Oberliga (ice hockey)
The Oberliga (English: Upper League) is the third tier of ice hockey in Germany, below DEL2 and ahead of the Regionalliga. Since the 2015/16 season, the league has been split into two regionalised divisions, nord (North) and süd (south). The Oberliga was originally founded in 1948 and is administered by the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB).
|No. of teams||24|
|Country|| Germany |
|EV Landshut |
|Most titles||EV Füssen |
|TV partner(s)||Sprade TV|
|Deutsche Eishockey Liga|
|Official website||Oberliga South |
The Oberliga is the oldest continuously operating ice hockey league in Germany. The league was formed in 1948 after WWII as the highest level of hockey in Germany. The Oberliga has been the top, second and third level of ice hockey in the German league pyramid throughout its history. The 1948/49 Oberliga champions, EV Füssen, were the very first Deutscher Meister (English: German champion). In 2015/16, Oberliga was the first German league to admit a Dutch team, Tilburg Trappers, to compete in the German league system.
The Oberliga started its first season in 1948/49 with six teams. Those teams played a home-and-away season to determine the German champion. The founding members of the league were:
EV Füssen won the inaugural Oberliga championship and were named Oberliga and German champions. The league expanded to eight clubs for the second season and twelve in the third. From 1952 to 1956 the league trimmed the number of teams back to eight before working to restore the number to 12 by the 1957/58 season. The 1957/58 season was the last one for the league as the highest level of play in Germany. The German Ice Hockey Federation decided to form the Eishockey-Bundesliga to replace the Oberliga as the new top division. The top eight clubs from the Oberliga, qualified for the new top division with the bottom four remaining in the Oberliga.
The Oberliga had now become the second tier of German ice hockey (second division). The league started with eight clubs, including the four remaining clubs from the previous season. The league expanded to twelve in the coming seasons. The year 1966 saw the league split into northern and southern regionalised groups. The two separate leagues were called Oberliga South and Oberliga North. The winners of the two leagues would determine the Oberliga champion in a home-and-away series.
The league reunited in a single division in 1970, now with a strength of 16 teams and direct promotion to the Bundesliga.
The 1972/73 season was the last one as a tier-two league. With the foundation of the 2nd Bundesliga, the Oberliga fell to tier three. While the league champion moved up to the Bundesliga and the teams placed two to nine gained entry to the new second division, only the bottom seven clubs remained in the league.
1973 saw DEB introduce a new second division to the German ice hockey pyramid, with the formation of the 2nd Bundesliga. The Oberliga was demoted to become the new German third division (third highest level of ice hockey in Germany). 1972-73 was the last season Oberliga operated as the division two league. The Oberliga champion that season was granted automatic promotion to the Bundesliga. Clubs that finished second to ninth qualified for automatic entry to the new 2nd Bundesliga, while the bottom seven clubs remained in Oberliga.
The Oberliga was now again divided into a northern and a southern group. The top two teams out of the two divisions originally played out a promotion round to the 2nd Bundesliga which also served to determine the Oberliga champion. While the modus and number of teams in the league continued to fluctuat, the overall situation remained the same.
The year 1994 saw major changes in the German league system. The Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga merged to form the new DEL, an independently run league consisting of 18 clubs in its foundation years. Those second division clubs that did not elect to join the DEL were integrated into the new 1st Liga, which had replaced the Oberliga and operated in a northern and a southern group. The best teams of each of the two divisions played out a DEB championship, similar to the old Oberliga championship.
The 1998-99 season was very much a transition season. The DEB had reintroduced a single-division, nationwide league, titled Bundesliga to compete with the DEL. The league below was now the 1st Liga, which was made up of those clubs from the 1st Liga not adCentred to the new Bundesliga and 2nd Liga clubs. However, this situation existed for only one season.
From 1999, the league returned to its traditional name Oberliga, with two regional groups, north and south. In turn, the league above it took the name 2nd Bundesliga. The DEL renamed itself DEL - Bundesliga.
Due to a lack of interest, the Oberliga North dissolved after the 2000-01 season. The three clubs from this region which were still interested in playing on Oberliga level joined the southern division.
The Oberliga South, largely made up of Bavarian clubs, continued to operate successfully in the coming season, usually including a couple of northern clubs, while the Oberliga North was not reestablished until 2007.
