The play-offs were instituted because of the streamlining of the 2. divisjon ahead of the 2001 season. It was reduced from eight to four groups, and thus, not all winners of the 3. divisjon groups could be promoted.
From the 2011 season, the 3. divisjon was streamlined to have twelve groups, where the winners are promoted to the four groups of the 2. divisjon, whence three teams (on average) in each of the four 2. divisjon groups are relegated to the 3. divisjon.
In 2000, there was a three-way playoff between teams from both the 2. divisjon and the 3. divisjon. One team prevailed (with green background in the table), the other two were either relegated or stayed in the 3. divisjon. All the three-way matches, with one exception, were contested between one 2. divisjon and two 3. divisjon teams.
|2. divisjon team||3. divisjon team||3. divisjon team|
|Nord||Os (2. divisjon)||Sogndal 2|