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II liga (Druga Liga, Polish pronunciation: [ˈdruɡa ˈlʲiɡa]) is a Polish football league that sits at the third tier of the Polish football league system. Until the end of the 2007–08 season II Liga referred to a league at the 2nd tier,[1] although this changed with the formation of the Ekstraklasa as the top level league in Poland. Currently, II liga is below I liga and above III liga.

II liga
Founded26 February 1966; 52 years ago (26 February 1966)
1952 (as Klasa mistrzowska)
1953–1956 (as Liga międzywojewódzka)
1957–1966 (as Liga okręgowa)
1966–2008 (as III liga)
2008– (as II liga)
CountryPoland
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams18
Level on pyramid3
Promotion toI liga
Relegation toIII liga
Domestic cup(s)Polish Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Europa League (via Polish Cup)
Current championsGKS Jastrzębie
(2017–18)

Since the 2014/15 season there is one group making up the II Liga unlike in previous seasons when there were two groups (West and East). The league consists of 18 teams. Two first teams win promotion to the I Liga. Teams from places 15–18 are demoted to the III Liga. Teams will play 34 league queue after 9 matches (including 306 meetings) in two rounds: autumn and spring.

The top three places in the final table will be rewarded with a promotion to the first division, the 4th team will play in the play-offs for the entrance to the second level. The last four teams will drop to the third division.

Contents

ClubsEdit

The following 18 clubs are competing in the II liga during the 2018–19 season.[2]

Club
Position
in 2017–18 season
First season of
current spell in
II liga
Błękitni Stargard Szczeciński 1414th 2013–14
Resovia 181st in III liga, group IV (promoted) 2018–19
Elana Toruń 161st in III liga, group II (promoted) 2018–19
GKS Bełchatów 088th 2016–17
Gryf Wejherowo 099th 2015–16
Górnik Łęczna 0216th in I liga (relegated) 2018–19
ROW 1964 Rybnik 1212th 2014–15
Pogoń Siedlce 0115th in I liga (relegated) 2018–19
Olimpia Elbląg 066th 2016–17
Olimpia Grudziądz 0317th in I liga (relegated) 2018–19
Radomiak Radom 055th 2015–16
Rozwój Katowice 1010th 2016–17
Ruch Chorzów 0418th in I liga (relegated) 2018–19
Siarka Tarnobrzeg 077th 2012–13
Skra Częstochowa 171st in III liga, group III (promoted) 2018–19
Stal Stalowa Wola 1111th 2010–11
Widzew Łódź 151st in III liga, group I (promoted) 2018–19
Znicz Pruszków 1313th 2017–18

HistoryEdit

The history of II Liga, or the third level of Polish football system, dates back to the Second Polish Republic. In 1927, the Ekstraklasa, also called State League (Liga Panstwowa) was established. Below the Ekstraklasa, there were several regional A Classes, which in most cases covered the territory of one Voivodeship (see Lower Level Football Leagues in Interwar Poland). Further below, there were B Classes (usually covering two-three counties), and, in the regions with enough football teams, C Classes (covering one county).

On June 29, 1945 in Krakow, officials of the Polish Football Association (PZPN) established three-tier system of regional championships in Poland. The first level was, following the pre-1939 pattern, A Classes, followed by B Classes, and C Classes. This system remained in use until 1951, when in March 1952, it was replaced by four classes, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Meanwhile, the number of teams in the second level of Polish tier was reduced from 40 to 14 (March 1953), which meant that as many as 26 teams were automatically relegated to the third level. As a result, there were 93 teams in the third level, divided into 8 groups. Six of these groups covered more than one voivodeship, while two groups (Katowice and Krakow) covered only their provinces, due to the football potential in those regions. After the regular season, 8 winners played each other in two-level playoffs, with two winners winning promotion to the second level.

On February 13, 1955, in Warsaw, Third League was officially formed, with four groups. This idea was abandoned after a month, due to financial reasons. Instead, in 1956, the Regional Leagues were established, with 15 groups. In 1960, Polish football switched from spring-autumn to autumn-spring system. First games of the new system took place on August 19, 1960. 26 February 1966, PZPN decided to reduce the number of groups to 4, with 16 teams in each. The Macroregional League, as it was called at that time, existed in that form until 1973, when Polish football officials decided to reintroduce the Regional Leagues, with 20 groups (since 1974 - 24 groups). In 1976, 8 groups were established, with 112 teams. In 1980, the number of groups was reduced to 4, but in 1982, again 8 groups were established. The system of 8 groups of the third level remained unchanged until 1998, with the exception of 1989/1990, when there were four groups.

The Number of Third Level GroupsEdit

  • 1945-1951 - 14,
  • 1950 – 17,
  • 1952 17,
  • 1953-1956 8 (1956 – 9),
  • 1957-1965/1966 - 15 (since 1958 – 16, since 1959 – 17, since 1960 – 18),
  • 1966/1967-1972/1973 - 4,
  • 1973/1974-1975/1976 - 20 (since 1974/75 – 24),
  • 1976/1977-1979/1980- 8,
  • 1980/1981-1981/1982 - 4,
  • 1982/1983-1996/1997 - 8,
  • 1997/1998-2007/2008 - 4,
  • 2008/2009-2013/2014 - 2,
  • since 2014/2015 - 1.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Polish league results and tables at RSSSF". Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  2. ^ "2018-19 season teams". 90minut.pl. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.