|Number of teams||10|
|Level on pyramid||2|
|Relegation to||Esiliiga B|
|Domestic cup(s)||Estonian Cup|
Tulevik Viljandi (1st title) |
|Most championships||Levadia II Tallinn (7 titles)|
As in most countries with low temperatures in winter time, the season starts in March and ends in November. The league features several reserve teams of Meistriliiga clubs. According to the rules set by the Estonian Football Association, reserve teams are ineligible for promotion to the Meistriliiga, but can play in the Estonian Cup.
During the season, the teams play each of the other four times, twice at home and twice away. This makes for a total of 36 games played each season. The teams gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. Promotion and relegation between divisions is a central feature of the league. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division win promotion to the next higher division, while those at the bottom will be relegated to the next lower one. At the end of a season, the top Esiliiga club gains promotion to the Meistriliiga. This is providing that the Esiliiga club meets the licensing criteria of the Meistriliiga. Reserve teams in Estonia play in the same league system as the senior team, however, they must play at least one level below their main side, and are thus ineligible for promotion to the Meistriliiga. Two bottom end clubs of Esiliiga are relegated to the Esiliiga B, and two top clubs of Esiliiga B are promoted to the Esiliiga. The two-legged play-offs for the Meistriliiga spot are contested between the ninth placed (second bottom) club in the Meistriliiga and the second in the Esiliiga, and the two-legged play-offs for the Esiliiga spot are contested between the eighth placed (third bottom) club in the Esiliiga and the third in the Esiliiga B.
The following clubs are competing in the Esiliiga during the 2016 season.
|Maardu Linnameeskonda,b||1st in Esiliiga B||1||2016||0||n/a|
|Nõmme Kalju U21a,b,c||5th||3||2014||0||n/a|
|Levadia U21 Tallinna,b,c||2nd||12||2004||7||2013|
|Viljandi JK Tulevik||10th in Meistriliiga||7||2016||0||n/a|
|FC Infonet II Tallinna,b,c||3rd||2||2015||0||n/a|
|Vaprus Vändraa,b||9th e||4||2013||0||n/a|
|Kohtla-Järve JK Järve||2nd in Esiliiga B||7f||2016||1||2003f|
a – never been relegated from Esiliiga
b – never played in Meistriliiga
c – ineligible for promotion to Meistriliiga
d - Previously as FC Santos before merger with Tartu Välk
e - Avoided Relegation due to withdrawal of Kiviõli FC Irbis
f - Previously known as Lootus Kohtla-Järve
Total titles won
|Levadia U21 Tallinn||7||4||0||2000, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013|
|Flora U21 Tallinn||2||4||2||2014, 2015|
|Dünamo Tallinn||2||0||0||1994–95[A], 1996–97|
|Infonet II Tallinn||0||0||2|
- http://www.jalgpall.ee/news.php?st=style_fp.css&news_id=3867 Estonian Football Association (in Estonian). Esiliiga expanded with B division. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- http://www.jalgpall.ee/docs/Eesti%202013.a%20meistriv%F5istluste%20Meistri-ja%20Esiliiga%20juhend.pdf Estonian Football Association (in Estonian). Estonian 2013. Meistri- and Esiliiga championship directive. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Official website (Estonian)