Season structure of the PIHA
The Professional Inline Hockey Association (PIHA) season is divided into the regular season and the Founders Cup playoffs. In the regular season, teams play 32 games which determine their standings. The three or four top-seeded teams in each division enter the playoff elimination tournament to determine the Founders Cup champion.
At the end of the regular season, the top three teams in a division of four or less teams, and the top four teams in a division of five or more teams qualify for the Founders Cup playoffs. The teams are seeded one through three or four in each division. The teams that finish with the most points in each division are crowned the division champions, and are seeded one in the division playoffs. The next three or four teams with the best records in the division are seed two through three or four. In the event of a tie in points in the standings, ties are broken using the following tiebreaking procedures: The higher ranked team is the one with:
- The fewer number of games played. (Only used during the season, as all teams will have played 32 games once the season is over.)
- The greater number of games won.
- The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs.
- The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.
Founders Cup playoffs
The Founders Cup playoffs is an elimination tournament consisting of four rounds of elimination series. The first two rounds are Best-of-three series to determine which team from each division will advance to the semifinal round dubbed the Conference Finals. The Conference Finals round are best-of-five series to determine which team from each conference will advance to the final round, dubbed the Founders Cup Finals. The winner of that Best-of-seven series becomes the PIHA and Founders Cup champion. The most recent Founders Cup playoffs were the 2009 Founders Cup playoffs.
The first round of the playoffs, or Division Semifinals, consists of one or two matchups in each division, based on the seedings (either 1–4 and 2–3, or 2–3 and 1 gets a bye). In the second round, or Division Finals, the two remaining division teams play against each other. In the third round, the Conference Finals, the two Division Finals winners in each conference play each other, with the conference champions proceeding to the Founders Cup Finals.
For the first two rounds, the higher-seeded team has home-floor advantage. In the Conference Finals and Founders Cup Finals, the series are played at neutral sites.
Depending on the number of divisions in each conference, there may be a Conference Semifinals round added between the Division Finals and Conference Finals round, bringing the total number of round to five.
- List of the most frequent PIHA playoff series
- Professional Inline Hockey Association rivalries
- List of PIHA franchise post-season appearance streaks
- List of PIHA franchise post-season droughts