The Regionalliga Nord (English: Regional League North) is the fourth tier of the German football league system in the states of Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Bremen and Hamburg. It is one of five leagues at this level, together with the Regionalliga Bayern, Regionalliga Nordost, Regionalliga Südwest and the Regionalliga West. Until the introduction of the 3. Liga in 2008 it was the third tier.
|Organising body||Northern German Football Association|
|Founded||1994 (reformed in 2012)|
|Number of teams||22|
|Level on pyramid||Level 4|
|Promotion to||3. Liga|
|Current champions||VfB Lübeck |
|Current: 2020–21 Regionalliga|
From 1963 to 1974, a Regionalliga Nord existed as the second tier of the German football league system, but it is not related to the current Regionalliga.
The Regionalliga Nord was introduced in 1994 along with three other Regionalligas, those being:
The reason for its introduction was to create a highest regional league for the north of Germany and to allow its champions, and some years the runners-up too, to be directly promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga. Prior to the introduction of the four Regionalligas, the leagues below the second division were the Oberligas, in which there was ten. Those ten Oberliga champions had to go through a promotion play-off rather than being directly promoted. The champions of the Regionalligas Nord and Nordost however had to play-off for a spot in the 2nd Bundesliga from 1996 to 2000. The winner of this contest was promoted, the loser faced the runners-ups of the Regionalligas Süd and West/Südwest for another spot in the second division.
The Regionalliga Nord was direct continuation of the Oberliga Nord, which was disbanded in 1994 in favour of the Regionalliga. Fourteen out of sixteen Oberliga Nord clubs qualified for the new league, only the bottom two teams were relegated to the two new Oberligas.
To replace the Oberliga Nord below the Regionalliga, two new leagues were formed, those being the Oberligas Niedersachsen/Bremen and Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein. These two leagues were in turn disbanded in 2004 when the Oberliga Nord was reformed.
With the league changes in Germany in 2008, the Oberliga Nord was again disbanded and the level below the Regionalliga Nord in this region were the five Verbandligas. This required a promotion play-off for this league winners as there were not five promotion spots available for their region. No changes were made in the NOFV region were the two Oberligas Nord and Süd will remain.
The following four teams were promoted to the Regionalliga from 2009:
- NOFV-Oberliga Nord champions
- NOFV-Oberliga Süd champions
- Lower Saxony champions, being the winner of the home-and-away series of the champions of the Oberliga Niedersachsen-West and Oberliga Niedersachsen-Ost
- Winner of the promotion play-off for the champions of the Oberliga Hamburg, Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein
Foundation of the Regionalliga NordEdit
The Regionalliga Nord was formed in 1994 with 18 clubs, fourteen from the Oberliga Nord and one each from the Verbandsligas of Niedersachsen, Bremen, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.
The founding members were:
From the Oberliga Nord:
- Kickers Emden
- Eintracht Braunschweig
- VfL Osnabrück
- VfL Herzlake
- TuS Hoisdorf
- VfB Oldenburg
- Holstein Kiel
- Werder Bremen II
- VfB Lübeck
- Hamburger SV II
- VfL 93 Hamburg
- TuS Celle
- 1. SC Göttingen 05
- SV Lurup
From the Verbandsliga Schleswig-Holstein:
From the Verbandsliga Hamburg:
The "new" Regionalliga Nord was actually a reformation of the "old" Regionalliga Nord which operated from 1963 to 1974 in the same region but then as the second tier of German football. Unlike the "old" Regionalliga, the new one allowed reserve teams to compete in it.
Expansion of the league in 2000Edit
After six seasons, in 2000, the number of Regionalligas was reduced from four to two. Only the Regionalligas Süd and Nord survived. The clubs of the other two were spread according to their geographical location.
Only the teams placed two to six were permitted to remain in the league. The league champion, VfL Osnabrück, was promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga and all clubs from place seven to eighteen were relegated to the Verbandsligas. The league was expanded to nineteen teams and fourteen clubs from the 2nd Bundesliga, Regionalliga West/Südwest and Regionalliga Nordost were admitted.
Remaining in the Regionalliga Nord:
Admitted from the Regionalliga West/Südwest:
The league reform in 2008Edit
With the introduction of the 3rd Liga in 2008 and of a third Regionalliga, the Regionalliga West, the league became the fourth tier of German football. The clubs from North Rhine-Westphalia left the league again and joined the new Regionalliga West.