The ESBG, now operating the 2nd Bundesliga and Oberliga for the DEB decided to reform an Oberliga North in 2007. The two separate divisions of the league were however not completely independent of each other, like in the past. Teams from the same league would meet each other four times now, while clubs from different divisions would only meet twice in the regular season. At the end of this, a combined play-off round would determine the Oberliga champion.
In 2007–08, the Oberliga was split in a northern and a southern group for the first time since 2001. The northern group contains nine, the southern ten clubs. The four best-placed teams from each group enter a best-of-five play-off round to determine the Oberliga champion and the two promoted teams to the 2nd Bundesliga. The bottom four in each group enter a play-down round to determine the relegated teams.
In the 2008–09 season, the league played in a single division format before switching to four regional divisions with an Oberliga championship at the end from 2010 onwards.
In Summer 2010 the organisation of the Oberliga goes away from the ESBG and the Mode was changed:
- the Oberliga South is organised by the DEB from 2010/11;
- the new Oberliga West is organised by the LEV Northrhein-Westfalen;
- the new Oberliga North was till 2012/13 organisied by the LEV Niedersachsen - now also organised by the DEB;
- the new Oberliga East is organised by the LEV Berlin
- The Best teams of Groups West, North and East plays after the Normalseasons in their divisions a Finalround
- The Best teams of the Final round a qualified for the Promotionplaysoffs
- The Teams of the Group Soud plays after the Normal round Playoffs for the Teams, which qualifies them for the Promotion playoffs
|Oberliga South Teams: 2019–20 Season|
|Höchstadter EC||Höchstadt||Bavaria||Eisstadion Höchstadt||2,000||1993||2018|
|ECDC Memmingen||Memmingen||Bavaria||Eissportstadion am Hühnerberg||3,850||1992||2017|
|EV Lindau Islanders||Lindau||Bavaria||Eichwaldstadion||1,100||1976||2016|
|EC Peiting||Peiting||Bavaria||Eisstadion Peiting||2,500||1973||2000|
|ERC Sonthofen 1999||Sonthofen||Bavaria||Eissporthalle Sonthofen||2,860||1999||2014|
|Eisbären Regensburg||Regensburg||Bavaria||Donau Arena||4,961||1962||2010|
|Starbulls Rosenheim||Rosenheim||Bavaria||Emilo Stadion||4,750||2000||2017|
|Selber Wölfe||Selb||Bavaria||Hutschenreuther Eissporthalle||4,082||2004||2010|
|1. EV Weiden||Weiden||Bavaria||Eisstadion Weiden||2,560||1985||2012|
|Deggendorfer SC||Deggendorf||Bavaria||Eissporthalle an der Trat||4,000||2002||2019|
Champions and premiersEdit
|Oberliga Champions and League Premiers|
|1959||2||VfL Bad Nauheim||–|
|1960||2||TuS Eintracht Dortmund||–|
|1964||2||TuS Eintracht Dortmund||–|
|1966||2||Berliner Schlittschuhclub||Berliner Schlittschuhclub|
|1967||2||Augsburger EV||VfL Bad Nauheim||Augsburger EV||–|
|1968||2||SC Riessersee||Eintracht Frankfurt||SC Riessersee||–|
|1969||2||ESV Kaufbeuren||Kölner EC||ESV Kaufbeuren||–|
|1970||2||EV Rosenheim||EC Deilinghofen||EV Rosenheim||–|
|1974||3||EC Peiting||EC Hannover||EC Peiting||–|
|1975||3||TSV Straubing||Herner EV||EHC 70 München||–|
|1976||3||EV Landsberg||Herner EV||EHC 70 München||–|
