3. Divisjon

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3. Divisjon
Founded 1991
1963[citation needed]–1990 (as 4. divisjon)
Country Norway
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams 164 (divided into 10 groups of 14 and 2 groups of 12)
Level on pyramid 4
Promotion to 2. Divisjon
Relegation to 4. Divisjon
Domestic cup(s) Norwegian Cup
Website fotball.no
2016 3. Divisjon

The 3. Divisjon is the fourth highest division of the men's football league in Norway. Like the rest of the Norwegian football league system, the season runs from spring to autumn, running approximately from April to October. After the 2010 season, the league was reorganised, reducing the number of teams to 164 and halving the number of parallel sections from 24 to 12.

From 2011, there have been 12 parallel sections of the 3. Divisjon, and the winner of each will be promoted to the 2. Divisjon. Ten sections consists of 14 teams each, from the South of Norway, the last two sections consists of 12 teams each, from the Northern Norway. In the sections with 14 teams, the bottom three teams will be relegated to the 4. Divisjon, and in the two sections with 12 teams each, the bottom two teams will be relegated.[1]

Like in the rest of the Norwegian Football league, all the teams play each other twice, once at home and once away. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and if two teams are equal on points, the one with the best goal difference is above the other on the table. The teams are placed in the 12 sections according to geographic considerations.

Reserve teams of clubs from the two top divisions can participate in the 3. Divisjon. Reserve teams of clubs from the 1. Divisjon can not play in the 2. Divisjon, and so can not be promoted from the 3. Divisjon.[2]

The 3. Divisjon was known as the 4. Divisjon until 1990, when the top-tier league changed its name to Tippeligaen, the 2. Divisjon became the 1. Divisjon and the names of all the lower divisions were adjusted accordingly. Until 2010, there were 24 parallel sections of the 3. Divisjon, each consisting of between 10 and 16 teams. The winners paired up and played each other in one home match and one away match in a playoff. Thus, 12 teams were promoted to the 2. Divisjon. This system was in place from 2001. The number of teams that were relegated from each section to the 4. Divisjon, varied from two to four, depending on the number of teams in each section.

After changes in the Norwegian footbalt pyramide, no teams where promoted from the 3. Divisjon after the 2016 season. This was due to the creation of a new tier, a new 3. Divisjon, between the 2. Divisjon and the 3. Divisjon ahead of the 2017 season. The new tier will be split into six groups which for the 2017 season will consist of the teams finishing from 7th to 14th in the 2016 2. Divisjon groups and the top 4 teams from the 3. Divisjon groups along with the 8th best 5th placed teams in the 3. Divisjon. The rest of the teams in 3. Divisjon will be relegated.

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