The Women's Ice Hockey Bundesliga (DEBL; German: Dameneishockey-Bundesliga, lit. 'Women's Ice Hockey National League') is an ice hockey league in Austria. It is organized by the Österreichischer Eishockeyverband. Austria had 652 female players in 2013.
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2021–22 DEBL season
|No. of teams||9|
|Country|| Austria (5 teams)|
Croatia (1 team)
Hungary (3 teams)
EHV Sabres (14th)
KMH Budapest II (1st)
EHV Sabres (14)
EHV Sabres (5)
|Official website||Official website|
Founded in 1998, the league uses a format of home and away matches. In the 2004–05 season, the best Austrian teams additionally also competed in the international Elite Women's Hockey League (EWHL). From the following season onward, the top teams only played in the EWHL, making the Bundesliga in a sense the second-level league of Austrian Women's ice hockey. As a result, the title of Austrian champion is decided in a separate tournament titled Staatsmeisterschaft (National Championship), featuring the three teams that play in the EWHL and the top DEBL team. Exceptions were the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons where EWHL clubs were the only competing teams. Since 2008, following the example of the Austrian men's ice hockey league, the DEBL has also featured teams from neighboring countries such as Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary.
The nine teams of the DEBL are assembled into one division. The teams play each other three times a year.
The top DEBL team qualifies for the Staatsmeisterschaft where it meets the three Austrian teams from the EWHL. The tournament uses a home- and away-game format. The two top teams contest the final, using a best-of-three format. The better-placed team has the right to contest the first game in its home ground. The other two teams contest the third-place play-off, also using a best-of-three format.
|1998-99||Gipsy Girls Villach|
|1999-00||Gipsy Girls Villach|
|2000-01||EHC Vienna Flyers|
|2005-06||Ravens Salzburg||Red Angels Innsbruck|
|2006-07||EHV Sabres||Gipsy Girls Villach|
|2007-08||EHV Sabres||DEC Dragons Klagenfurt|
|2008-09||Ravens Salzburg||HK Merkur Triglav Kranj|
|2009-10||EHV Sabres||SPG Kitzbühel/Salzburg|
|2010-11||EHV Sabres||Neuberg Highlanders|
|2011-12||EHV Sabres||Neuberg Highlanders|
|2012-13||EHV Sabres||Neuberg Highlanders|
|2013-14||EHV Sabres||KHL Grič Zagreb|
|2014-15||EHV Sabres||EHV Sabres II|
|2015-16||EHV Sabres||HK Triglav/Olimpija|
|2016-17||EHV Sabres||KMH Budapest II|
[*] – includes one title from affiliate team, EHV Sabres II
In 2004, due to the increasing number of teams, a second division titled DEBL II was created. There was no match play in this league in the 2007–08 and 2008–09 seasons.
The team that finishes at the bottom of the DEBL league table at the end of the season meets the top team of the DEBL II over a best-of-three series. The winner of that contest then plays in the DEBL during the next season, while the loser is relegated to the second DEBL.
- Teams for 2017–18 season
|2005-06||EHV Sabres II|
|2006-07||Ravens Salzburg II|
|2009-10||FTC Eagles Budapest|
|2010-11||EC "Die Adler" Kitzbühel|
|2011-12||Neuberg Highlanders II|
|2012-13||DEC Devils Graz|
|2016-17||Red Angels Innsbruck|
- IIHF, http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/countries/austria.html
- (in German) "Staatsmeisterschaft – Austragungsmodus" Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (description of championship format), ÖEHV Women"s Ice Hockey website
- Life the Dream, Kiira Dosdall and the Vienna Sabres Capture Gold, http://www.womenshockeylife.com/blogs_view_dsp.cfm?BlogId=266&CatId=6 Archived 2012-03-12 at the Wayback Machine , April 12, 2011.
- (in German) "DEBL II – Austragungsmodus" Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (description of 2nd league format), ÖEHV Women"s Ice Hockey website
- This article incorporates information from the French and German Wikipedias.