The make up of the leagues was:
- Winner and runners-up of the Regionalliga Nord qualified for the 2nd Bundesliga (unless they are reserve teams)
- Clubs placed third to tenth went to the new 3rd Liga (only the two best placed reserve teams were admitted)
- Clubs placed eleventh to eighteen remained in the Regionalligas (clubs from North Rhine-Westphalia left for the Regionalliga West)
- The five best teams from the Oberliga Nord joined the Regionalliga. The sixth placed team played-off with the five Verbandsliga winners from this region for one more place in the Regionalliga.
- The three best teams from the NOFV-Oberliga Nord and Süd each and a play-off winner of the two fourth placed teams.
The following 18 teams fulfilled the various qualification criteria and were granted a license for play in the new Regionalliga Nord for the 2008-09 season.
Remaining in the Regionalliga Nord:
The league reform in 2012Edit
In October 2010, another reform of the Regionalligas was decided upon. The number of leagues was now expanded to five, with the Nordost clubs leaving the Regionalliga Nord to form their own Regionalliga Nordost once more. The new system came into operation at the start of the 2012–13 season. It was also decided to limit the number of reserve teams per Regionalliga to seven.
The league reform in 2019Edit
As four teams were relegated from the 3. Liga at the end of the 2018–19 season, the champions of the Regionalliga Nordost, Regionalliga Südwest and Regionalliga West were promoted directly to the 3. Liga and the remaining two champions, VfL Wolfsburg II of the Regionalliga Nord and Bayern Munich II of the Regionalliga Bayern, played a two-legged promotion play-off for the last promotion spot, which was won by Bayern Munich II. In 2020, the three direct promotion spots will go to the champions of the Regionalliga Südwest, Regionalliga Nord and Regionalliga Bayern, while the Nordost and the West champions participate in the play-off. This format was installed initially as a temporary solution until the DFB-Bundestag in September 2019 decided on a format that could have enabled all Regionalliga champions to be promoted. On that date, the Bundestag delegates voted to grant the Südwest and West champions two direct promotions indefinitely starting in 2021. A third direct promotion place will be assigned according to a rotation principle among the Regionalliga Nord, Nordost and Bavarian champions. The representatives from the two remaining Regionalligen will determine the fourth promoted club in two-legged play-offs.
Winners and runners-up of the Regionalliga NordEdit
The winners and runners-up of the league:
Source: "Regionalliga Nord". Das deutsche Fussball-Archiv. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
- Promoted teams in bold.
The top goalscorers and attendance figures for the league are:
|Best supported club||Average
|1994–95||492,629||1,610||Eintracht Braunschweig||4,351||Christian Classen (SVW)||26|
|1995–96||438,798||1,434||Eintracht Braunschweig||4,854||Hakan Cengiz (AD)||21|
|1996–97||587,484||1,920||Hannover 96||9,789||Hakan Cengiz (VfLH)||28|
|1997–98||680,620||2,224||Eintracht Braunschweig||9,181||Markus Erdmann (AH)||34|
|1998–99||642,357||2,099||Eintracht Braunschweig||7,456||Daniel Bärwolf (VfB)||26|
|1999–2000||710,524||2,322||VfL Osnabrück||9,347||Daniel Bärwolf (VfB)
Marinus Bester (LSK)
|2000–01||1,108,917||3,242||Eintracht Braunschweig||9,993||Daniel Teixeira (1. FCU)||32|
|2001–02||1,152,064||3,764||Eintracht Braunschweig||11,921||Veselin Gerov (SCP)
Daniel Teixeira (EB)
|2002–03||936,297||3,060||Rot-Weiss Essen||9,482||Dmitrijus Guščinas (HK)||23|
|2003–04||1,472,089||4,811||FC St. Pauli||17,335||Markus Feldhoff (KFC)||22|
|2004–05||1,547,950||4,526||FC St. Pauli||16,144||Ahmet Kuru (EB)||24|
|2005–06||1,577,563||4,613||FC St. Pauli||17,296||Thomas Reichenberger (VfL)||17|
|2006–07||1,823,720||5,333||FC St. Pauli||16,775||Thomas Reichenberger (VfL)
Massimo Cannizzaro (HSV)
