Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest
The Netherlands has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 59 times since making its debut as one of the seven countries at the first contest in 1956, has missed only four contests so far. The Netherlands hosted the contest in 1958, 1970, 1976 and 1980; the Netherlands has won the contest four times, with Corry Brokken in 1957, Teddy Scholten in 1959, Lenny Kuhr in a four-way tie in 1969 and Teach-In in 1975, finished last in 1958, 1962, 1963, 1968, last in the semifinal in 2011. The Netherlands finished fourth with Sandra & Andres, third with Mouth & MacNeal, fifth with Maggie MacNeal, fifth with Marcha and fourth with Edsilia Rombley. After the introduction of the semifinals in 2004, the Netherlands failed to reach the final for eight years in a row from 2005 to 2012, but have since reached five of the last six finals. By finishing second in 2014, The Common Linnets gave the Netherlands its tenth top five placement and best result since 1975; the Netherlands, presented in the contest as The Netherlands, has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 59 times since making its debut as one of the seven countries competing in the first contest in 1956.
It has missed only four contests so far. The preselection process was done through the Nationaal Songfestival, with the winner qualifying to represent the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest; the Netherlands has won the contest four times. With four victories, the Netherlands ranks in the top 10 most successful Eurovision countries; the country's first two victories came in the 1950s, with Corry Brokken in 1957 and Teddy Scholten in 1959. The 1960s was a unsuccessful decade for the country, the exception was in 1969, when Lenny Kuhr won a third title for the Dutch with "De Troubadour", winning in a four-way tie with France and the UK. Sandra & Andres finished fourth in 1972 and Mouth & MacNeal were third in 1974, before Teach-In achieved the Netherlands fourth victory in 1975 with Ding-A-Dong; the Netherlands best result of the 1980s was fifth, achieved by both Maggie MacNeal in 1980 and Marcha in 1987. In the 1990s, Ruth Jacott, with sixth place in 1993 and Edsilia Rombley, with fourth in 1998, achieved the Netherlands best results of the decade.
The Netherlands have finished last in the contest final on four occasions, in 1958, 1962, 1963 and 1968. They finished last in the semi-final in 2011. Since the semi-finals were introduced in 2004, the Netherlands has reached the final on six occasions, failing to reach the final for eight years in a row, from 2005–2012. Opting for an internal selection has fared well for the Netherlands since 2013, when Anouk became the first Dutch entry in nine years to qualify for the final, where she finished ninth. In 2014, another internal selection proved to be a success, when country duo The Common Linnets, made up of members Ilse DeLange and Waylon, became the Netherlands' most successful entry since 1975, placing second; the Netherlands once again qualified for the final in 2016 and 2017, finishing 11th both times, in 2018, finishing 18th. The Netherlands has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest four times: in 1958, 1970, 1976 and 1980; the first three times were after winning the previous year, while the 1980 contest was staged in the Netherlands, after Israel declined to organise the event for a second consecutive year.
The Netherlands had declined the right to organise the 1960 contest, as they had hosted the event just two years previously. The Netherlands has missed only four contests in its Eurovision history; the first one was at the 1985 contest, held in Sweden. The contest, held on 4 May conflicted with the Dutch Remembrance of the Dead and therefore the Netherlands withdrew. In 1991 the contest was again held on 4 May, so the Netherlands withdrew for the same reason as six years earlier. There was no Dutch participation in the 1995 and 2002 contests, due to relegation as a result of the country's poor showings in the previous year; the Netherlands did compete in 2000. But at 22:00 on Saturday 13 May, the broadcast was cancelled because of the Enschede fireworks disaster which happened a few hours before; the points awarded by the Netherlands were taken from the back-up jury vote, as there was no televote after the program was cut short. Table key NOTE: The full results for the first contest are unknown, only the winner was announced.
