Odds Ballklubb, commonly known as Odd, is a Norwegian football club from Skien. Originally the football section of a multi-sports club, founded in 1894 nine years after the club's founding, all other sports than football were discontinued and the club became dedicated to football only. Odd plays in the Tippeligaen and holds the record winning the Norwegian Football Cup the most times, the last coming in 2000. The club was known as Odd Grenland between 1994 and 2012.
IF Odd was founded in 1885, and is thus one of the older sports clubs in Norway still in existence. The name derives from Viktor Rydberg's novel Seierssverdet, where one of the main characters was a Norwegian athlete called Orvar Odd.
In the beginning, IF Odd was mainly focused on gymnastics, and also had sections for Nordic skiing and track and field. A sub-section for football named Odds BK was founded on 31 March 1894. This was the club's second effort to do so, some time after English workers at nearby Skotfoss brought the game of football to Skien, and the city[dubious– discuss] decided to buy a football. Odd is counted as Norway's oldest football team still in existence.
Logo under the "Odd Grenland" era.
Odd started a cooperation with the local club Pors in 1994, and changed their names to Odd Grenland and Pors Grenland, in an effort to represent the district of Grenland. In conjunction with the name change, a public limited company named Grenland Fotball was founded. Pors Grenland withdrew from the cooperation in December 2009, and in January 2013 Odd Grenland decided to change its name back to Odds BK because they wanted to be a club for the entire county of Telemark.
Odd won the Norwegian Football Cup in 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1913, 1915, 1919, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1931 and 2000, more than any other team in Norway. In the late 20th century, the men's team struggled in the lower divisions for many years, but made it back to the Tippeligaen in 1999 and stayed there until they were relegated in 2007. The team had survived relegation twice; first in 2005 after a dreadful start of the campaign, then in 2006 when the team only survived relegation by beating Bryne in the relegation playoffs. In 2007 the team was relegated to the Norwegian First Division after being beaten by Bodø/Glimt in the relegation playoffs. In 2008, with three games still to play, Odd secured the promotion back to the Tippeligaen after winning 4-0 at home against Hødd.
On 25 September 2011, Odd player Jone Samuelsen scored what is claimed to be the longest headed goal ever scored in a match, in a match against Tromsø, when he headed the ball from within his own half of the pitch into Tromsø's open goal, the goalkeeper having come forward for a late corner in the match. Norwegian Police were invited to measure the distance, and calculated the length as to be 58.13 metres.
The home ground is Skagerak Arena (capacity 13,500). Largest crowd: Approx 12,500 people in 1984 cup semi final against Viking. The stadium was rebuilt to hold a capacity of between 13,000 and 14,000, and was finished in 2008. It is named Skagerak Arena after local sponsor Skagerak Energi.