|2007–08||1,863,662||5,449||Eintracht Braunschweig||14,889||Mahir Saglik (WSV)||27|
|2008–09||529,200||1,729||1. FC Magdeburg||8,626||Wojciech Pollok (SVW)||22|
|2009–10||373,460||1,220||1. FC Magdeburg||5,491||Daniel Frahn (SVB)||29|
|2010–11||447,721||1,463||1. FC Magdeburg||4,586||Benjamin Förster (CFC)||25|
|2011–12||530,449||1,733||RB Leipzig||7,401||Daniel Frahn (RBL)||26|
|2012–13||234,898||816||Holstein Kiel||3,628||Rogier Krohne (BVC)||24|
|2013–14||184,493||603||SV Meppen||1,825||Addy-Waku Menga (VfB)||25|
|2014–15||220,635||721||VfB Lübeck||1,723||Ahmet Arslan (HSV)||19|
|2015–16||229,239||726||VfB Oldenburg||2,201||Dino Međedović (WOL)||23|
|2016–17||216,199||707||SV Meppen||2,645||Benjamin Girth (MEP)||20|
|2017–18||186,006||606||VfB Lübeck||1,426||Törles Knöll (HSV)||20|
|2018–19||187,623||613||VfB Lübeck||2,152||Daniel Hanslik (WOL)||19|
|2019–20||167,053||792||VfB Lübeck||3,114||Ahmet Arslan (LÜB)||16|
Placings in the Regionalliga NordEdit
Current extent of leagueEdit
Final league positions for clubs from the region currently covered by the league:
|FC St. Pauli||2B||B||B||2B||2B||2B||2B||B||2B||8||7||6||1||2B||2B||2B||B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B|
|VfL Wolfsburg II||17||19||5||2||2||4||3||1||2||1||3||3||1||2||x|
|Werder Bremen II||7||15||3||4||4||5||15||10||6||5||14||12||8||5||3L||3L||3L||3L||5||2||1||3L||3L||3L||3||6||x|
|Holstein Kiel II||10||7||x|
|Lüneburger SK Hansa||12||13||13||10||15||11||x|
|Hannover 96 II||6||8||9||6||4||11||14||12||11||8||6||12||x|
|FC St. Pauli II||7||16||15||17||17||13||9||9||15||14||6||14||13||x|
|Hamburger SV II||14||6||5||14||15||16||14||9||6||13||6||17||13||5||8||8||14||14||3||14||5||2||7||14||x|
|FC Altona 93||15||16||18||16||x|
|Atlas Delmenhorst (2012)||x|
|1. FC Phönix Lübeck||x|
|FC Teutonia Ottensen||x|
|Lupo Martini Wolfsburg||17||18|
|Eintracht Braunschweig II||16||13||13||9||12||14j|
|VfV 06 Hildesheim||10||15||16||x|
|Goslarer SC 08||18||8||5||15||16|
|SC Victoria Hamburg||15||18|
|1. SC Göttingen 05||16||10||18||9|
|SV Arminia Hannover||6||13||10|
|1. SC Norderstedt||13||7||16||12||12|
|VfL 93 Hamburg||12||16||11f|
|Atlas Delmenhorst (1973)||14||12||17|
Former extent of leagueEdit
Final league positions for clubs from the regions formerly covered by the league:
|RB Leipzig ‡||4||3||RL||3L||2B||2B||B||B||B||B||B|
|Union Berlin ‡||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||1||2B||2B||2B||19||12||4||3L||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||B||B|
|Fortuna Düsseldorf †||2B||B||B||2B||2B||RL||16||17||8||5||10||3||3L||2B||2B||2B||B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||B||B||2B|
|SC Paderborn †||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||14||8||3||2||2B||2B||2B||3L||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||B||2B||3L||3L||2B||B||2B|
|Erzgebirge Aue ‡||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||7||9||1||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||3L||3L||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||3L||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B|
|Dynamo Dresden ‡||B||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||7||2||2B||2B||7||8||3L||3L||3L||2B||2B||2B||3L||3L||2B||2B||2B||2B||3L|
|1. FC Magdeburg ‡||RL||RL||RL||12a||3||11||4||6||12||18||RL||RL||RL||3L||3L||3L||2B||3L||3L|
|Hallescher FC ‡||2||4||5||1||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L|
|KFC Uerdingen †||B||B||2B||2B||2B||RL||12||5||10||7||10e||RL||RL||RL||3L||3L||3L|
|SC Verl †||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||6||11||15||18||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||3L|
|Preußen Münster †||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||5||15||12||13||11||15||RL||RL||RL||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||RL|
|Carl Zeiss Jena ‡||RL||2B||2B||2B||RL||RL||RL||2||2B||2B||3L||3L||3L||3L||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||3L||3L||3L||RL|