The official Eurovision site lists all the other songs as being placed second. As of 2018, Netherlands' voting history is as follows: Artistic Award Voted by previous winners Voted by commentators Composer Award Over the years NOS/TROS commentary has been provided by several experienced radio and television presenters, including Willem Duys, Ivo Niehe, Pim Jacobs, Ati Dijckmeester and Paul de Leeuw. Willem van Beusekom provided NOS TV commentary every year from 1987 until 2005. However, on November 7, 2005 it was announced that Van Beusekom would quit his role as Dutch commentator saying "It's good to step back", he was replaced by his co-commentator Cornald Maas who commentated on the contest from 2004 until 2010. On June 29, 2010 Maas was sacked as commentator after putting insults on Twitter about Sieneke, Joran van der Sloot and the Party for Freedom. After this, DJ Daniël Dekker, commentating next to Maas, took over together with Jan Smit. In 2014, Maas returned, now himself replacing Dekker, as commentator together with Smit.
^ Douwe Bob, Dutch representative in the 2016 Contest, was the second dual commentator for the second semi-final. All conductors are Dutch except those marked with a flag. Fernando Paggi Dolf van der Linden (musi
Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest
Monaco has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 24 times since its debut in 1959. The country's only win in the contest came in 1971 when Séverine performed "Un banc, un arbre, une rue". In 1972, Monaco declined. Monaco is still the only microstate. Monaco finished last at its first contest in 1959 before achieving three top three results in the 1960s. Two of these were achieved by François Deguelt, who finished third in 1960 and second in 1962. Romuald finished third in 1964. Severine's victory in 1971 was the first of five top four results in eight years; the others were achieved by Romauld, Mary Christy, third in 1976, Michèle Torr, fourth in 1977 and Caline & Olivier Toussaint who were fourth in 1978. After participating in 1979, Monaco was absent from the contest for 25 years. Monaco returned to the contest for three years from 2004 to 2006 but failed to qualify for the final on all three occasions; the Monegasque broadcaster withdrew from the contest saying that regional voting patterns in the contest have given Monaco no chance of qualifying for the final.
Monaco participated in the contest 21 times between its debut in 1959 and 1979. Afterwards the country withdrew from the contest for financial reasons, it only returned 25 years after its last participation. It withdrew again after failing to qualify for the final for three consecutive years. Monaco won the contest in 1971, with the song "Un banc, une rue", performed by Séverine; the Monegasque victory is rather particular in the history of Eurovision because the songwriter, the singer and the director were not from the country they represented, but from France. Séverine declared to journalists that she had never set foot in Monaco, forgetting that the video-clip was filmed there. Séverine's producer was dishonest with her and stole her prize, thus she never got paid for her victory after suing him; the singer is still a great fan of the contest. Monaco's next best placing has been second which it has achieved once at the 1962, it has been third three times, in 1960, 1964 and 1976. Monaco is among the eight countries which finished last on their first participation, the others being Austria, Malta, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and San Marino.
Monaco never organised the contest. After winning in 1971, the country decided to organise the 1972 contest as an open-air show, setting the date in June rather than early spring. However, because of a lack of funds and material, Télé Monte Carlo sought help from the French public broadcaster, ORTF, which accepted to organise the contest; because TMC wanted the show to be held in Monaco while ORTF wanted it in France, negotiations never succeeded. Monaco left it up to the EBU; the EBU asked Spain and Germany, who finished second and third at the 1971 contest, but the countries were not interested in organising the 1972 contest. It was organised by the BBC in Edinburgh. Monaco was absent from the contest between 1980 and 2003, before returning for three years from 2004–2006, but Maryon, Lise Darly and Séverine Ferrer all failed to progress from the semi-finals. TMC broadcast the 2007 contest, opening the way for participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. However, TMC decided against it. TMC had announced that it was possible Monaco would return to the contest in 2009 after a two-year absence, following talks with the European Broadcasting Union, the organiser of the contest, as well as new voting measures implemented in the contest that year.
