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Sezon

Format:
84 teams, distributed into 6 groups of 14 teams each (Groups 1-6) on regional basis.
Each season the composition of the groups is heavily rearranged compared to the previous, with factors such as more even distribution of II teams, historical rivalries, shorter traveling distances and evening out group strength taken into account.
Each team plays the others from its own group twice - home and away - for a total of 26 games each, over 26 game weeks.

Scoring points:
3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss.

Table order:
1. points won; 2. total goal difference; 3. total goals scored; 4. points in head-to-head matches; 5. goal difference in hth matches; 6.* away goals in head-to-head matches; 7. goals scored in hth matches; 8. play-off (only for deciding promotion or relegation).
* - only if exactly 2 teams are tied.

Relegation to the league:
6 teams from 2. Division

Promotion from the league:
1 place of each group: promoted to 2. Division

Relegation from the league:
11-14 place of each group: relegated to 4. Divisjon

Promotion to the league:
24 teams from 4. Divisjon

Promotion and relegation of II teams:
II teams can be promoted, as long as their first team plays in the Eliteserien.
If any of them finishes on a promotion spot without being eligible for promotion, the next best team in the group's final table promotes instead.
II teams are to be relegated regardless of their league position if their first team gets relegated from 2. Division to 3. Division.
In such case and if the II team is above the relegation zone, the 11th placed team with the best record from all the groups keeps its place in 3. Division instead.

Promotion and relegation of III teams:
III teams cannot be promoted.
If any of them finishes on a promotion spot, the next best team in the final table promotes instead.
III teams are to be relegated regardless of their league position if their II team gets relegated from 2. Division to 3. Division.
In such case and if the III team is above the relegation zone, the 11th placed team with the best record from all the groups keeps its place in 3. Division instead.