|Chemnitzer FC ‡||2B||2B||RL||RL||RL||2B||2B||6||11||11||15||19||7||3||1||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||RL||3L||RL|
|Fortuna Köln †||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||4||18||RL||RL||RL||3L||3L||3L||3L||RL||RL||RL|
|Borussia Dortmund II †||RL||RL||18||5||10||16||14||13||RL||3L||RL||RL||3L||3L||3L||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Babelsberg 03 ‡||RL||RL||RL||2||2B||16||15||3||1||3L||3L||3L||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Rot-Weiß Oberhausen †||RL||RL||RL||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||17||2||2B||2B||2B||3L||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Berliner AK 07 ‡||7||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|ZFC Meuselwitz ‡||10||11||9||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Hertha BSC Berlin II ‡||RL||RL||RL||13||7||18||12||11||7||14||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Borussia Mönchengladbach II †||16||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|1. FC Köln II †||9||14||12||18||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Rot-Weiß Essen †||RL||RL||2B||RL||RL||13||3||3||1||2B||1||2B||12||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Wuppertaler SV †||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||4||5||8||5||6||3L||3L||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Germania Halberstadt ‡||16||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|FC Schalke 04 II †||16||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Rot-Weiß Ahlen †||RL||RL||RL||RL||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||2B||13||1||2B||2B||3L||RL||RL||RL|
|Tennis Borussia Berlin ‡||RL||RL||RL||RL||2B||2B||19||15g||RL|
|Rot-Weiß Erfurt ‡||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||2B||14||11||7||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||3L||RL|
|SG Wattenscheid 09 †||2B||2B||RL||2B||2B||RL||11||4||4||15||16||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|VFC Plauen ‡||RL||RL||RL||RL||14||7||14||10||RL||RL||RL|
|Bayer Leverkusen II †||RL||RL||8||17||11||17||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL|
|Energie Cottbus II ‡||14||18||10||15||RL|
|Türkiyemspor Berlin ‡||15c||13||18|
|Arminia Bielefeld II †||18||RL|
|Hansa Rostock II ‡||10||12h|
|FC Sachsen Leipzig ‡||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||RL||14d||17||17|
|Dresdner SC ‡||RL||RL||9||16||18|
Source: "Regionalliga Nord". Das deutsche Fussball-Archiv. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
|Blank||Played at a league level below this league|
|RL||Played in one of the other Regionalligas|
|†||Denotes club from North Rhine-Westphalia which is not part of the league anymore after 2008.|
|‡||Denotes club from the northeast region which is not part of the league anymore after 2012.|
a In 2002, 1. FC Magdeburg were refused a licence for the Regionalliga.
b In 2001, SV Wilhelmshaven was refused a licence for the Regionalliga.
c In 2009, Türkiyemspor Berlin avoided relegation after Kickers Emden withdrew from the 3. Liga.
d In 2001, FC Sachsen Leipzig was refused a licence for the Regionalliga.
e In 2005, KFC Uerdingen was refused a licence for the Regionalliga.
f In 1998, VfL Hamburg 93 withdrew their team from the league.
g Tennis Borussia Berlin declared insolvency on 21 May 2010 and was automatically relegated.
h Hansa Rostock II withdrew from the league in 2010 for financial reasons.
i VfB Lübeck and FC Oberneuland declared insolvency in 2013 and were relegated from the league.
j Eintracht Braunschweig II was relegated to the Oberliga in 2018 following the first team's relegation from the 2. Bundesliga, sparing Schwarz-Weiß Rehden from relegation.
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- Kicker Almanach, (in German) The yearbook on German football from Bundesliga to Oberliga, since 1937. Kicker Sports Magazine.
- Die Deutsche Liga-Chronik 1945-2005 (in German) History of German football from 1945 to 2005 in tables. DSFS. 2006.