a series called Kvalserien, where the two winning teams are promoted to Elitserien for the next season, while the bottom four teams are relegated to HockeyAllsvenskan.
The finishing top three teams of the league advance to this Kvalserien directly, and the teams ranked 4 through 7 battle for the fourth spot. Up until season 2009-10 they have met in two play off rounds, but from the 2010-11 season they play a "pre-qualification" round robin league in six rounds, facing at home and away.
The two last placed teams from HockeyAllsvenskan have to play in the Kvalserien qualification against four Division 1 (tier III) teams to avoid relegation.
For the 2009–10 season, the number of teams in the league was decreased from sixteen to fourteen. In the 2008–09 season the last placed team was directly relegated, and the teams ranked fourteen and fifteen played in the qualification league, from which only the best team was qualified for the next HockeyAllsvenskan season.
Read more about this topic: Hockey Allsvenskan
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