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The Switzerland women's ice hockey league (German: Leistunsklasse A (LKA), French: Ligue nationale A (LNA), Italian: Lega Nazionale A), or Swiss Women’s Hockey League A (SWHL A), is an amateur women's ice hockey league in Switzerland. It is the top tier in the Swiss women's hockey league system and is organized by the Regio League, an organ of the Schweizerischer Eishockeyverband in charge of organizing amateur hockey in Switzerland.

History


With the creation of several women's ice hockey clubs in the early 1980s, the Schweizerischer Eishockeyverband incorporates this aspect of hockey in its organization in 1984. During the 1985–86 season, an unofficial championship is played. The following season, the first official championship, called Leistunsklasse A, is played, won by EHC Kloten's women's team, the Kloten Specials.

With the growing interest, a second tier is established from the 1988–89 season. Two years later, foreign players are allowed to play. Several big names in women's hockey then come play in Switzerland such as Andria Hunter, Riikka Nieminen and France St. Louis to name a few. The arrival of imports coincides with the domination of SC Lyss who won four titles in five years. The women's section had become an independent club, the DHC Lyss, when they won their fourth titles in 1997. In 1995, a third division was introduced.

From the 2001–02 edition onward, a final four tournament is held to determine a champion. The then reigning champion SC Reinach retains its crown before winning a third in a row the following season with only a 9 players squad. Since the 2005–06 season, playoffs have been introduced. The HC Lugano Ladies Team proved to be the best with this format, winning four titles in five years.[1]

Format


Starting from the 2010–11 season, the six participating teams play against each other four times in two home-and-away rounds. At the end of the first round, the each team's total of points is cut by half. Once the second round is completed, the top four ranking teams qualify for the play-offs which are in a best-of-five format, excepted the third place game played on a one-off match. The finals winner is declared Swiss champion. Meanwhile, the teams finishing fifth and sixth dispute a best-of-five playdown. The loser faces then the second tier champions in a best-of-three games series, the winner getting to play the following season in the top tier.

Current teams


For the 2017–18 season, there are six participating teams:[2]

Previous winners


Awards


It is awarded since the 2006–07 season to the best Swiss player whether she plays in the Swiss league or not.[4]

It is awarded since the 2009–10 season to the best two players of the league.[5]

  • 2009–10 – Jessica Müller (Ladies Team Lugano), Jaclyn Hawkins (ZSC Lions Frauen)
  • 2010–11 – Christine Meier (ZSC Lions Frauen), Iveta Koka (Ladies Team Lugano)

Others women's competitions in Switzerland


The Leistungsklasse B (LKB), also known as the Ligue nationale B (LNB) in French and as the Lega Nazionale B in Italian, is the second tier of the Swiss women's hockey league system.

The team finishing first is declared LKB champion and qualify for a best-of-three playoff against the loser of the top league playdown. The team finishing last is relegated in the lower division.

The ten teams taking part in the 2017–18 season are the following:[6]

  • EHC Bassersdorf
  • HC Brandis-Juniors
  • HC Féminin Lausanne
  • HC Fribourg Ladies
  • GCK Lions Frauen
  • EHC Kreuzlingen-Konstanz
  • DHC Langenthal
  • Neuchâtel Hockey Academy 1999
  • EC Wil Damen
  • EHC Zunzgen-Sissach Damen

The Leistungsklasse C (LKC), also known as the Ligue nationale C (LNC) in French and as the Lega Nazionale C in Italian, is the third and lowest tier of the Swiss women's hockey league system.

Like its male equivalent, the Swiss 1. liga, it is divided in three regional pools : East or Ostschweiz, Central or Zentralschweiz and West or Westschweiz, also called Suisse Romande. Each pool winner qualify then for the finals. The team finishing first is declared LKC champion and is promoted in LKB.

For the 2017–18 season, there are 31 participating teams including one from Austria and one from France:[7]

It is also called Ochsner Hockey Swiss Women Cup for sponsorship reason.

  • 2005–06 – Ladies Team Lugano
  • 2006–07 – No cup
  • 2007–08 – DHC Langenthal
  • 2008–09 – ZSC Lions Frauen
  • 2009–10 – DHC Langenthal
  • 2010–11 – ZSC Lions Frauen [3]
  • 2011–12 – ZSC Lions Frauen
  • 2012–13 – ZSC Lions Frauen
  • 2013–14 – ZSC Lions Frauen
  • 2014–15 – No cup
  • 2015–16 – ZSC Lions Frauen
  • 2016–17 – Ladies Team Lugano / ZSC Lions Frauen
  • 2017–18 – ZSC Lions Frauen

See also


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