National League (ice hockey)
|Current season||Season 2019/20|
|Association||Swiss Ice Hockey Federation|
|Title holder||SC Bern|
|Record champions||HC Davos (31)|
|TV partner||SRG ; MySports|
The National League (NL; formerly National League A, National League A) is the highest ice hockey league in Switzerland . It currently consists of twelve teams. After the main round in 2018/19, the league generated 6,949 spectators per game in Europe, the highest average of all leagues before the KHL (6,397) and the DEL (6,215). The capital club SC Bern has been number one of all European clubs for 18 seasons and had an average attendance of 16,290 after the main round in 2018/19. With the ZSC Lions , another club from this league was represented in the top ten of European ice hockey, the club from Zurich was in seventh place with 9,694 spectators.
The name "National League" was introduced in the 2007/08 season along with additional innovations. The changes include a new cup and a new game mode.
The National League A was established in 1937 as the successor to the National and International Championships in Switzerland. Since 1986, the playoffs have been held at the end of the season, in which the champions of the league are determined. In 2007 the league was renamed National League A. In 2017 the cut in the National League followed.
In 2012 a new TV contract was negotiated, which is valid until the 2016/17 season . The public broadcasters in particular expanded their ice hockey programs considerably. The SRG stations can now broadcast National League A play-offs right from the start. For the quarter-finals, the SRG stations have two games of their choice, from the semi-finals onwards, the same play-off game will be broadcast on all SRG SSR stations. All games are also on the pay-TV transmitter Teleclub broadcast live. From the 2017/18 season , UPC and Suisse Digital secured the TV rights for five years and a record amount of an average of 35.4 million Swiss francs annually. The games will be shown on the newly created sports channel MySports .
In a first phase, the championship is played as a round-robin tournament (qualification). Since the 2007/08 season it has comprised 50 rounds, with each team playing four times against each other team (a total of 44 games) plus an additional six group games. For this purpose, the twelve clubs are divided into three groups of four, whose composition is regional. The groups are formed as follows: West: Genève-Servette HC , Lausanne HC , Friborg-Gottéron , EHC Biel . Middle: SC Bern , SCL Tigers , EV Zug , ZSC Lions . East: SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers , HC Ambrì-Piotta , HC Lugano , HC Davos . In each group of four there is a round trip, whereby these results are included in the overall ranking of the qualification.
In contrast to the past, there has not been a draw since the 2006/07 season . If a game is not decided after 60 minutes, there is a five-minute extra time with three field players each. If no goal is scored, the match will be decided in a penalty shootout. A win after 60 minutes gives three points, a win after overtime or a penalty shootout gives two points, a defeat after extra time or penalty shootout one point, and a defeat after 60 minutes no point.
Playoffs / playouts
After qualifying, the eight best teams will determine the Swiss champions in play-off style. Since the 2013/14 season , the last four teams have been determining the last two teams in the newly introduced placement round, which then decide in the playouts who has to play against the champions of the Swiss League to stay up. In all rounds of the playoffs, as well as in the playouts and in the relegation games, the best-of-seven mode is used.
Sudden death has been taking place in the overtime of the playoffs since the 2017/18 season . This means: an extra time with five against five players is played until a goal is scored. The home right is alternated in each case. The better team in each qualification receives home rights and can therefore play the first game, and possibly the seventh and decisive game, at home.
The NL clubs 2019/20
The following twelve teams are represented in the NL in the 2019/20 season :
|team||Location||Ice rink||capacity||Average attendance 2019/20||workload|
|HC Ambrì-Piotta||Ambrì||Pista la Valascia||6,500|
|SC Bern||Bern||PostFinance Arena||17.131|
|EHC Biel||Biel||Tissot Arena||6,521|
|HC Davos||Davos||Vaillant Arena||6,795|
|Genève-Servette HC||Geneva||Les Vernets||7,285|
|Lausanne HC||Lausanne||vaudoise aréna||9,600|
|HC Lugano||Lugano||Resega / Cornèr Arena||7,800|
|SCRJ Lakers||Rapperswil-Jona||SGKB Arena||6,100|
|EV train||train||Bossard Arena||7,200|
The average attendance refers to all games (qualification, playoffs, playouts, league qualification).
Since the renaming to National League A in 2007, the following clubs have also been represented in the league:
National league A championship title 1938–2007
National League A championship title 2008-2017
- 2008: ZSC Lions
- 2009: HC Davos
- 2010: SC Bern
- 2011: HC Davos
- 2012: ZSC Lions
- 2013: SC Bern
- 2014: ZSC Lions
- 2015: HC Davos
- 2016: SC Bern
- 2017: SC Bern
Champion National League from 2018
- 2018: ZSC Lions
- 2019: SC Bern
- 2020: no title awarded (championship canceled due to corona virus)
Clubs by championship title
|title||Title since 1986||Club|
|9||6th||ZSC Lions (formerly Zürcher SC)|
|6th||-||HC La Chaux-de-Fonds|
|1||-||GCK Lions (formerly Grasshopper Club Zurich)|
|1||-||SCL Tigers (formerly SC Langnau)|
- Ice Hockey News from March 19, 2019, page 4
- Confirmed: TV deal with UPC and SRG. hockeyfans.ch, accessed on March 10, 2017 (English).
- Fairness questioned: Why the game plan is a blessing for the HCD. Retrieved January 25, 2020 .
- Schedule NL A (PDF). (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on September 10, 2016 ; accessed on September 12, 2016 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- "Sudden Death" in the NLA playoffs delights the fans . In: watson.ch . ( watson.ch [accessed on March 6, 2017]).