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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).

Oberliga
Oberliga (Ice Hockey) logo.png
SportIce hockey
Founded1948 (71 years ago) (1948)
No. of teams24
Country Germany
 Netherlands
ConfederationDEB
Most recent
champion(s)
EV Landshut
(4th title)
Most titlesEV Füssen
(7 titles)
TV partner(s)Sprade TV
Promotion toDEL2
Relegation toRegionalliga
Related
competitions
Deutsche Eishockey Liga
Official websiteOberliga South
Oberliga North

HistoryEdit

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.

1948–58Edit

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.

1958–73Edit

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.

1973–94Edit

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.

1994–99Edit

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.

1999–presentEdit

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

Current teamsEdit

2019/20 Dutch teams in Oberliga
Oberliga North Teams: 2019–20 Season
Team Location Arena Capacity Founded Joined
league
City State
Füchse Duisburg Duisburg   North Rhine-Westphalia Scania Arena 4,800 1971 2010
Black Dragons Erfurt Erfurt   Thuringia Kartoffelhalle Erfurt 1,200 2010 2010
Moskitos Essen Essen   North Rhine-Westphalia Eissporthalle Essen-West 3,850 1994 2015
Saale Bulls Halle Halle (Saale)   Saxony-Anhalt Eissporthalle Halle 2,200 2004 2010
Hamburg Crocodiles Hamburg   Hamburg Eisland Farmsen 2,300 1990 2010
Hannover Indians Hannover   Lower Saxony Eisstadion am Pferdeturm 4,608 1948 2013
Hannover Scorpions Hannover   Lower Saxony Eishalle Langenhagen 3,800 1996 2013
Herner EV 2007 Herne   North Rhine-Westphalia Gysenberghalle 3,700 2007 2012
Krefeld Pinguine U23 Krefeld   North Rhine-Westphalia König Palast 9,000 1995 2011
IceFighters Leipzig Leipzig   Saxony Kohlrabizirkus Eisarena 2,500 2010 2010
Rostock Piranhas Rostock   Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Eishalle Rostock 2,000 1990 2010
Tilburg Trappers Tilburg   North Brabant IJssportcentrum Tilburg 2,500 1938 2015
Oberliga South Teams: 2019–20 Season
Team Location Arena Capacity Founded Joined
league
City State
EV Füssen Füssen   Bavaria Bundesleistungszentrum 4,700 1922 2019
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
SC Riessersee Garmisch-Partenkirchen   Bavaria Olympia-Eissport-Zentrum 6,926 1920 2018
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
Year Lvl Champion(s) League Premier(s)
North South East West
1949 1 EV Füssen
1950 1 SC Riessersee
1951 1 Preußen Krefeld
1952 1 Krefelder EV
1953 1 EV Füssen
1954 1 EV Füssen
1955 1 EV Füssen
1956 1 EV Füssen
1957 1 EV Füssen
1958 1 EV Füssen
1959 2 VfL Bad Nauheim
1960 2 TuS Eintracht Dortmund
1961 2 ESV Kaufbeuren
1962 2 EV Landshut
1963 2 EV Landshut
1964 2 TuS Eintracht Dortmund
1965 2 Preußen Krefeld
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
1971 2 Preußen Krefeld
1972 2 Berliner Schlittschuhclub
1973 2 Kölner EC
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

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit