The Verbandsliga Südwest is a German amateur football division administered by the Southwestern Football Association, one of the 21 German state football associations. Being the top flight of the Southwestern state association, the Verbandsliga is currently a level 6 division of the German football league system.
|Confederation||South West German Football Association|
|Number of teams||16|
|Level on pyramid||Level 6|
|Promotion to||Oberliga Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar|
|Domestic cup(s)||South West Cup|
|Current champions||SV Gonsenheim |
The Amateurliga Südwest was formed in 1952 in the southern half of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Before its interception, three separate leagues operated in the area as the highest level of play. The league was a feeder league to the 2. 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 Südwest 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 Rheinland.
Until 1933, the region covered by the Südwest FA was politically part of two other German states. The south, the Palatinate (Pfalz) region, was part of Bavaria and the north, the Rhenish Hesse (Rheinhessen) region, was part of Hesse. This explains the seemingly odd fact that there are two clubs in the Südwest region named "Bavaria", FC Bavaria Wörth and FC Bavaria Ebernburg. From 1933 to 1945, most of the region was part of the Gau Saar-Palatinate. After the war, these regions were incorporated into the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz. The separation of these areas from their original states results from the outcome of the 2nd World War when they became part of the French occupation zone, while Hessen and Bavaria were in the US zone.
The league was established in 1952 with sixteen teams, the winner gaining promotion to the 2nd Oberliga Südwest. The founder members were:
- BSC Oppau
- VfR Friesenheim
- FSV Schifferstadt
- Phönix Bellheim
- SV Alsenborn
- TuS Hochspeyer
- SpVgg Idar
- Palatia Böhl
- SC Oberstein 08
- SC West-Kaiserslautern
- SpVgg Ingelheim
- SV Gonsenheim
- Fontana Finthen
- FC Sobernheim
- SG Waldfischbach
- SV Mundenheim
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.
The 1. FC Kaiserslautern II holds the record for years in the Amateurliga, having spent 21 continuous seasons in it from 1957 to 1978.
The Amateurliga Südwest was renamed in 1978, now becoming the Verbandsliga Südwest. At the same time as this, the Oberliga Südwest was reformed, now as the third tier of the league system. The top five teams out of the Amateurliga went to the new Oberliga while the teams from place 6 to 16 found themselves in the Verbandsliga. The bottom four teams were relegated. The new Verbandsliga was now the fourth tier of the league system.
The winner of the Verbandsliga Südwest, like the winners of the Saarlandliga and Rheinlandliga 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 Regionalligen were introduced and Hassia Bingen was promoted.
There is room for misunderstanding in the existence of an Oberliga and a Verbandsliga Südwest. While the Oberliga covers the two states of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, the Verbandsliga covers only the southern half of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Feeder Leagues to the Verbandsliga Südwest
- Landesliga Südwest-Ost
- Landesliga Südwest-West
Source: "Verbandsliga Südwest". Das deutsche Fussball-Archiv. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
- bold denotes club gained promotion.
- In 1960, FSV Schifferstadt was promoted as runners-up since Kaiserslautern's reserve team was ineligible for promotion. For the same reason, FV Speyer was promoted in 1968.
- In 1994 and 2018, the runner-up Hassia Bingen was also promoted.
- In 2016 and 2019, the runners-up SV Morlautern and FV Dudenhofen were promoted respectively 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 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