Despite this, Monaco did not compete in Moscow in 2009. The EBU announced they would work harder to bring Monaco back into the Contest in 2010 alongside other lapsed participants. Officials have denounced geopolitical voting between the countries in East Europe and the ones in Scandinavia, leaving no chance for the principality to qualify, they regret that the contest is now more about the show than singing. Furthermore, Monaco does not have a public broadcaster anymore. TMC is now part of the TF1 Group, the leading private broadcaster in France and is now available everywhere in France. TMC programs no longer revolve around the principality. TF1 Group being the biggest competitor to the French public channels, it is unlikely that TMC will broadcast again the Eurovision Song Contest; when TMC did so between 2004 and 2006, its audience was much lower than the one of the French public channel. In those years, it was the government and the municipality of Monaco who chose the contestant and funded the delegation, while it is the responsibility of a broadcaster or a producer.
Due to the country's small size, all Monaco's entrants came from outside the principality. The large majority of them were French, with one Yugoslavian, Tereza Kesovija, one Italian, Mary Christy. Several singers selected to represent Monaco are key figures of the French scene, such as Françoise Hardy and Michèle Torr. Luxembourg, another small country sent a great number of French artists to the contest. At the 1967 contest, the Monegasque entry, "Boum Badaboum", sung by Minouche Barelli, was written by Serge Gainsbourg, he had composed the winning entry in 1965, "Poupée de cire, poupée de son", sung by France Gall for Luxembourg. Jean Jacques, who represented Monaco in 1969, was the first child to take part in Eurovision, he was 12. Table key Between 1959 and 2006, Monaco's voting history was as follows: From 1959 to 1979, Monaco did not have its own commentators in the festival, Télé Monte Carlo used French commentary instead. Between 2004 and 2006, TMC did b
Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden, fifth-largest in the Nordic countries, capital of the Västra Götaland County. It is situated by Kattegat, on the west coast of Sweden, has a population of 570,000 in the city center and about 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. Gothenburg was founded as a fortified Dutch, trading colony, by royal charter in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus. In addition to the generous privileges given to his Dutch allies from the then-ongoing Thirty Years' War, the king attracted significant numbers of his German and Scottish allies to populate his only town on the western coast. At a key strategic location at the mouth of the Göta älv, where Scandinavia's largest drainage basin enters the sea, the Port of Gothenburg is now the largest port in the Nordic countries. Gothenburg is home to many students, as the city includes the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Volvo was founded in Gothenburg in 1927; the original parent Volvo Group and the now separate Volvo Car Corporation are still headquartered on the island of Hisingen in the city.
Other key companies are Astra Zeneca. Gothenburg is served by Göteborg Landvetter Airport 30 km southeast of the city center; the smaller Göteborg City Airport, 15 km from the city center, was closed to regular airline traffic in 2015. The city hosts the Gothia Cup, the world's largest youth football tournament, alongside some of the largest annual events in Scandinavia; the Gothenburg Film Festival, held in January since 1979, is the leading Scandinavian film festival with over 155,000 visitors each year. In summer, a wide variety of music festivals are held in the city, including the popular Way Out West Festival; the city was named Göteborg in the city's charter in 1621 and given the German and English name Gothenburg. The Swedish name was given after the Göta älv, called Göta River in English, other cities ending in -borg. Both the Swedish and German/English names were in use before 1621 and had been used for the previous city founded in 1604 and burned down in 1611. Gothenburg is one of few Swedish cities to still have an official and used exonym.
