Regionalliga Bayern
Logo of the Regionalliga Bayern

Regionalliga Bayern
Organising bodyBavarian Football Association
Number of teams18
Level on pyramidLevel 4
Promotion to3. Liga
Relegation to
Domestic cup(s)
International cup(s)UEFA Europa League (through DFB-Pokal win)
Current championsSpVgg Bayreuth
Current: 2022–23 Regionalliga Bayern

The Regionalliga Bayern, (English: Regional league Bavaria), is the highest association football league in the state of Bavaria (German: Bayern) and the Bavarian football league system. It is one of five Regionalligas in German football, the fourth tier of the German football league system, below the 3. Liga.

The league was established at the end of the 2011–12 season and replaced the Regionalliga Süd at this level in Bavaria.[1][2][3]


The Regionalligas from 2012 onwards.
The Regionalligas from 2012 onwards.

The German league system, having gone through its last adjustment in 2008, when the 3. Liga was established and the number of Regionalligas increased from two to three, required another adjustment in 2011.[4] The reason for this was the large number of insolvencies on the fourth level, caused by high cost and infrastructure requirements while, at the same time, the clubs at this level complained about low incomes and little interest from TV broadcasters. Some Regionalliga requirements were seen as causing too much of a financial strain on amateur clubs, for example stadiums had to have at least 1,000 seats, and a separate stand with separate entrance for away spectators. Many clubs also struggled to cope with the 400-pages long license application, having to rely on volunteers rather than being able draw on permanent staff.[5]

This led to Oberliga champions even, at times, declining their right for promotion to avoid the financial risk the Regionalliga meant to them, breaking with a basic principle of German football that league champions would almost always be promoted.[6]

In a special conference of the German Football Association, the DFB, in October 2010, 223 of 253 delegates voted for a reform of the league system on the fourth level. The number of Regionalligas was to be expanded to five, with the reestablishment of the Regionalliga Nordost, the formation of the Regionalliga Bayern and a shift of the Regionalliga Süd to the new Regionalliga Südwest.[1]

The suggestion for the league reform had come from Bavaria, where, in a meeting of the Bavarian top-level amateur clubs at Wendelstein, the financial survival of the leagues and clubs in the current system was questioned. It resulted in the publication of what was called the Wendelsteiner Anstoß, which demanded a clear demarcation between professional football on the first three tiers of German football and amateur football below that. For this purpose, the paper also demanded the reestablishment of the German amateur football championship as an incentive and goal for top amateur clubs who did not want to turn professional.[2][6]

On 16 December 2011, the Bavarian Football Association (German abbreviation: BFV) introduced the league's logo.[7]

In March 2012 the BFV announced that the league champions, apart from having the opportunity to compete in the promotion round to the 3. Liga, would also qualify directly for the first round of the German Cup. Due to the ban of reserve teams in the German Cup, this spot would be handed to the best placed first team should the champions be a reserve side.[8]

With the deadline for the licence applications for the new league set for 1 April 2012, 32 clubs had applied for the new league. Of those, one came from the 3. Liga, six from the Regionalliga, eight from the Landesliga and two from leagues outside Bavaria. Of the 18 Bayernliga clubs, 15 applied for a licence, with only TSV Gersthofen, TSV Aindling and SpVgg Unterhaching II deciding not to apply. Of the Landesliga clubs, eight applied for a licence.[9]

The BFV planned to complete the licensing procedure by 20 April 2012 and notify all clubs of the outcome by that date,[7] but this process was delayed.[10] On 20 April 2012 the FSV Erlangen-Bruck opted to withdraw its Regionalliga application because of ongoing financial issues.[11] All Bayernliga and Regionalliga clubs had their licence applications approved by 27 April 2012 while the Landesliga clubs had to wait another week before being notified of a decision.[12]

The 2019–20 season was interrupted by the coronavirus disease pandemic in Germany that broke out in March 2020. It was later suspended until 31 August, necessitating a cancellation of the 2020–21 season as the BFV approved a resumption of the preceding one with 17 teams after 1 September and its extension to mid-2021.[13][14]

League statistics

The top goal scorers and spectator statistics for the league are:

Season Teams Champions Runners-up Overall
Per game Best supported Club Spectators
per game
Top goal scorer Goals References
2012–13 20 1860 Munich II Bayern Munich II 222,885 587 TSV Buchbach 1,011 Germany Andreas Neumeyer (SVH) 24 [15][16]
2013–14 19 Bayern Munich II FV Illertissen 245,499 718 1. FC Schweinfurt 05 1,865 Germany Nicolas Görtler (BAM) 21 [17][18]
2014–15 18 Würzburger Kickers Bayern Munich II 274,711 898 Würzburger Kickers 2,482 Germany Dominik Stolz (BAY) 23 [19][20]
2015–16 18 Jahn Regensburg Wacker Burghausen 368,993 1,206 Jahn Regensburg 6,557 Germany Markus Ziereis (JAH) 19 [21][22]
2016–17 18 SpVgg Unterhaching Bayern Munich II 234,159 765 SpVgg Unterhaching 1,935 Germany Stephan Hain (UNT) 32 [23][24]
2017–18 19 1860 Munich Bayern Munich II 487,996 1,427 1860 Munich 11,772 Germany Adam Jabiri (SCH) 28 [25][26]
2018–19 18 Bayern Munich II VfB Eichstätt 187,131 612 Viktoria Aschaffenburg 1,210 Ghana Kwasi Wriedt (BM2) 24 [27][28]
2019–20 18 No champion or runner-up attributed; season suspended and later extended to 2021
2019–21 17 1. FC Schweinfurt 05 Viktoria Aschaffenburg Germany Fabian Eberle (EIC) Germany Lukas Riglewski (SVH) 16 [29]
League record



Main article: 2012–13 Regionalliga

The first-ever round of the new Regionalliga Bayern kicked off on 19 July 2012 with the opening game held at Bamberg, ending with a 1–0 home victory for FC Eintracht Bamberg against SpVgg Bayern Hof.[30][31] Alexander Deptalla of Bamberg became the first ever goal scorer in the league.[32] While the league attendance in the early rounds was below 900 spectators a match an attendance record was set when the reserve teams of Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 met in front of 6,000 spectators on 5 August 2012.[33][34] The league was won by the reserve team of 1860 Munich, while FV Illertissen finished as the best non-reserve side and thereby earned the title of Bavarian amateur champion, which qualified the club for the first round of the German Cup. The league champions in turn qualified for the promotion round to the 3. Liga, in which it met the runners-up of the Regionalliga Südwest, SV Elversberg, and lost.[35][36]


Main article: 2013–14 Regionalliga

FC Bayern Munich II won the league title in the second season of the league but was, like the reserve of 1860 Munich the year before, unable to win promotion in the promotion round to the 3. Liga. TSV Rain am Lech, Bayern Hof and Viktoria Aschaffenburg were directly relegated while FC Schweinfurt 05 and TSV 1860 Rosenheim entered the relegation round, with the former defending its league place while the later was relegated. The FV Illertissen was, for the second consecutive season the best non reserve side in the league and thereby qualified for the first round of the German Cup again.


Main article: 2014–15 Regionalliga

The league was won by Würzburger Kickers which thereby qualified for the promotion round to the 3. Liga and also the first round of the 2015–16 DFB-Pokal. Second and third place were taken up by the reserve teams of Bayern and TSV 1860 Munich. The encounters of these two teams also attracted the most spectators per game, being seen by 12,000 spectators on each occasion.[37]


Main article: 2015–16 Regionalliga

The 2015–16 season saw a new Regionalliga Bayern record set when 15,224 spectators attended Jahn Regensburg's home match in their new stadium against FC Bayern Munich II.[38] Regensburg, relegated from the 3. Liga the previous season, won the league and gained promotion by defeating VfL Wolfsburg II in the promotion play-off. At the bottom of the table newly promoted FC Amberg and TSV Rain am Lech were both relegated again.


Main article: 2016–17 Regionalliga

The biggest home win in the league's history was recorded: 12–0, by FC Augsburg II against SV Seligporten. Marco Richter scored seven goals.[39] Meanwhile, the biggest away win was 8–1, for SpVgg Unterhaching over VfR Garching.[40] Unterhaching won the league for the first time, beating SV Elversberg for promotion. 1860 Munich II were relegated due to the 1860 Munich first team not being able obtaining a licence for the 2017–18 3. Liga and subsequently being admitted to the Regionalliga Bayern for the 2017-18 season.[41] Originally they had finished the season in second place. 18th placed Bayern Hof were also relegated.


Main article: 2017–18 Regionalliga

The league was expanded for the 2017–18 season to admit TSV 1860 Munich. This meant that this year's league was held with 19 teams instead of 18. [42] As no Bavarian team was relegated from the 3. Liga after the season, the number of teams was restored to 18 in the 2018–19 season. 1860 Munich captured the league title and, after a one-goal aggregate victory against 1. FC Saarbrücken in the promotion play-offs, earned promotion to the 3. Liga.

