Liga Artzit (Hebrew: ליגה ארצית, lit. Country League) is the defunct third division of Israeli Football League, beneath its highest division Premier League and the second division Liga Leumit. Before being cancelled in 2009, it was run by the Israel Football Association. It was replaced by Liga Alef.

Liga Artzit
Founded1976; 47 years ago (1976)
Folded2009; 14 years ago (2009)
Country Israel
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid3
Promotion toLiga Leumit
Relegation toLiga Alef
Domestic cup(s)State Cup
Toto Cup Artzit


There were 12 teams in Liga Artzit. Each team played 33 matches; the first 22 matches were played on a home and away basis, with the last 11 fixtures based on league positions after 22 games. Like the majority of leagues in the world, three points were awarded for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. Final League positions were determined firstly by points obtained, then by goal difference, then goals scored, and if necessary, a mini-league of the results between two or more teams ranked using the previous three criteria and finally a series of one or more play off matches.

In the past at the end of the season, providing they met certain criteria, the top two teams weren promoted to Liga Leumit, and were replaced by the bottom two teams from that league. The teams finishing 11th and 12th in Liga Artzit were relegated to Liga Alef, where they were assigned to a geographically suitable division. They were replaced by the champions of Liga Alef North and Liga Alef South providing they meet criteria for entry into Liga Artzit.

However, the league was abolished at the end of the 2008–09 season as part of structural reforms to the Israeli league system that saw the Premier League and Liga Leumit both expanded to 16 clubs.[1] At the end of the season the top seven clubs were promoted to Liga Leumit; the 8th placed club was played in a play-off round against the 11th placed club in Liga Leumit for a place in Liga Leumit, whilst the 9–12th placed clubs was relegated to Liga Alef.


Liga Artzit came into existence in 1976 with a restructuring of Israeli football. It replaced Liga Alef as the second division (below Liga Leumit), and unlike its regionalised predecessor, was a nationwide league (hence its name). For its first season, Liga Artzit comprised twelve teams. Four teams were demoted from Liga Leumit as it was reduced in size, and the top four clubs from Liga Alef North and Liga Alef South were promoted. In later seasons the number of members varied, though the usual number of clubs was 16.

In 1999, Liga Artzit was demoted to the third tier after the creation of the Premier League. Since then it has consisted of 12 teams.

In 2009, Liga Artzit was closed.