Another example is the province of Scania in southern Sweden. The city council of 1641 consisted of four Swedish, three Dutch, three German, two Scottish members. In Dutch, Scots and German, all languages with a long history in this trade and maritime-oriented city, the name Gothenburg is or was used for the city. Variations of the official German/English name Gothenburg in the city's 1621 charter existed or exist in many languages; the French form of the city name is Gothembourg, but in French texts, the Swedish name Göteborg is more frequent. "Gothenburg" can be seen in some older English texts. In Spanish and Portuguese the city is called Gotemburgo; these traditional forms are sometimes replaced with the use of the Swedish Göteborg, for example by The Göteborg Opera and the Göteborg Ballet. However, Göteborgs universitet designated as the Göteborg University in English, changed its name to the University of Gothenburg in 2008; the Gothenburg municipality has reverted to the use of the English name in international contexts.
In 2009, the city council launched a new logotype for Gothenburg. Since the name "Göteborg" contains the Swedish letter "ö" the idea was to make the name more international and up to date by "turning" the "ö" sideways; as of 2015, the name is spelled "Go:teborg" on a large number of signs in the city. In the early modern period, the configuration of Sweden's borders made Gothenburg strategically critical as the only Swedish gateway to the North Sea and Atlantic, situated on the west coast in a narrow strip of Swedish territory between Danish Halland in the south and Norwegian Bohuslän in the north. After several failed attempts, Gothenburg was founded in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus; the site of the first church built in Gothenburg, subsequently destroyed by Danish invaders, is marked by a stone near the north end of the Älvsborg Bridge in the Färjenäs Park. The church was built in 1603 and destroyed in 1611; the city was influenced by the Dutch and Scots, Dutch planners and engineers were contracted to construct the city as they had the skills needed to drain and build in the marshy areas chosen for the city.
The town was designed like Dutch cities such as Amsterdam and New Amsterdam. The planning of the streets and canals of Gothenburg resembled that of Jakarta, built by the Dutch around the same time; the Dutchmen won political power, it was not until 1652, when the last Dutch politician in the city's council died, that Swedes acquired political power over Gothenburg. During the Dutch period, the town followed Dutch town laws and Dutch was proposed as the official language in the town. Robust city walls were built during the 17th century. In 1807, a decision was made to tear down most of the city's wall; the work started in 1810, was carried out by 150 soldiers from the Bohus regiment. Along with the Dutch, the town was influenced by Scots who settled down in Gothenburg. Many became people of high-profile. William Chalmers, the son of a Scottish immigrant, donated his fortunes to set up what became the Chalmers University of Technology. In 1841, the Scotsman Alexander Keiller founded the Götaverken shipbuilding company, in business until 1989.
His son James Keiller donated Keiller Park to the city in 1906. The Gothenburg coat of arms was based on the lion of the coat of arms of Sweden, symbolically holding a shield w
Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
Greece has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 39 times since its debut in 1974, missing six contests in that time. Greece's first win came in 2005 with "My Number One"; the Greek national broadcaster, Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi, broadcasts the event each year and organises the process for the selection of the Greek entry. Greece has never finished last in the contest. Throughout the 20th century, Greece achieved only two top five results, finishing fifth with Paschalis, Marianna and Bessy in 1977 and again fifth with Kleopatra in 1992; the start of the 21st century saw Greece become one of the most successful countries in the contest, with ten top-ten results between 2001 and 2013, including third-place finishes for Antique in 2001, Sakis Rouvas in 2004 and Kalomira in 2008. In the last five contests, Greece has not reached the top ten, including twice failing to qualify from the semi-final to the grand final. Before Greece as a country participated in the contest, singers from Greece have represented other countries.
These singers were Jimmy Makulis for Austria, Yovanna for Switzerland, Nana Mouskouri and Vicky Leandros for Luxembourg. After debuting in the 1974 contest, Greece did not participate in 1975 for "unknown reasons" according to the EBU, but it was discovered that the withdrawal was in protest of Turkey's debut and its invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Greece was disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest 1982 after it was revealed that Themis Adamantidis was to sing "Sarantapente Kopelies", a released song. A known Greek folk song, it had been revised for the competition, but this violated the rules which stated that all songs had to be original in terms of songwriting and instrumentation and cannot be cover songs. Greece was allowed to return the following year. Had Adamantidis been allowed to perform "Sarantapente Kopelies", he would have appeared second at Harrogate. After returning in 1983, ERT decided that all of the possible songs were of "low quality" and decided not to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 1984.