Rules & regulations

Promotion to the 3. Liga

The new five Regionalligas with their five league champions will not have the right to direct promotion to the 3. Liga anymore. Instead, the five league winners and the runners-up of the Süd/Südwest would play-off for three promotion spots.[1] The promotion round will be played in home-and-away format, whereby the two clubs from the Süd/Südwest region can not be paired against each other.[43]

As the 3. Liga relegated four teams starting at the end of the 2018–19 season, the champions of the Regionalliga Nordost, along with their counterparts from the Südwest and West, were promoted directly to the 3. Liga. The West was chosen by a draw. The remaining two champions also determined by the same draw, Bayern and Nord, played a two-legged promotion play-off for the last promotion spot.[44] For 2020, the three direct promotion spots went to the Südwest champions and the champions of the two leagues that participated in the promotion play-off in the previous season, while the Nordost and the West champions participate in the play-off. This format was installed initially as a temporary solution until the DFB-Bundestag in September 2019 decided on a format that could have enabled all Regionalliga champions to be promoted.[45] On that date, the Bundestag delegates voted to grant the Südwest and West champions two direct promotions indefinitely starting in 2021. A third direct promotion place will be assigned according to a rotation principle among the Regionalliga Nord, Nordost and Bavarian champions. The representatives from the two remaining Regionalligen will determine the fourth promoted club in two-legged playoffs.[46]

Because the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the 2019–20 season, it brought extraordinary circumstances about promotion. The team that led the table before the season was suspended, Türkgücü München, was registered for and promoted to the 3. Liga ahead of the 22 June 2020 deadline for the 2020–21 season, thus there was no champion in 2020.[47][48] As the BFV curtailed competitions for 2020–21, Bavaria has to be represented by a team that wins a best-of-5 play-off series, to be held in the spring of 2021, among the state's top four Regionalliga teams at the end of the resumed previous season. They will have already submitted applications for 3. Liga licences. The Bavarian play-off winners are to face the Regionalliga Nord champions for a place in the 2021–22 3. Liga.[14][49]


From the 3. Liga and Regionalliga

The new league nominally plays with 18 clubs, however, in its first, transitional season the DFB permitted up to 22 clubs in the league, with the number eventually settling at 20. All Bavarian clubs from the current Regionalliga Süd were directly qualified for the league. Additionally, any Bavarian club relegated from the 3. Liga in 2012 would also have been qualified, however this did not eventuate. Restrictions existed however on reserve sides. No more than seven reserve teams were permitted per Regionalliga, should there be more in a league the additional ones would have to be moved to a different Regionalliga. Reserve teams of 3. Liga clubs are not permitted to play in the Regionalliga from 2012–13 onwards. The make up of the clubs entering the new Regionalligas from the leagues below was left to the regional football association and not regulated by the DFB.[43][50]

Specifically, this would have meant that, for Bavaria, should one or more of the three 3. Liga clubs from the state, SSV Jahn Regensburg, SpVgg Unterhaching or Wacker Burghausen, be relegated at the end of the 2011-12 season, they would directly enter the new Regionalliga Bayern. Additionally, the Bavarian Regionalliga clubs FC Memmingen, 1. FC Nürnberg II and Bayern Munich II would be directly qualified for the league, unless they earned promotion to the 3. Liga. The same rule also applied to the other three Bavarian clubs in the league, 1860 Munich II, Greuther Fürth II and Ingolstadt 04 II. However, as their first teams played in the 2. Bundesliga and could possibly have been relegated to the 3. Liga after the 2011–12 season, the reserve sides would then be barred from entry to the Regionalliga Bayern. As no Bavarian team was relegated from the 2. Bundesliga or 3. Liga, this clause had no effect on the make-up of the new league.

It also meant that Bayernliga side SpVgg Unterhaching II and the Landesliga sides SSV Jahn Regensburg II and Wacker Burghausen II could not gain entry to the Regionalliga unless the first teams won promotion to the 2. Bundesliga. As Jahn Regensburg did indeed earn promotion the club's reserve side could have entered the league but finished only third in its Landesliga division and thereby narrowly missed out.

The seventh Bavarian Regionalliga club, FC Bayern Alzenau, traditionally playing in Hesse's league system, was grouped in the new Regionalliga Süd/Südwest, at their own request.[51]

Of the 3. Liga clubs, only the SpVgg Unterhaching considered it necessary to apply for a Regionalliga licence, as both Wacker and Jahn were placed in the top third of the 3. Liga at the time of the deadline and were unlikely to suffer relegation.[12] Eventually, Unterhaching was able to finish above a relegation rank in the 3. Liga, too.

From the Bayernliga and Landesliga

The top nine clubs from the Bayernliga at the end of the 2011–12 season gained direct entry to the new Regionalliga. The clubs placed tenth to fifteenth took part in a promotion play-off with six Landesliga clubs, nominally the champions and runners-up of each of the three Landesligas, in a home-and-away knockout format for three additional clubs in the Regionalliga. The losers of these games would remain on Bayernliga level.[3][50]

Of the eighteen Bayernliga clubs, fifteen applied for a Regionalliga licence, with only Aindling, Gerstofen and Unterhaching II opting not to. FSV Erlangen-Bruck later withdrew its application.[12]

Only eight Landesliga clubs opted to apply for a Regionalliga licence, the clubs being FC Augsburg II, BC Aichach, SV Schalding-Heining, SSV Jahn Regensburg II, SpVgg Landshut, SpVgg Bayreuth, Würzburger Kickers and the SpVgg Selbitz.[12] Of those BC Aichach, for example, had finished only eighth in its league but as two licences were available and only BC Aichach and FC Augsburg II had applied for one from this league, the two clubs were automatically qualified for the play-off, without regards to the final position.

