|Organising body||Bavarian Football Association|
|Number of teams||36 (18 teams of each division)|
|Level on pyramid||Level 5|
|Promotion to||Regionalliga Bayern|
|Domestic cup(s)||Bavarian Cup|
|Current champions||North: DJK Vilzing|
South: SpVgg Hankofen-Hailing
The Bayernliga (English: Bavarian league) is the highest amateur football league and the second highest football league (under the Regionalliga Bayern) in the state of Bavaria (German: Bayern) and the Bavarian football league system. It is one of fourteen Oberligas in German football, the fifth tier of the German football league system. Until the introduction of the 3. Liga in 2008 it was the fourth tier of the league system, until the introduction of the Regionalligas in 1994 the third tier.
From the 2012–13 season onwards, the league has been divided once more into a northern and a southern division, having previously placed in single division format since 1963. The league sits directly under the Regionalliga Bayern and above the Landesligas, which were expanded in number from three to five at the end of the 2011–12 season.
The league was formed in 1945 from nine clubs as the Landesliga Bayern, being then the second tier of the German football league system, right below the Oberliga Süd in the re-formed state of Bavaria, then part of the US occupation zone in Germany. The league run then in parallel with the Landesligas of Hessen, Württemberg and Nordbaden.
The league expanded in its second season to two divisions of eleven teams each, the Staffel Nordbayern and Staffel Südbayern with the league champions playing each other for the Bavarian championship and promotion. The year after, the leagues went to thirteen teams each.
In 1948, the league was reunited in one group of sixteen teams with the top-two clubs gaining promotion. The 1949–50 season was run on fourteen clubs with the top-five clubs gaining promotion to the new 2. Oberliga Süd.
The league was renamed Amateurliga Bayern, a name it would carry until 1978, and was now the third tier of the league system, below the 2nd Oberliga. It consisted of sixteen clubs in its first season, then went to eighteen and later nineteen.
In 1953, the league split into a northern and a southern group again, each with fifteen clubs. The main reasons for this was to reduce travel-costs and time, but also to create two regional champions in Bavaria which both could take part in the promotion rounds to the 2nd Oberliga instead of only one. Being the largest of the southern German federations, Bavaria felt disadvantaged by the fact that only its champion was permitted to take part in the promotion rounds.
The number of teams in the two leagues kept fluctuating and sometimes clubs from central Bavaria were moved between divisions to balance out the strength.
In those years up to 1963, the leagues below the Bayernliga were the 2. Amateurligas, which there was supposed to be seven of, according to the number of Bezirke in Bavaria. However, some, like Oberbayern, split their 2nd Amateurliga in more than one division.
In 1963, with the introduction of the Bundesliga, the Oberliga Süd and 2nd Oberliga Süd were disbanded. The Amateurliga Bayern was reunited and now came under the Regionalliga Süd, the new second tier of the league system in the south. The Amateurliga retained its status as a tier three league.
Seven clubs from the northern and southern division each plus four from the 2nd Oberliga made up the newly reunited league in 1963. The league champion still had to compete for promotion with the winners of the other southern German amateur leagues while the bottom three teams were relegated. Below the Bayernliga, three Landesligas were established and remain there to this date, with their champions directly promoted:
The league remained unchanged throughout the coming years, until 1974, when the Regionalliga was replaced by the 2. Bundesliga Süd. For the Bayernliga, this still meant little change, the winner still had to play-off for promotion to the new league.
The year 1978 saw a reformation of the highest Amateurligas in Germany, their number was halved from sixteen to eight, making direct promotion for the southern champions possible for the first time. The Amateurligas were also renamed Amateur-Oberligas, which was generally shortened to AOL or, more commonly, just Oberliga. In the south, this meant the Bayernliga now run parallel to the Amateur-Oberligas of Hessen, Baden-Württemberg and Südwest.
Direct promotion for the southern champions only lasted two seasons however, 1978–79 and 1979–80. In 1981, the 2. Bundesliga was united to one single division, making it necessary for the Oberliga champions to have a promotion round again. In this season, the Bavarian FA (German: Bayrischer Fußball Verband) also introduced a promotion round for the Landesligas, meaning the three second placed teams in those leagues played the fourth-last Bayernliga team for one more spot in the league. In some seasons, additional promotion spots were available, for example when the Bayernliga champion managed to move up to the 2nd Bundesliga.
After having been a tier three league for 44 seasons, the re-introduction of the Regionalligas, now at this level, made the Bayernliga slip to tier four. It also adopted a new, shorter name, being simply called Oberliga Bayern now, because the highest (German: Oberste) amateur league was now the Regionalliga.