Greece returned once again to the Contest in 1985, Polina was picked in the 1986 national selection to represent Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest 1986 in Bergen, but ERT pulled out of the Contest unexpectedly. Polina stated that it was due to political troubles in Greece at the time, but she noted that a Eurovision website had learned that the real reason was that the Contest was to be held the night before Orthodox Easter. Had she performed, she would have appeared eighteenth and she would have performed the song "Wagon-lit". Greece returned to the Contest in 1987 and performed each year until the Eurovision Song Contest 1999, when it as not permitted to participate because its five-year points average had fallen under the limit for participation after Thalassa's 20th-place finish in 1998; the following year, ERT announced that it would not return at the Eurovision Song Contest 2000 due to financial reasons. Thirty-one years after its debut, Greece won for the first time in 2005 with Elena Paparizou singing "My Number One", which at the time tied for the record for the most number of twelve points allocated to a song along with Katrina and the Waves' 1997 "Love Shine A Light".
The song made Greece the first country not a member of Big Four to win the contest without going through a semifinal. After Eurovision, the song topped the charts in Greece and Sweden and entered the top ten in Romania, the Netherlands, Belgium, as well as the American Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart. In 2005, Eurovision held a commemorative program, Congratulations, to celebrate 50 years of the contest, in which "My Number One" came fourth in a vote for the show's most popular entry, behind "Hold Me Now", "Nel blu dipinto di blu" and ABBA's "Waterloo". Before Greece's win, the highest score was third place, achieved by duo Antique in 2001 with "Die for You" and again by Sakis Rouvas in 2004 with "Shake It". Greece's least successful result was at 16th place in the 2016 semi-final with the song "Utopian Land" by Argo, with 44 points. In 2006, the 51st Eurovision Song Contest was held in Athens, following Elena Paparizou's victory the previous year; the two hosts were popular singer, former contestant, Sakis Rouvas and Greek American presenter Maria Menounos.
The singer representing Greece in their own country was popular Greek Cypriot artist Anna Vissi. From 2004 to 2006, ERT had selected high-profile artists internally and set up national finals to choose the song, while in 2007 and 2008 it held a televised national final to choose both the song and performer. For the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, ERT was able to secure a high-profile artist once again and planned a national final to choose the song. Greece has been one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest in the 21st century, ten times finishing in the top-ten, including ninth in 2006, seventh in 2007, third in 2008, seventh in 2009, eighth in 2010 and seventh in 2011. After Eleftheria Eleftheriou placed 17th in 2012 with her song "Aphrodisiac", Greece achieved its 10th top-ten result of the century and 18th in total in 2013, finishing sixth with the song "Alcohol is Free". In 2014, Greece finished in 20th place, along with 1998, were the country's worst result in the contest at that time.
Greece was one of only three countries to have never failed to qualify from the semifinals since their 2004 introduction. In addition, Greece qualified from the 1996 audio-on
Scandinavium is an indoor arena located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Construction on Scandinavium began in 1969 after decades of setbacks, was inaugurated on 18 May 1971. Scandinavium has been selected as a championship arena at least fifty times, hosting events such as World Championships in handball and ice hockey, European championships, Davis Cup finals, in 1985 the Eurovision Song Contest. Scandinavium is the home arena for Frölunda HC of Swedish Hockey League, venue for the annual Göteborg Horse Show. Plans to build an arena at the site were part of a proposal originating from 1931 to build a swimming hall and other municipally owned facilities for sport and recreation next to the exhibition center Svenska Mässan. In 1936 a preplanning process for the swimming hall and the adjunct area started, but was put on hold due to the precarious situation in Europe at the time and canceled following the outbreak of World War II. In 1948 an architectural design competition was announced for an indoor arena with the project name Valhalla Inomhusarena, the winning design was presented by a work group led by architect Poul Hultberg, working for Nils Olsson's architect firm in Gothenburg.
