Bavarian football league system
Map of Germany: Bavarian soccer association highlighted
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Level on pyramidLevel 4 to 12
Domestic cup(s)Bavarian Cup

The Bavarian football league system of the Bavarian Football Association ranks within the German football league system. Its highest division, the Regionalliga Bayern, is currently the fourth tier of German football. The lowest league in Bavaria is currently the C-Klasse, which is the 12th tier of German football.

In 2012, the league system experienced a major overhaul when the Regionalliga Bayern was established, the Bayernliga split into two regional divisions and the Landesliga expanded from three to five divisions.[1]

The league system


The top-tiers of the league system as operated from 2014–15 onwards:




18 clubs


2. Bundesliga
18 clubs


3. Liga
20 clubs


Regionalliga Bayern
18 clubs


Bayernliga Nord
18 clubs

Bayernliga Süd
18 clubs


Landesliga Nordost
18 clubs

Landesliga Nordwest
17 clubs

Landesliga Mitte
18 clubs

Landesliga Südost
17 clubs

Landesliga Südwest
17 clubs


Bezirksligas Unterfranken

Bezirksligas Oberfranken

Bezirksligas Mittelfranken

Bezirksligas Oberpfalz

Bezirksligas Niederbayern

Bezirksligas Oberbayern

Bezirksligas Schwaben
(see also: Swabian football league system)





Mittelfranken 1

Mittelfranken 2











Kreisligas Unterfranken

Kreisligas Oberfranken

Kreisligas Mittelfranken

Kreisligas Oberpfalz

Kreisligas Niederbayern

Kreisligas Oberbayern

Kreisligas Schwaben

Würzburg 1

Würzburg 2



Schweinfurt 1

Schweinfurt 2











Erlangen/Pegnitz 1

Erlangen/Pegnitz 2

Regensburg 1

Regensburg 2









Zugspitze 1

Zugspitze 2

Inn/Salzach 1

Inn/Salzach 2

Danube/Isar 1

Danube/Isar 2

Munich 1

Munich 2

Munich 3








Kreisklasses Unterfranken

Kreisklasses Oberfranken

Kreisklasses Mittelfranken

Kreisklasses Oberpfalz

Kreisklasses Niederbayern

Kreisklasses Oberbayern

Kreisklasses Schwaben

14 Kreisklasses

13 Kreisklasses

13 Kreisklasses

9 Kreisklasses

11 Kreisklasses

18 Kreisklasses

13 Kreisklasses


A-Klasses Unterfranken

A-Klasses Oberfranken

A-Klasses Mittelfranken

A-Klasses Oberpfalz

A-Klasses Niederbayern

A-Klasses Oberbayern

A-Klasses Schwaben

20 A-Klasses

20 A-Klasses

21 A-Klasse

11 A-Klasses

19 A-Klasses

28 A-Klasses

13 A-Klasses


B-Klasses Unterfranken

B-Klasses Oberfranken

B-Klasses Mittelfranken

B-Klasses Oberpfalz

B-Klasses Oberbayern

B-Klasses Schwaben

26 B-Klasses

19 B-Klasses

24 B-Klasses

16 B-Klasses

27 B-Klasses

23 B-Klasses


C-Klasses Oberbayern

27 C-Klasses


Denotes parts of league system above Bavarian level.

Recent changes

In 1988, upon the suggestion of the 1. FC Sonthofen in 1986, the Bezirksoberligas were introduced in Bavaria, set between the already existing Landesligas and Bezirksligas.[2]

In 1998, the Bavarian FA renamed the three lowest football leagues:

On top of this, in some of the seven Bezirke, two new lowest levels were introduced and named B and C-Klasse. The reason for this was the integration of all reserve teams into the normal competition. In the Bezirke who did not follow suit, like Schwaben, the reserve teams of clubs in the Kreisliga and below still compete in separate, parallel leagues.

The Bavarian football federation carried out drastic changes to the league system at the end of the 2011–12 season. With the introduction of the Regionalliga Bayern from 2012–13, it placed two Bayernligas below the Regionalliga. Below those, five Landesligas instead of the existing three were set, which were geographically divided to limit travel and increase the number of local derbies.[3]


This is a table of the progression of the Bavarian league system by tier since 1963:

Tier 1963–74 1974–81 1981–88 1988–94 1994–98 1998–2008 2008–12 2012–
I Bundesliga
II Regionalliga Süd 2nd Bundesliga Süd 2nd Bundesliga
III Bayernliga Regionalliga Süd 3rd Liga
IV Landesliga Bayernliga Regionalliga Süd Regionalliga Bayern
V Bezirksliga Bezirksoberliga Landesliga Bayernliga
VI A-Klasse Bezirksliga Bezirksoberliga Landesliga
VII B-Klasse A-Klasse Bezirksliga Bezirksoberliga Bezirksliga
VIII C-Klasse B-Klasse A-Klasse Kreisliga Bezirksliga Kreisliga
IX C-Klasse B-Klasse Kreisklasse Kreisliga Kreisklasse
X C-Klasse A-Klasse Kreisklasse A-Klasse
XI B-Klasse A-Klasse B-Klasse
XII C-Klasse B-Klasse C-Klasse
XIII C-Klasse
League system above the Bavarian level. Bavarian football league system. Tiers without league during the designated time period.