The six teams with the best overall record over the last three seasons in the Bayernliga, or above, gained entry to the new Regionalliga Süd, these being:
This fact also allowed a greater number of clubs then usually to move up from the Landesliga.
But above all, for the first time since 1980, the Bavarian champion was directly promoted again, now to the Regionalliga. The one exception for this was the year 2000, when the number of Regionalligas was reduced from four to two.
The year 2008 saw another league system change. The 3. Liga was introduced to slide between 2nd Bundesliga and Regionalligas. For the Bayernliga this meant a further fall, to tier five now. However, its best four teams of this season gained entry to the Regionalliga, providing their finances complied with the leagues regulations, those clubs being:
The Bayernliga champion, SpVgg Bayreuth, was refused a Regionalliga licence, Bamberg took its spot instead. Due to the Sportfreunde Siegen also being denied a licence, another Bavarian team was promoted to the Regionalliga, this being the reserve team of Unterhaching.
In October 2010, another reform of the Regionalligas was decided upon. The number of leagues were now to be expanded to five, with the defunct Regionalliga Nordost to be reestablished and a Regionalliga Bayern to be established. Also, the Regionalliga West would lose the clubs from the south west to a new league, formed out of those clubs and the clubs from Regionalliga Süd without the Bavarian teams. The new system came into operation in the 2012–13 season. It was also decided to limit the number of reserve teams per Regionalliga to seven.
The Bavarian football federation carried out drastic changes to the league system from 2012 onwards. With the already decided introduction of the Regionalliga Bayern from 2012 to 2013, it placed two Bayernligas below the new league as the new fifth tier of the German league system. Below those, five Landesligas instead of the existing three were set which are geographically divided to limit travel and increase the number of local derbies. This model was adopted in late April 2011. With the league reform at the end of the 2011–12 season, the Bezirksoberligas were also disbanded. Instead, the Bezirksligas took the place of the Bezirksoberligas once more below the Landesligas, a system already in place from 1963 to 1988.
While it was originally thought that the Regionalliga Bayern would carry the name Bayernliga, it was later revealed that the current Bayernliga would have that honour, making the Bayernliga a divided league as it had been from 1953 to 1963. The new qualification mode would see all current Bavarian Regionalliga teams qualify for the new league as well as the top nine of the Bayernliga. Additionally, the teams placed 10th to 15th entered a promotion round with, nominally the six Landesliga champions and runners-up for three more spots in the new league, but dependent on licensing for the new league. Fluctuations of this formula were however also possible if a Bavarian club was promoted to or relegated from the 3rd Liga.
The losers of the Regionalliga qualification round, nine clubs, and the Landesliga clubs placed third to eighth, 18 clubs, all entered the new Bayernligas, as did the winners of the Bayernliga promotion round between the Landesliga clubs placed eleventh to 15th and the Bezirksoberliga champions. The Landesliga clubs that failed to qualify for the Bayernligas remained in one of the five new Landesligas; there was no relegation to the Bezirksligas.
The league went through the following timeline of name changes, format and position in the league system:
|1945–46||Landesliga Bayern||II||Oberliga Süd|
|1946–48||Landesliga Südbayern||Landesliga Nordbayern||II||Oberliga Süd|
|1948–50||Landesliga Bayern||II||Oberliga Süd|
|1950–53||Amateurliga Bayern||III||2. Oberliga Süd|
|1953–63||Amateurliga Südbayern||Amateurliga Nordbayern||III||2nd Oberliga Süd|
|1963–74||Amateurliga Bayern||III||Regionalliga Süd|
|1974–78||Amateurliga Bayern||III||2. Bundesliga Süd|
|1978–81||Amateur-Oberliga Bayern||III||2nd Bundesliga Süd|
|1981–94||Amateur-Oberliga Bayern||III||2nd Bundesliga|
|1994–2008||Oberliga Bayern||IV||Regionalliga Süd|
|2008–12||Oberliga Bayern||V||Regionalliga Süd|
|2012–||Bayernliga Süd||Bayernliga Nord||V||Regionalliga Bayern|
