New Zealand National Soccer League

New Zealand National Soccer League

New Zealand National Soccer League

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The National Soccer League is a name given to competitions in which New Zealand's top soccer clubs play each other, at least two times, on a home and away basis (and occasional in so called championship play-offs). At the completion of the competition, the best-performed team is declared as the New Zealand champion. Specifically, the name is usually used for the nationwide league competitions which ran intermittently from 1970 to 2004.

This definition, however, is open to debate. For example, in 2004, the New Zealand Football Championship was launched. Some do not consider this competition to be a true successor to the National Soccer League as it does not involve traditional club teams but special franchise teams especially created to compete in this competition. It also lacks a relegation and promotion system allowing clubs to "work their way up" and earn a place in this league (thus making the New Zealand championship a closed shop, eight team affair).

1970–1992

When the National Soccer League was launched in 1970, it became the first national league for any sport in New Zealand. It was also a league in the purest meaning of this word, as it involved clubs playing each other two times, on a home and away basis. Two points were awarded for a win, and one point was awarded for a draw. The club with the greatest number of points was declared the champion. The league was also open and clubs could be relegated from it and promoted to it. This is the most common...
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