Previous seasonsEdit

Season Winner Also promoted Relegated
Second tier
1976–77 Hapoel Hadera Beitar Netanya, Maccabi Hadera
1977–78 Bnei Yehuda Maccabi Petah Tikva, Hapoel Kfar Saba,
Hapoel Rishon LeZion
Hapoel Beit Shemesh,
Maccabi Sha'arayim
1978–79 Hakoah Ramat Gan Maccabi Ramat Amidar, Hapoel Petah Tikva Hapoel Marmorek,
Hapoel Netanya, Hapoel Ashdod
1979–80 Hapoel Jerusalem Hapoel Ramat Gan, Hapoel Rishon LeZion Hapoel Bat Yam,
Hapoel Tirat HaCarmel, Hapoel Herzliya
1980–81 Beitar Tel Aviv Beitar Jerusalem, Maccabi Haifa Hapoel Hadera, Hapoel Holon, Maccabi Herzliya
1981–82 Hapoel Lod Hapoel Ramat Gan, Maccabi Yavne Maccabi Kiryat Gat, Beitar Netanya, Hapoel Tiberias
1982–83 Beitar Tel Aviv Hakoah Ramat Gan, Maccabi Ramat Amidar Maccabi Shefa-'Amr, Hapoel Acre, Hapoel Tel Hanan
1983–84 Hapoel Haifa Hapoel Kfar Saba, Hapoel Petah Tikva Hapoel Beit She'an, Hapoel Nazareth Illit,
Hapoel Beit Shemesh
1984–85 Bnei Yehuda Maccabi Sha'arayim, Hapoel Jerusalem Hapoel Ashkelon, Hapoel Rishon LeZion,
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona
1985–86 Beitar Netanya Beitar Tel Aviv, Hapoel Lod Hapoel Ramat HaSharon, Hapoel Beit Shemesh,
Beitar Haifa
1986–87 Tzafririm Holon Hapoel Marmorek1, Hapoel Beit She'an,
Beitar Ramla, Beitar Nahariya, Hapoel Dimona
1987–88 Hapoel Jerusalem Hapoel Tiberias Hakoah Ramat Gan, Hapoel Acre
1988–89 Hapoel Ramat Gan Hapoel Yehud, Beitar Ramla
1989–90 Tzafririm Holon Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tamra1, Hapoel Rishon LeZion,
Hapoel Lod
1990–91 Maccabi Petah Tikva Maccabi Yavne Hapoel Bat Yam1, Maccabi Ramat Amidar,
Hapoel Tirat HaCarmel
1991–92 Beitar Jerusalem Hapoel Haifa Beitar Netanya, Hapoel Tiberias
1992–93 Maccabi Herzliya Ironi Ashdod, Hapoel Kfar Saba Hapoel Ramat Gan, Maccabi Sha'arayim
1993–94 Hapoel Rishon LeZion Hapoel Beit She'an, Beitar Tel Aviv Maccabi Acre, Hapoel Daliyat al-Karmel
1994–95 Maccabi Jaffa Hapoel Kfar Saba Hapoel Ashkelon, Hapoel Lod
1995–96 Hapoel Tayibe Hapoel Jerusalem Shimshon Tel Aviv, Hapoel Kfar Shalem
1996–97 Hapoel Ashkelon Ironi Ashdod Hapoel Kiryat Shmona, Hapoel Hadera
1997–98 Maccabi Jaffa Tzafririm Holon Hapoel Ramat Gan, Maccabi Yavne
1998–99 Maccabi Netanya Hapoel Ashdod, Beitar Tel Aviv, Hapoel Bat Yam,
Maccabi Kafr Kanna, Hapoel Lod,
SK Nes Tziona, Hapoel Tayibe
Third tier
1999–2000 Hapoel Ramat Gan Hapoel Ironi Dimona, Hapoel Iksal
2000–01 Hapoel Ra'anana Maccabi Kafr Kanna Maccabi Ashkelon, Maccabi Sha'arayim
2001–02 Hapoel Jerusalem Hapoel Nazareth Illit Hapoel Tayibe, Maccabi Yavne
2002–03 Hakoah Ramat Gan Ironi Kiryat Shmona Hapoel Bat Yam, Hapoel Kafr Sumei
2003–04 Ironi Nir Ramat HaSharon Hapoel Acre Hapoel Tira, Hapoel Beit She'an
2004–05 Hapoel Ashkelon Maccabi Be'er Sheva Hapoel Majd al-Krum2
2005–06 Hapoel Bnei Lod Maccabi Ahi Nazareth Tzafririm Holon, Maccabi Tzur Shalom
2006–07 Hapoel Ramat Gan Hapoel Ironi Rishon LeZion Hapoel Herzliya,
Maccabi Be'er Sheva
2007–08 Hapoel Jerusalem Maccabi Ironi Kiryat Ata Maccabi HaShikma Ramat Hen,
Hapoel Kfar Shalem
2008–09 Sektzia Nes Tziona Hapoel Ashkelon, Hapoel Marmorek,
Ironi Rishon LeZion, Ironi Bat Yam,
Beitar Shimshon Tel Aviv, Hapoel Nazareth Illit
Maccabi Kafr Kanna, Bnei Tamra,
Hapoel Umm al-Fahm, Hapoel Bnei Jadeidi,
Maccabi Tirat HaCarmel

1. After promotion/relegation play-offs.

2. Maccabi Ironi Kiryat Ata finished in 11th place, but were reprieved when Maccabi Ramat Amidar folded.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Reforming structure of the leagues – full plan Archived 2008-07-01 at the Wayback Machine Israeli Football Association, 24 June 2008 (in Hebrew)

External linksEdit