Financing for the arena and other proposed facilities became a subject of public and political debate, the plans to build the arena were postponed indefinitely. The Valhalla Swimming Hall, the primary building in the 1931 proposal, was the only proposed facility to be built during the 1950s due to capacity problems at other central swimming facilities. In the 1962 election campaign the Swedish Social Democratic Party guaranteed that they would build the arena if they won the election; the Social Democrats won the election and a pre-planning process was started but financing was still an issue and the plans were yet again put on hold. In 1968 a committee assigned to plan the 350th year celebration of Gothenburg considered that it was a good idea to build the arena in time for the celebrations in 1971, making it a lasting memory of the anniversary. A company responsible for the construction was formed by the municipality and private investors, while Hultberg was asked to revise his 23-year-old designs.
An estimated construction cost of twenty-three million SEK caused wild protests and intense debates but did not delay the progress. In May 1969 it was discovered that there was no construction permit for the arena, delaying the start of construction for a few weeks; when tartan tracks were installed near the end of construction, the concentration of flammable gases in the building was so high that one spark could have blown up the entire structure. When construction was completed in May 1971, Scandinavium stood as the largest covered arena in northern Europe with an attendance capacity of 14,000 spectators; the construction cost totaled thirty-one million SEK, which resulted in an eight million SEK budget deficit. Scandinavium's "sweeping appearance"; the roof is supported by a prestressed cable net, with a nearly constant spacing of four meters in both directions, anchored in a space curved reinforced concrete ring beam with a rectangular cross-section of 3.5 meters × 1.2 meters. The hanging cables rise ten meters to the top from the saddle point and the bracing cables fall four meters to the valley of the ring beam.
The building is 14 meters tall, from the event floor to the pinnacle of the roof. The ring beam is supported by forty circular columns and four stiff pylons, all visible in the arenas facade; the pylons consist of radially oriented concrete walls, with a length of 3.5 meters, which stores ventilation equipment. The video board and sound system is suspended in a radially oriented cable system anchored in the four pylons, it was not consider stable enough for colour telecasting to attach these components directly to the roof. The cable system serves as tension rods for the ring beam; the seating in Scandinavium is arranged in a one-level monolithic grandstand. The round design of the structure and the symmetric oval shape of the 4,100 m² arena floor results in more rows along the length of the floor; the first six rows are telescopic seating. There are forty-four executive boxes in the arena, located between the two northern pylons; the ice hockey rink measures 61 meters × 30 meters, standard international size.
New double frame half boards were installed in 2001, designed to switch to NHL rink dimensions or to be removed when other events than ice hockey take place. To maximize the view for spectators, a seamless protective glass barrier consisting of tempered glass panels clipped together at their top corners with clear plastic brackets is used instead of traditional Plexiglas with metal dividers. For the 2011 Göteborg Horse Show a new equestrian surface was purchased for 2 million SEK; the arena contains a McDonald's restaurant, the familiar golden arches are placed atop the arena's street sign. Scandinavium is located in the Heden district of the borough Centrum. Scandinavium is one of the center pieces of the event district called Evenemangsstråket, with Ullevi Stadium, Universeum, the Museum of World Culture, Bergakungen nearby. Public transport is accessible. Tram lines four and five stops 250 meters from the arena at Korsvägen, a major public transport hub, which serves more than fifteen different bus lines, will have an underground rapid transit station once Västlänken is completed.
