Speedway in Sweden
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Speedway in Sweden consists of three domestic leagues, a Speedway Grand Prix and an annual entry into the Speedway World Cup. Sweden has produced five World Champions and the Sweden national speedway team have been World Cup winners on ten occasions. Speedway is one of the most popular motorsports in the country.
The Swedish speedway league was founded in 1948 and was inspired by British speedway including adopting British teams nicknames in Swedish versions. As popularity of the sport grew many new clubs were founded all around Sweden and during the 1950s and over 30 different clubs have competed in at least one season in the league system.
There are three leagues in Sweden:
- Elite League (Elitserien)
- National League (Allsvenskan)
- Division One
Speedway meetings in Sweden are normally held between May and September. Swedish teams are generally known by nicknames rather than club or city names. These nicknames usually have some sort of local connection.
The Elite League was established in 1982 and has ten teams with meetings usually held on Tuesday evenings. At the end of each season the top four teams ride in the play-offs in semi-finals and a final and the winner of the final are the Elite League champions. The team finishing bottom are relegated to the National league.
The National league has seven teams and before the introduction of the Elite league in 1982 was the top flight speedway league in Sweden. Meetings are held usually on Thursday evenings. As with the National league, the top four teams at the end of each season compete in the play-offs in semi-finals and a final. The winner of the final are the National League champions and are promoted to the National league.
Division One is the third tier of Swedish speedway with seven teams. Meetings are usually held on Thursdays. The team finishing the season in first place can apply for promotion to the National league, which is subject to having suitable facilities and sufficient finances. No teams are relegated as membership of the league is by application.
The Swedish Individual Championship is for Swedish riders only. The riders are usually selected on the basis of their averages, with four riders being seeded directly to the final round. Another 36 riders are drawn into two semi-final rounds, with the four lowest ranked riders in each competing in the pre-meeting runoffs. The top nine riders in each semi-final progress to the final which is run using a modified Grand Prix format with 20 heats. The winner of the final is awarded a gold medal and becomes the Swedish Individual Champion. Riders finishing second and third are awarded silver and bronze medals.
The Swedish Junior Individual Championship is for Swedish riders aged 21 years and under. Thirty six riders are drawn into two semi-final arounds with the four lowest-ranked riders in each competing in the pre-meeting runoffs. The top seven riders in each semi-final progress to the final round, with the next two riders qualifying for the pre-meeting runoff. The winner of the final is awarded a gold medal and becomes Swedish Junior Individual Champion. Riders finishing second and third are awarded silver and bronze medals respectively.
- List of speedway teams in Sweden
- Speedway Grand Prix of Sweden in Eskilstuna
- Speedway Grand Prix of Scandinavia in Målilla