Promotion to the 3. Liga
Organising bodyDFB
Founded2008; 14 years ago (2008)
RegionGermany
Number of teams2
Qualifier for3. Liga
Current championsRot-Weiss Essen
SV Elversberg
SpVgg Bayreuth
VfB Oldenburg
(2021–22)
Most successful club(s)Borussia Dortmund II
Holstein Kiel
(2 promotions)
2022–23 Regionalliga

The promotion to the 3. Liga (German: Aufstieg zur 3. Liga) determines the teams that are promoted each season from the Regionalliga, the fourth tier of German football, to the third-tier 3. Liga since its formation in 2008–09. The promotion format was changed starting with the 2012–13 season when the Regionalliga was expanded from three leagues (Nord, Süd, and West) to five (Bayern, Nord, Nordost, Südwest, and West).

Format

For the first four seasons (2008–09 until 2011–12), the champions of the Regionalliga Nord, West, and Süd were promoted directly to the 3. Liga.

After the Regionalliga reform, which took effect starting with the 2012–13 season, the number of leagues was expanded to five.[1] The five league champions and the runners-up of the Regionalliga with the whose region has the most clubs and members in the German Football Association (currently Südwest) now participate in an end-of-season play-off competition to determine the three teams which are promoted. The three pairings are drawn from a pot, with the two teams from the same league being prohibited from being drawn together. The pairings are played over two legs, with each team playing one leg at home. The team that scores more goals on aggregate over the two legs is promoted. If the aggregate score is level, the away goals rule is applied, i.e. the team that scored more goals away from home over the two legs advances. If away goals are also equal, then thirty minutes of extra time is played. The away goals rule is again applied after extra time, i.e. if there are goals scored during extra time and the aggregate score is still level, the visiting team advances by virtue of more away goals scored. If no goals are scored during extra time, the tie is decided by penalty shoot-out.

From the 2018–19 season onwards, four teams are promoted to the 3. Liga. The champions of the Regionalliga Südwest and Nordost are promoted directly. A third team to be promoted is drawn from the three champions of the Regionalliga Nord, West, and Bayern.[2] The remaining two champions play a two-legged promotion play-off for the last promotion. In the following season, the three direct promotion spots go to the champions of the Regionalliga Südwest and the champions of the two leagues that participated in the promotion play-off in the previous season, while the champions of the other two leagues participate in the play-off. This format was installed as a temporary solution until the DFB-Bundestag in 2019 decided on a format that would have enabled all Regionalliga champions to be promoted.[3]

At the DFB-Bundestag in September 2019, it decided to reform the promotion scheme from the 2020–21 season, in which there continued to be four promotions to the 3. Liga. The Regionalliga West and Southwest each provide a fixed direct promotion. Another direct promotion place is assigned according to a rotation principle among the Regionalliga Nord, Nordost, and Bayern champions. The representatives from the remaining two Regionalligen determine the fourth promoted club in two-legged playoffs.[4]

Direct promotion (2008–09 to 2011–12)

2008–09

Main article: 2008–09 Regionalliga

Regionalliga Champions
Nord Holstein Kiel
Süd 1. FC Heidenheim
West Borussia Dortmund II

2009–10

Main article: 2009–10 Regionalliga

Regionalliga Champions
Nord SV Babelsberg
Süd VfR Aalen
West 1. FC Saarbrücken

2010–11

Main article: 2010–11 Regionalliga

Regionalliga Champions
Nord Chemnitzer FC
Süd Darmstadt 98
West Preußen Münster

2011–12

Main article: 2011–12 Regionalliga

Regionalliga Champions
Nord Hallescher FC
Süd Stuttgarter Kickers
West Borussia Dortmund II

Promotion play-offs (2012–13 to 2017–18)

2012–13

Main article: 2012–13 Regionalliga

The draw for the 2012–13 promotion play-offs was held on 12 May 2013.[5]The first legs were played on 29 May, and the second legs were played on 2 and 4 June 2013.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
RB Leipzig (NO) 4–2 Sportfreunde Lotte (W) 2–0 2–2 (a.e.t.)
Holstein Kiel (N) 4–1 Hessen Kassel (S1) 2–0 2–1
SV Elversberg (S2) 4–3 1860 Munich II (B) 3–2 1–1

2013–14

Main article: 2013–14 Regionalliga

The draw for the 2013–14 promotion play-offs was held on 26 April,[6] with another draw between the Regionalliga Südwest teams held on 13 May 2014.[7]The first legs were played on 28 May, and the second legs were played on 1 June 2014.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
TSG Neustrelitz (NO) 1–5 Mainz 05 II (S3) 0–2 1–3
Sonnenhof Großaspach (S1) 1–0 VfL Wolfsburg II (N) 0–0 1–0
Fortuna Köln (W) 2–2 (a) Bayern Munich II (B) 1–0 1–2

2014–15

Main article: 2014–15 Regionalliga

The draw for the 2014–15 promotion play-offs was held on 12 April,[8] with another draw between the Regionalliga Südwest teams held on 2 May 2015.[9]The first legs were played on 27 May, and the second legs were played on 31 May 2015.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
1. FC Saarbrücken (S2) 1–1 (5–6 p) Würzburger Kickers (B) 0–1 1–0 (a.e.t.)
1. FC Magdeburg (NO) 4–1 Kickers Offenbach (S1) 1–0 3–1
Werder Bremen II (N) 2–0 Borussia Mönchengladbach II (W) 0–0 2–0 (a.e.t.)