One and one half kil
Swedish Hockey League
The Swedish Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league, the highest division in the Swedish ice hockey system. The league consists of 14 teams; the league was founded in 1975, while Swedish ice hockey champions have been crowned through various formats since 1922, the title, as well as the Le Mat Trophy, have been awarded to the winner of the SHL playoffs since the league's inaugural 1975–76 season. As of 2010–11, the SHL was the world's most evenly matched professional ice hockey league. During the 2011–12 season, the SHL was the most well attended ice hockey league in Europe, averaging 6,385 spectators per game, however in 2013–14, the SHL was third best in Europe, with an attendance average of 5,978. SHL was the second most popular sports team league within Sweden, after the football league Allsvenskan, which in the 2013 season had an average attendance of 7,627; the league was founded in 1975 as Elitserien, featured 10 teams, though this was expanded to 12 for the 1987–88 season. The league was renamed the SHL in 2013, in 2014, a number of format changes were announced, including an expansion to 14 teams to be finalized prior to the 2015–16 season, a new format for promotion from and relegation to HockeyAllsvenskan, the second tier league.
The Swedish Ice Hockey Championship was awarded for the first time in 1922, only two years after ice hockey was introduced in Sweden by the American film director Raoul Le Mat. At this point, the Swedish Championships were held as a separate tournament, it was not until the 1952–53 season that the championship was awarded to the winner of the top-tier hockey league, which at the time was Division I. The inaugural Elitserien season began on 5 October 1975, with the league consisting of 10 teams, each playing a regular season consisting of 36 games. There has been extensive discussion about the number of teams in the SHL; the league has had 12 teams since an expansion from 10 teams in 1987, there has been general agreement among hockey experts that the league needs to be expanded by at least two more teams. They mean that, apart from just the economic situation for some of the clubs, the competition from HockeyAllsvenskan has shown that more teams are needed in the top-tier league SHL. On 13 March 2014, the SHL and HockeyAllsvenskan announced that the SHL will be expanded to 14 teams, starting in the 2015–16 season.
To make this change happen, at least two HockeyAllsvenskan teams will be promoted to the SHL in the 2014–15 season. In 2009, Håkan Loob, the general manager of Färjestad BK, sent a letter to Alexander Medvedev, the owner and president of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League, on behalf of five SHL teams – Färjestad, Frölunda, Djurgården, Linköping and HV71 – that were "interested in discussing the future of European hockey", it was believed. The teams formed an interest group to investigate the possibility of forming a continental hockey league spanning several European countries; these plans were abandoned in November 2011, with Frölunda's chairman expressing hopes for the future of the European Trophy. On 17 June 2013, the league was renamed "Svenska hockeyligan", since this would allow for an easy English translation and a common abbreviation between the two languages, all of, considered to be a better brand identity to invest in; each regular season SHL game is composed of three 20-minute periods, with an intermission of a maximum of 18 minutes between periods.
If the game is tied following the 60-minute regulation time, a five-minute three-on-three sudden death overtime period is played. If a game still is tied after the overtime period, a shootout decides the game. In a shootout, the team that scores the most penalty shots out of three attempts wins the game. If the game is still tied after the first three penalty-shot rounds, the shootout continues round by round, until one team scores while the other team fails to score. In the event of a tied game during the playoffs, additional 20-minute overtime periods are played perpetually until one team scores. Unlike in the regular season, playoff overtime periods are played five-on-five. Only one game in Sweden has surpassed four full overtime periods, no SHL games have surpassed three full overtime periods; the longest SHL game was the first game of the 1997 Swedish Championship semifinals, played on 23 March 1997 between Leksands IF and Färjestad BK. 6,012 spectators saw Andreas Karlsson score the game-winning goal for Leksand after 59 minutes of overtime.
