The Rheinlandliga is a German amateur football division administered by the Rhineland Football Association, one of the 21 German state football associations. Being the top flight of the Rhineland state association, the Verbandsliga is currently a level 6 division of the German football league system.
|Confederation||Rhineland Football Association|
|Number of teams||18|
|Level on pyramid||Level 6|
|Promotion to||Oberliga Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar|
|Domestic cup(s)||Rhineland Cup|
|Current champions||Sportfreunde Eisbachtal |
The Amateurliga Rheinland was formed in 1952 in the northern half of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Before its inception, three separate leagues operated in the area as the highest level of play. The league was a feeder league to the 2nd Oberliga Südwest. From 1952 until the establishment of the Oberliga Südwest in 1978, it was the third tier of the football league system.
The winner of the Amateurliga Rheinland was not automatically promoted to its superior league but rather had to take part in a promotion play-off. The champion would have to compete with the winners of the Amateurligen Saarland and Südwest.
The league was established in 1952 with sixteen teams, the winner gaining promotion to the 2nd Oberliga Südwest. The founder members were:
- SpVgg Bendorf
- FC Urbar
- VfL Trier
- SpVgg Neuwied
- SC Wirges
- SV Niederlahnstein
- SV Ehrang
- Germania Mudersbach
- TuS Konz
- SSV Heimbach-Weis
- SpVgg Zewen
- VfB Lützel
- SV Remagen
- TuS Mayen
- SV Trier-West
- SG Betzdorf
In 1956 the league was split into a western and an eastern group with twelve teams each. In 1963 it reverted to its old single group setup.
With the introduction of the Bundesliga in 1963 the Amateurliga was placed below the new Regionalliga Südwest but still retained its third-tier status. It continued to do so after the introduction of the 2nd Bundesliga Süd in 1974.
SC Bad Neuenahr and SC Sinzig hold the record for years in the Amateurliga, each with 22 out of a possible 26.
In 1978, the league was renamed Verbandsliga Rheinland. At the same time, the Oberliga Südwest was reintroduced. The top five teams out of the Amateurliga went to the new Oberliga while the teams from place 6 to 15 found themselves in the Verbandsliga. The bottom team was relegated. The Verbandsliga was now the fourth tier of the league system.
The winner of the Rheinlandliga, like the winners of the Verbandsliga Südwest and the Saarlandliga gains direct promotion to the Oberliga Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar, formerly the Oberliga Südwest. The runners-up will only get a chance for promotion when there is additional spots to fill in the Oberliga, like 1994 when the Regionalligas were introduced and SpVgg EGC Wirges and the SG Betzdorf were promoted.
In the Rheinland, the Verbandsliga is called Rheinlandliga.
The Rheinland contains an unproportianal amount of SG's, which are joint teams without the contributing clubs actually merging. The reason for this is the relatively low population density and therefore a lack of players. SG's can usually not be promoted above their Verbandsliga.
Feeder Leagues to the Rheinlandliga
- Bezirksliga Rheinland-Mitte
- Bezirksliga Rheinland-Ost
- Bezirksliga Rheinland-West
Until 2003, two Landesligas, north and south, existed in the region, set between Verbandsliga and Bezirksliga. Those leagues were disbanded in 2003.
Source: "Verbandsliga Rheinland". Das deutsche Fussball-Archiv. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
- bold denotes club gained promotion.
- In 1994 the SpVgg EGC Wirges and the SG Betzdorf were also promoted.
- The SG Betzdorf was again promoted as runners–up in 1998.
- In 2006 the FSV Salmrohr was promoted instead of the first placed SG Rossbach–Verscheid. The reason for this is the fact that a conglomerate of clubs, usually called SG, can be refused promotion by their "Verband". Rossbach–Verscheid is two separate clubs fielding a joint team, not a merger of two clubs. In 2007, promotion was granted as the club was now an SV (Sport Verein).
- In 2015 runners–up SV Mehring was promoted after play–offs.
- Deutschlands Fußball in Zahlen, (in German) An annual publication with tables and results from the Bundesliga to Verbandsliga/Landesliga, publisher: DSFS
- Kicker Almanach, (in German) The yearbook on German football from Bundesliga to Oberliga, since 1937, published by the Kicker Sports Magazine
- Süddeutschlands Fussballgeschichte in Tabellenform 1897-1988 (in German) History of Southern German football in tables, publisher & author: Ludolf Hyll
- Die Deutsche Liga-Chronik 1945-2005 (in German) History of German football from 1945 to 2005 in tables, publisher: DSFS, published: 2006
- Das deutsche Fussball Archiv (in German) Historic German league tables