Bavarian Cup

Main article: Bavarian Cup

Until 2009, the seven Bezirke in Bavaria each played their own cup competition which in turn functioned as qualifier to the German Cup (DFB-Pokal). Starting in 1998 these seven cup-winners advanced to the Bavarian Cup. The two finalists of this competition then advanced to the German Cup.[4]

Since 2009, the regional cup competitions were dissolved and qualifying competitions established instead for the lower amateur leagues. The teams in the higher divisions of Bavarian football entered the enlarged Bavarian Cup directly.

Reserve teams

Main article: German reserve football teams

In 1955, 1. FC Nuremberg Amateure became the first reserve team to enter the Bayernliga, followed by FC Bayern Munich Amateure. Despite this, reserve teams from non-professional clubs were not permitted to enter the league system for many years after that, having to play in parallel reserve leagues with promotion and relegation determined by the performance of the senior team rather than the reserve side.

Regulations were slowly lowered and, in 1980, reserve teams of Landesliga clubs were permitted to enter the league pyramid, too. However, should a club drop out of the Landesliga, its reserve side would have to return to reserve football.[5]

With the introduction of the Bezirksoberliga in 1988, reserve teams from this league were permitted to enter regular league football, too. Some years later, this right was also awarded to Bezirksliga clubs. Bavaria was however slow to allow all reserve sides to enter the league system, differing in this from most other German associations. Eventually, this hurdle was dropped too, but the final decision was awarded to the individual Bezirke. Up to the fourth-lowest level, senior and reserve team can play at the same level, but not in the same league, higher than that reserve teams have to play one level below the senior side.[6]

In between, in 2008, reserve sides lost their right to compete in the cup competitions. Since the 2011–12 season, Swabia, Lower Bavaria, Lower Franconia and Upper Franconia have gradually integrated many reserve teams fully into the league system while the other three Bezirke have all the reserves.

Professional clubs often designate their reserve sides to be under-23 teams as the rules of utilising players in both the first and second them for under-23 players are less strict, with players above 23 having to have a mandatory 10-day break when being exchanged between teams.[6]

Women's and youth leagues

Apart from the men's leagues, the Bavarian FA also operates league systems of women's and male and female youth leagues.

In the women's league system, the Bayernliga, the fourth tier of the German league system, is set as the highest state league, with two regional Landesligas below, north and south. Below those, the Bezirksoberligas are set, followed by Bezirksligas, Kreisligas and Kreisklasses, just like the men's. No league exists below the Kreisklasse. Additionally, a women's youth league system also exists with the Under 17 Bayernliga as its highest tier.

In the men's youth league system, both in the Under 19's and Under 17's, the Bayernliga forms the top-tier which is the second division of German youth football. Below the Bayernliga, two Landesligas and seven Bezirksoberligas are set followed by the standard league system. The Under 15's differ in as much as the Bayernliga is split into two regional divisions and set underneath the Southern German Regionalliga. Below the two Bayernligas, Bezirksoberligas are set, followed by the standard league system.

In the Under 13's and below, not all statewide leagues exist, with competitions being very regional.

The top-level leagues in Bavaria since 2011–12 are:

Group League Tier
Men Bayernliga V
Women Women's Bayernliga IV
Under 19 boys Under 19 Bayernliga II
Under 17 boys Under 17 Bayernliga II
Under 17 girls Girls Under 17 Bayernliga I
Under 15 boys Under 15 Bayernliga 1 II
Under 15 girls Girls Under 17 Bezirksoberliga 2 I
Under 13 boys Under 13 Bezirksoberliga I


  1. ^ "Auf- und Abstiegsregelung der Bayernliga und der Landesligen für das Qualifikationsspieljahr 2011/2012" [Regulations for promotion and relegation in 2012] (PDF) (in German). Bavarian FA. 11 July 2011.
  2. ^ 50 Jahre Bayerischer Fußball-Verband (in German). Bavarian Football Association. 1996. p. 100.
  3. ^ Attraktive Gegner, regionale Einteilung, weniger Fahrtkosten Archived 2012-03-11 at the Wayback Machine (in German) BFV website, published: 12 February 2011, accessed: 29 April 2011
  4. ^ "Bayerischer Toto-Pokal". BFV. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  5. ^ 50 Jahre Bayerischer Fußball-Verband. p. 28.
  6. ^ a b Spielordnung Archived October 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (in German) BFV website – Rules of the game, published: 15 July 2011, accessed: 30 July 2011