2015–16

Main article: 2015–16 Regionalliga

The draw for the 2015–16 promotion play-offs was held on 3 April,[10] with another draw between the Regionalliga Südwest teams held on 21 May 2016.[11] The first legs were played on 25 May, and the second legs were played on 29 May 2016.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
VfL Wolfsburg II (N) 1–2 Jahn Regensburg (B) 1–0 0–2
SV Elversberg (S2) 1–2 FSV Zwickau (NO) 1–1 0–1
Sportfreunde Lotte (W) 2–0 Waldhof Mannheim (S1) 0–0 2–0

2016–17

Main article: 2016–17 Regionalliga

The draw for the 2016–17 promotion play-offs was held on 8 April,[12] with another draw between the Regionalliga Südwest teams held on 5 May 2017.[13] The first legs were played on 28 May, and the second legs were played on 31 May and 1 June 2017.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Viktoria Köln (W) 3–3 (a) Carl Zeiss Jena (NO) 2–3 1–0
SpVgg Unterhaching (B) 5–2 SV Elversberg (S1) 3–0 2–2
Waldhof Mannheim (S2) 0–0 (3–4 p) SV Meppen (N) 0–0 0–0 (a.e.t.)

2017–18

Main article: 2017–18 Regionalliga

The draw for the 2017–18 promotion play-offs was held on 7 April,[14] with another draw between the Regionalliga Südwest teams held on 27 April 2018.[15] The first legs were played on 24 May, and the second legs were played on 27 May 2018.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
1. FC Saarbrücken 4–5 1860 Munich 2–3 2–2
Weiche Flensburg 2–3 Energie Cottbus 2–3 0–0
KFC Uerdingen 3–0 Waldhof Mannheim 1–0 2–0[note 1]

Direct promotion with play-offs (since 2018–19)

2018–19

Main article: 2018–19 Regionalliga

The Regionalligen Nordost and Südwest were automatically allocated a direct promotion each. The third league to receive another direct promotion was drawn between the Regionalliga Nord, West, and Bayern on 27 April 2018. The remaining two leagues received a promotion play-off spot.[15]

Directly promoted
Regionalliga Champions
Nordost Chemnitzer FC
Südwest Waldhof Mannheim
West Viktoria Köln

The pairing order for the 2018–19 promotion play-offs was determined by a draw held on 27 April 2018.[15] The first leg was played on 22 May and the second leg on 26 May 2019.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
VfL Wolfsburg II 4–5 Bayern Munich II 3–1 1–4

2019–20

Main article: 2019–20 Regionalliga

The Regionalliga Südwest was again automatically allocated a direct promotion. The remaining two leagues to receive direct promotions are the promotion play-off participants of the previous season, determined by a draw on 27 April 2018. Nordost was also automatically allocated a promotion play-off spot, joined by the league drawn to be directly promoted the previous season, also determined by a draw on the same date.[15] As Bavaria suspended all football competitions in March 2020 at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in Germany, the leading team in the Regionalliga Bayern during the suspension, Türkgücü München, was promoted by registration before the 2019–20 season's resumption.[17][18]

Directly promoted
Regionalliga Champions
Bayern Türkgücü München
Nord VfB Lübeck
Südwest 1. FC Saarbrücken

The pairing order for the 2019–20 promotion play-offs was determined by a draw held on 12 June 2020.[19] The first leg was played on 25 June and the second leg on 30 June.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig 3–3 (a) SC Verl 2–2 1–1

2020–21

Main article: 2020–21 Regionalliga

The Regionalliga West was also automatically allocated direct promotions for 2021 to 2023. Nordost received a third direct promotion. Nord and Bayern were also allocated promotion play-off spots.[20] The latter was represented by a team that won a group stage, held in the spring of 2021, among the top three licensed teams at the end of the resumed 2019–20 Regionalliga Bayern season. They would already applied for 3. Liga licences. Due to the abovementioned suspension of football in Germany during the coronavirus pandemic, the Bavarian state football association agreed, and most of the state's Regionalliga clubs voted, to extend the 2019–20 season beyond September 2020 and continue without Türkgücü München, which meant the association had to cancel the 2020–21 season.[17][18]

Directly promoted
Regionalliga Champions
Südwest SC Freiburg II
West Borussia Dortmund II
Nordost Viktoria Berlin

The pairing order for the 2020–21 promotion play-offs was determined by a draw held on 8 May 2021. The two legs were held on 12 and 19 June.[21]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
1. FC Schweinfurt 0–2 TSV Havelse 0–1 0–1