|1977||3||ERC Freiburg||EHC Essen||ERC Freiburg||–|
|1978||3||RSC Bremerhaven||RSC Bremerhaven||EV Regensburg||–|
|1979||3||Deggendorfer SC||Herner EV||Deggendorfer SC||–|
|1980||3||Hamburger SV||Hamburger SV||VER Selb||–|
|1981||3||Eintracht Frankfurt (North)
Augsburger EV (South)
|Hamburger SV||Augsburger EV||–|
|1982||3||Eintracht Frankfurt||Eintracht Frankfurt||EC Peiting||–|
|1983||3||SV Bayreuth||ESG Kassel||SV Bayreuth||–|
|1984||3||EC Bad Nauheim||EC Bad Nauheim||VER Selb||–|
|1985||3||SC Solingen||SC Solingen||EHC 80 Nürnberg||–|
|1986||3||EHC 80 Nürnberg||Neusser SC||EHC 80 Nürnberg||EV Stuttgart|
|1987||3||EC Ratingen (North)
EV Stuttgart (centre)
ERC Ingolstadt (South)
|1988||3||ERC Sonthofen||ERC Westfalen Dortmund||ERC Sonthofen||–|
|1989||3||Augsburger EV||ECD Sauerland Iserlohn||Augsburger EV||–|
|1990||3||EV Ravensburg||Grefrather EC||EV Ravensburg||–|
|1991||3||SC Memmingen||EC Bad Nauheim||SC Memmingen||–|
|1992||3||ETC Timmendorfer Strand||ETC Timmendorfer Strand||TuS Geretsried||–|
|1993||3||Frankfurter ESC||Frankfurter ESC||EV Landsberg||–|
|1994||3||EC Bad Tölz||ESC Wedemark||Heilbronner EC||–|
|1995||2/3||EHC Freiburg (1.liga)
Grefrather EV (2.liga)
|ERC Westfalen Dortmund (1.liga)
Grefrather EV (2.liga)
|SC Riessersee (1.liga)
EV Dingolfing (2.liga)
|1996||2/3||ESC Wedemark (1.liga)
Limburger EG (2.liga)
|ESC Wedemark (1.liga)
Limburger EG (2.liga)
|Heilbronner EC (1.liga)
ERC Ingolstadt (2.liga)
|1997||2/3||EHC Neuwied (1.liga)
SC Bietigheim-Bissingen (2.liga)
|EHC Neuwied (1.liga)
Braunlager EHC/Harz (2.liga)
|EC Bad Tölz (1.liga)
SC Bietigheim-Bissingen (2.liga)
|1998||2/3||EHC Neuwied (1.liga)
EHC Braunlage/Harz (2.liga)
|EHC Neuwied (1.liga)||Heilbronner EC (1.liga)
EV Regensburg (2.liga)
|1999||3/4||REV Bremerhaven (1.liga)
EHC Bad Aibling (2.liga)
|REV Bremerhaven (1.liga)||SC Bietigheim-Bissingen (1.liga)
EHC Bad Aibling (2.liga)
|2000||3||EV Duisburg (North)
EHC Straubing (South)
|EV Duisburg||EHC Straubing||–|
|2001||3||EHC Wolfsburg (North)
EV Regensburg (South)
|EHC Wolfsburg||EV Regensburg||–|
|2002||3||EV Landshut||EV Landshut|
|2003||3||1. EV Weiden||ERV Schweinfurt|
|2004||3||REV Bremerhaven||EHC Moskitos Essen|
|2005||3||Dresdner Eislöwen||Dresdner Eislöwen||Heilbronner Falken||–|
|2006||3||EV Landsberg 2000||EV Landsberg 2000|
|2007||3||Heilbronner Falken||SC Riessersee|
|2008||3||Dresdner Eislöwen||Dresdner Eislöwen||Tölzer Löwen||–|
|2009||3||Hannover Indians (North)
ESV Kaufbeuren (South)
|Hannover Indians||EC Peiting||–|
|2010||3||Starbulls Rosenheim||Herner EV|
|2011||3||SC Riessersee||Rostock Piranhas||Tölzer Löwen||Saale Bulls Halle||EHC Dortmund|
|2012||3||Tölzer Löwen||Rostock Piranhas||EC Peiting||Saale Bulls Halle||EHC Dortmund|
|2013||3||RT Bad Nauheim||EHC Timmendorfer Strand 06||EC Peiting||Saale Bulls Halle||Kassel Huskies|
|2014||3||–||Hannover Scorpions||VER Selb||Icefighters Leipzig||Löwen Frankfurt|
|2015||3||EHC Freiburg||Hannover Scorpions||EHC Freiburg||Icefighters Leipzig||Füchse Duisburg|
|2016||3||Tilburg Trappers||Füchse Duisburg||EV Regensburg||–|
|2017||3||Tilburg Trappers||Herner EV 2007||Tölzer Löwen||–|
|2018||3||Tilburg Trappers||Tilburg Trappers||Deggendorfer SC||–|
|2019||3||EV Landshut||Tilburg Trappers||EC Peiting||–|