See Longest ice hockey games in Sweden for other games. SHL games are played on an ice hockey rink, rectangular ice rink with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall, it measures 30 by 60 meters. Counting from the formation of the SHL in 1975, Färjestad BK is the most successful team with nine Swedish Championship titles. Brynäs IF and Djurgårdens IF are tied for the second most successful team with six championship titles. Counting from 1922, when the first Swedish championships were played, Djurgårdens IF is the most successful team with sixteen championship titles, followed by Brynäs IF with thirteen, as well as Färjestad BK and IK Göta with nine; the SHL season is divided into a regular season from late September through the beginning of March, when teams p
The Nordic countries or the Nordics are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most known as Norden. The term includes Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands—which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark—and the Åland Islands and Svalbard and Jan Mayen archipelagos that belong to Finland and Norway whereas the Norwegian Antarctic territories are not considered a part of the Nordic countries, due to their geographical location. Scandinavians, who comprise over three quarters of the region's population, are the largest group, followed by Finns, who comprise the majority in Finland; the native languages Swedish, Norwegian and Faroese are all North Germanic languages rooted in Old Norse. Native non-Germanic languages are Finnish and several Sami languages; the main religion is Lutheran Christianity. The Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, religion, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure.
The Nordic countries have a long history of political unions and other close relations, but do not form a separate entity today. The Scandinavist movement sought to unite Denmark and Sweden into one country in the 19th century, with the indepedence of Finland in the early 20th century, Iceland in the mid 20th century, this movement expanded into the modern organised Nordic cooperation which includes the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. In English, Scandinavia is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, but that term more properly refers to the three monarchies of Denmark and Sweden. Geologically, the Scandinavian Peninsula comprises the mainland of Norway and Sweden as well as the northernmost part of Finland; the combined area of the Nordic countries is 3,425,804 square kilometres. Uninhabitable icecaps and glaciers comprise about half of this area in Greenland. In January 2013, the region had a population of around 26 million people; the Nordic countries cluster near the top in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life and human development.
With only four language groups, the common linguistic heterogeneous heritage is one of the factors making up the Nordic identity. The languages of Danish, Swedish and Faroese are all rooted in Old Norse and Danish and Swedish are considered mutually intelligible; these three dominating languages are taught in schools throughout the Nordic region. For example, Swedish is a mandatory subject in Finnish schools, since Finland by law is a bilingual country. Danish is mandatory in Faroese and Greenlandic schools, as these insular states are a part of the Danish Realm. Iceland teaches Danish, since Iceland too was a part of the Danish Realm until 1918. Beside these and the insular Scandinavian languages Faroese and Icelandic, which are North Germanic languages, there are the Finnic and Sami branches of the Uralic languages, spoken in Finland and in northern Norway and Finland, respectively. All the Nordic countries have a North Germanic official language called a Nordic language in the Nordic countries.
The working languages of the Nordic region's two political bodies are Danish and Swedish. Each of the Nordic countries has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbours, but to varying degrees the Nordic countries share the Nordic model of economy and social structure: a market economy is combined with strong labour unions and a universalist welfare sector financed by heavy taxes. There is a high degree of income redistribution and little social unrest and these include support for said "universalist" welfare state aimed at enhancing individual autonomy and promoting social mobility; the Nordic countries consists of historical territories of the Scandinavian countries, areas that share a common history and culture with Scandinavia. It is meant to refer to this larger group, since the term Scandinavia is narrower and sometimes ambiguous; the Nordic countries are considered to refer to Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, including their associated territories.
The term "Nordic countries" found mainstream use after the advent of Foreningen Norden. The term is derived indirectly from the local term Norden, used in the Scandinavian languages, which means "The North". Unlike "the Nordic countries", the term Norden is in the singular; the demonym is nordbo meaning "northern dweller". Scandinavia refers to either the cultural and linguistic group formed by the three monarchies Denmark and Sweden, or the Scandinavian peninsula, formed by mainland Norway and Sweden as well as the northwesternmost part of Finland. Outside of the Nordic region the term Scandinavia is used incorrectly as a synonym for the Nordic countries. First recorded use of the name by Pliny the Elder about a "large, fertile island in the North". Fennoscandia refers to the area that includes the Scandinavian peninsula, Kola Peninsula and Karelia; this term is