2021–22

Bayern received a third direct promotion. Nord and Nordost were also allocated promotion play-off spots.[20]

Directly promoted
Regionalliga Champions
Südwest SV Elversberg
West Rot-Weiss Essen
Bayern SpVgg Bayreuth

The order of the legs was already determined in a draw.[22] The matches took place on 28 May and 4 June 2022.[23]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
BFC Dynamo 2–3 VfB Oldenburg 0–2 2–1

2022–23

Nord received a third direct promotion. Nordost and Bayern were also allocated promotion play-off spots.[20]

Directly promoted
Regionalliga Champions
Südwest
West
Nord

The pairing order for the 2022–23 promotion play-offs will be determined by a draw to be held at a future date.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Nordost [†] Bayern TBD TBD

Statistics

Since the introduction of the 3. Liga in the 2008–09 season, Borussia Dortmund II (2009 and 2012) and Holstein Kiel (2009 and 2013) have both been promoted twice from the Regionalliga.

VfL Wolfsburg II (2014 and 2016), SV Elversberg (2016 and 2017), and Waldhof Mannheim (2016 and 2017) have all failed twice in the promotion play-offs.

Since the introduction of the promotion play-offs, the second leg has gone into extra time four times. Two of the occasions saw a winner after the extra period, while two matches were decided by a penalty shoot-out after no additional goals were scored. On the other hand, the away goals rule has decided the winner of a tie on two occasions.

Play-off winners (since 2012–13)
Regionalliga Number of
promotions
Nordost 5
Bayern 5
West 4
Nord 4
Südwest runners-up/third 2
Südwest champions 1

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The match was stopped in the 82nd minute, with KFC Uerdingen leading 1–2, due to pyrotechnics from the Waldhof Mannheim fans, and the match was abandoned soon thereafter. The sports court of the DFB awarded a 0–2 win to KFC Uerdingen.[16]

References

  1. ^ "DFB weitet die Spielklassenreform aus" [DFB is expanding the league reform]. kicker.de (in German). kicker-sportmagazin. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Lauth lost Aufstiegsspiele zur 3. Liga aus" [Lauth draws promotion matches to the 3. Liga]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 27 April 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Änderung der Aufstiegsregelung in der Regionalliga beschlossen" [Change of promotion format in the Regionalliga decided upon]. DFB.de. DFB. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Eigener Ausschuss und neue Aufstiegsregelung zur 3. Liga" [Own committee and new promotion scheme to the 3. Liga]. DFB.de. DFB. 27 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Aufstiegsrelegation: RB Leipzig trifft auf den West-Meister" [Promotion play-offs: RB Leipzig meets the West champions]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele: West-Meister trifft auf die Bayern" [Promotion play-offs: West champions meet Bayern]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele: Großaspach trifft auf den Nordmeister" [Promotion play-offs: Großaspach meets the Nord champions]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele: Nord-Meister trifft auf West-Vertreter" [Promotion play-offs: Nord champions meet West representatives]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele zur 3. Liga: Glock heute Losfee" [Promotion play-offs to 3. Liga: Glock today draws]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele zur 3. Liga ausgelost" [Promotion play-offs to 3. Liga drawn]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 3 April 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele: Elversberg gegen Zwickau, Lotte trifft auf Mannheim" [Promotion play-offs: Elversberg vs. Zwickau, Lotte meets Mannheim]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele zur 3. Liga: West vs. Nordost" [Promotion play-offs to 3. Liga: West vs. Nordost]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 8 April 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele: Mannheim vs. Meppen und Haching vs. Elversberg" [Promotion play-offs: Mannheim vs. Meppen and Haching vs. Elversberg]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele zur 3. Liga: Nord vs. Nordost" [Promotion play-offs to 3. Liga: Nord vs. Nordost]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  15. ^ a b c d "Auslosung der Aufstiegsspiele: Saarbrücken gegen Bayern-Meister" [Draw of the promotion play-offs: Saarbrücken against Bayern champions]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 27 April 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Sportgericht wertet abgebrochenes Spiel mit 2:0 für KFC Uerdingen" [Sports court awards abandoned match 2–0 for KFC Uerdingen]. DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Ligapokal, "Best of 5-Modus" und wohl keine Saison 20/21". FuPa (in German). 4 June 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Regionalliga-Lösung mit Signalwirkung: Keine Saison 20/21 in Bayern". kicker (in German). 5 June 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele zur 3. Liga am 25. & 30. Juni". DFB.de (in German). German Football Association. 12 June 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  20. ^ a b c "DFB: Nordost-Meister steigt 2021 direkt auf" [DFB: Northeast champion rises directly in 2021]. kicker (in German). 6 March 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Aufstiegsspiele zur 3. Liga terminiert". Kicker (in German). 23 April 2021.
  22. ^ "Neues Hygienekonzept tritt in Kraft". dfb.de (in German). German Football Association. 5 July 2021. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Termine für Aufstiegsspiele zur 3. Liga fix". dfb.de (in German). German Football Association. 29 April 2022. Retrieved 29 April 2022.