- Liga Leumit
There are 12 clubs in the Liga Leumit. Each team plays thirty three rounds of matches as determined by the
Israel Football Associationand is awarded three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. From these points a league table is constructed. In the past, at the end of each season the top two teams are replaced by two teams that finished at the bottom of Ligat ha'Al (one exception to this was in 1998, when Ligat ha'Al was about to form they reduced its numbers to 12. In that year, only one team was promoted, the top team. Similarly the eight teams which finished at the bottom of the Liga Leumit were relegated to the Liga Artzit).
Final League position is determined firstly by points obtained, then by
goal difference, then goals scored, and if necessary, a mini-league of the results between two or more teams ranked using the previous three criteria and finally a series of one or more play off matches.
The league will be expanded to 16 clubs for the 2009-10 season as part of wholesale restructuring agreed on 24 June 2008 (the Premier League will also expand to 16 clubs, whilst Liga Artzit will be abolished). [ [http://football.org.il/Archive/Articles/Pages/LeagueIFAJune24_2008.aspx Reforming structure of the leagues - full plan] Israeli Football Association, 24 June 2008] At the end of the 2008-09 season;
*the top five clubs will be promoted to the Premier League
*the sixth placed club will play off against the 11th placed club in Premier League for a place in that division
*the 7th-10th placed clubs will remain in Liga Leumit
*the 11th placed club will play off against the 8th placed club in Liga Artzit to remain in Liga Leumit
*the 12th placed club will be relegated to
Liga Leumit came into existence at the start of the 1954-55 season, replacing
Liga Alefas the top division in Israeli football. However, it was usurped as the top flight in 2000, when it was replaced by the Premier League. Since then it has operated as the second tier in the Israeli football league system.
Member clubs 2008-09
*Hapoel Be'er Sheva
*Hapoel Bnei Lod
*Hapoel Kfar Saba
*Hapoel Ramat Gan
*Ironi Ramat HaSharon
*Maccabi Ahi Nazareth
*Maccabi Kiryat Ata
* [http://football.org.il Israel Football Association]
* [http://www.soccerway.com/national/israel/liga-leumit/ Liga Leumit] Soccerway
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