In 1945–46, the Landesliga Bayern was played as a single division, in 1946–47 and 1947–48 it was played in two regional divisions with a home-and-away final to determine the Bavarian champion. From 1948 to 1953, it was played as a single division again:
|1945–46||1. FC Bamberg|
|1946–47||FC Bayern Hof||FC Wacker München||3–4 & 0–4|
|1947–48||1. FC Bamberg||BC Augsburg||1–1 & 1–4|
|1949–50||1. FC Bamberg|
From 1953 to 1963, the Bayernliga was divided into a northern and a southern group again. From 1956 onwards, a Bavarian final was held again:
|1953–54||VfL Neustadt||SpVgg Weiden||N/A|
|1954–55||VfB Helmbrechts||FC Penzberg||N/A|
|1955–56||VfB Bayreuth||ESV Ingolstadt||2–1 & 0–3 & 1–0 aet|
|1956–57||1. FC Bamberg||FC Penzberg||3–0 & 0–2|
|1957–58||1. FC Bamberg||FC Wacker München||4–0 & 2–3|
|1958–59||SpVgg Bayreuth||TSV Schwaben Augsburg||2–0 & 0–0|
|1959–60||FC Lichtenfels||TSV Schwaben Augsburg||3–5|
|1960–61||1. FC Haßfurt||TSV 1860 München II||not held|
|1961–62||SpVgg Büchenbach||ESV Ingolstadt||1–1 & 0–1|
|1962–63||1. FC Bamberg||TSV Straubing||4–3 & 3–6 & 1–5|
From 1963 onwards, the Bayernliga was always held as a single division. From 1963 to 1980 and from 1995 onwards, the league champion had the right to direct promotion. In 1974 and 1981, no promotion was available and from 1982 to 1994, the league champion had to participate in the promotion round. When the league champion declined, as has happened twice, the runners-up was promoted/qualified for the promotion round:
Since 2012 the Bayernliga has once more been divided into a northern and a southern group:
|2012–13||FC Schweinfurt 05||SV Schalding-Heining|
|2013–14||SpVgg Bayreuth||BC Aichach 5|
|2014–15||Viktoria Aschaffenburg||TSV Rain am Lech|
|2015–16||SV Seligenporten||VfR Garching|
|2016–17||VfB Eichstätt||SV Pullach6|
|2017–18||Viktoria Aschaffenburg||SV Heimstetten|
|2018–19||TSV Aubstadt||SV Türkgücü-Ataspor München|
|2019–207||No champions, season suspended and later extended to 2021|
|2020–217||SC Eltersdorf||FC Pipinsried|
|2021–22||DJK Vilzing||SpVgg Hankofen-Hailing|
|2022–23||FC Eintracht Bamberg||SV Schalding-Heining|
Source: "Oberliga Bayern". Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
The top scorers in the league since 2005:
Main article: List of Bayernliga top scorers
|2005–06||Petr Stoilov||1. FC Bad Kötzting||17|
|2006–07||Peter Heyer||1. FC Eintracht Bamberg||27|
|2007–08||Peter Heyer 1||18|
|Sebastian Knüttel||TSV Großbardorf||18|
|Mijo Stijepic||TSG Thannhausen||18|
|2008–09||Thomas Karg||VfL Frohnlach||24|
|2009–10||Christian Doll||TSV Aindling||21|
|2010–11||Benjamin Neunteufel||SV Schalding-Heining||25|
|2011–12||Cem Ekinci||SpVgg Bayern Hof||22|
Source: 50 Jahre Bayerischer Fußball-Verband. Vindelica Verlag. 1996. p. 211.
Main article: List of clubs in the Bayernliga
The complete list of clubs and placings in the Bayernliga since the league was sub-divided into two divisions:
Bayernliga Nord 2012–present
The complete list of clubs and placings in the Bayernliga Nord since the league was sub-divided into two divisions:
Bayernliga Süd 2012–present
The complete list of clubs and placings in the Bayernliga Süd since the league was sub-divided into two divisions:
|OL B||Oberliga Süd (1945–63) Bundesliga (1963–present)|
|2O RL 2B||2nd Oberliga Süd (1950–63) Regionalliga Süd (1963–74) 2. Bundesliga (1974–present)|
|3L||3. Liga (2008–present)|
|R||Regionalliga Süd (1994–2012) Regionalliga Bayern (2012–present)|
|Place||Played in opposite division|
|Blank||Played at a league level below this league|
The league records in regards to points, wins, losses and goals for the clubs in the league are:
|Most wins||SpVgg Unterhaching||1982–83||31|
|Fewest wins||SpVgg Kaufbeuren||1969–70||2|
|Most defeats||FC Starnberg||2000–01||28|
|Fewest defeats||TSV 1860 München||1990–91||0|
|Most goals for||SC Feucht||2002–03||107|
|Fewest goals for||SC Fürstenfeldbruck||1987–88||20|
|Most goals against||SpVgg Plattling||1966–67||123|
|Fewest goals against||TSV 1860 München||1990–91||21|
|Highest points (2 for a win)||SpVgg Unterhaching||1982–83||65|
|Lowest points (2 for a win)||SC Fürstenfeldbruck||1987–88||8|
|Highest points (3 for a win)||FC Augsburg||2001–02||89|
|Lowest points (3 for a win)||FC Passau||1999–2000||15|
Source: "Tables and results of the Bayernliga". Herzing Manfred. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2009.