Apart from the nine directly qualified clubs from the Bayernliga only the SV Heimstetten qualified for the Regionalliga through the play-offs. The other two available spots went to FC Augsburg II and Würzburger Kickers, who thereby jumped directly from the sixth to the fourth tier of the league system.

From outside Bavaria

The qualifying modus allowed for Bavarian clubs not playing in the states league system to qualify for the league too, should they finish on a direct qualification rank in their equivalent league to the Bayernliga or Landesliga. Viktoria Aschaffenburg decided to take up this option in November 2011, voting to join the Bavarian association from 2012. Playing in the Hessenliga, the club, finishing in the top nine, was automatically qualified for the Regionalliga Bayern. If it finished tenth or worse, it would have been grouped in the northern division of the Bayernliga.[52][53][54]

In December 2011 FV Illertissen, playing in the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg, decided to follow Aschaffenburg's example and switched to the Bavarian league system from the 2012–13 season onwards.[55]

Both Aschaffenburg and Illertissen fulfilled the qualifying norm and gained entry to the Regionalliga for 2012–13.

Below the Regionalliga

The level below the new Regionalliga continued to be taken up by the Bayernliga, but now in two regional divisions, north and south. The league would consist of all the Bayernliga and, possibly, Regionalliga Süd clubs who failed to gain entry to the new Regionalliga Bayern. Additionally, the six Landesliga champions and runners-up who failed to qualify for the Regionalliga were also to be grouped in the Bayernliga. From the three Landesligas, the clubs placed third to eighth would also be directly qualified. Further places in the two Bayernligas were then determined between the Landesliga clubs placed ninth to 13th and the Bezirksoberliga champions.[3][56]

Qualified teams

For the league's first season, 2012–13, 20 clubs qualified to play in it, these being:

Placings in the Regionalliga Bayern

Final league positions of all clubs who have played in the league:

Club 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
SSV Jahn Regensburg 2B 3L 3L 1 3L 2B 2B 2B 2B 2B
Würzburger Kickers 10 11 1 3L 2B 3L 3L 3L 2B 3L
TSV 1860 Munich 2B 2B 2B 2B 2B 1 3L 3L 3L 3L
Türkgücü München P 3L 3L
SpVgg Bayreuth 6 7 12 17 9 4 / 3 (2) 1
Bayern Munich II 2 1 2 6 2 2 1 3L 3L 2
Wacker Burghausen 3L 3L 11 2 10 9 3 11 / 11 3
SpVgg Unterhaching 3L 3L 3L 4 1 3L 3L 3L 3L 4
1. FC Schweinfurt 05 16 13 14 8 3 4 2 / 1 (4) 5
TSV Aubstadt 9 / 5 6
FV Illertissen 3 2 9 5 5 10 7 12 / 12 7
Viktoria Aschaffenburg 15 18 15 10 5 / 2 (1) 8
FC Augsburg II 16 4 10 16 3 8 13 10 / 9 9
VfB Eichstätt 7 2 6 / 6 10
1. FC Nürnberg II 4 8 8 3 6 5 5 3 / 3 11
TSV Buchbach 6 5 4 8 13 12 8 8 / 7 12
FC Pipinsried 14 17 13
SV Heimstetten 5 14 15 16 14 / 14 14
TSV Rain am Lech 11 19 18 13 / 13 15
SC Eltersdorf 18 16
Greuther Fürth II 12 9 14 9 15 13 14 7 / 8 17
FC Memmingen 9 13 7 12 4 16 6 17 / 15 18
SV Schalding-Heining 12 12 13 14 11 12 15 / 10 19
1860 Rosenheim 7 15 9 15 15 16 / 16 20
VfR Garching 16 11 4 11 18 / 17
Ingolstadt 04 II 8 6 5 11 7 6 18
SV Seligenporten 14 7 17 16 18
FC Unterföhring 19
Bayern Hof 17 17 17
TSV 1860 Munich II 1 3 3 10 18
FC Amberg 17
FC Eintracht Bamberg 13 10 18
FC Ismaning 19
VfL Frohnlach 20


Symbol Key
B Bundesliga
2B 2. Bundesliga
3L 3. Liga
1 League champions
P Promoted to 3. Liga
Place League
Blank Played at a league level below this league


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  42. ^ 1860 erhält Zulassung für Regionalliga (in German) 16 June 2017
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