From 1945 to 1950, the Bayernliga was called Landesliga Bayern. It was then the second tier of Southern German Football.
The league was established after the Second World War, consisting of nine clubs, with the league winner promoted to the Oberliga Süd. After its first season, 1945–46, it expanded to two divisions, north and south, with eleven clubs each. At the end of season, the two league champions played for the Bavarian title and Oberliga promotion. In 1947-48, each division had 13 clubs.
In its last two seasons, 1948–49 and 1949–50, the league returned to a single division format. In 1948-49, it consisted of 16 clubs with the top two teams earning promotion. In 1949-50, 14 clubs were in the league and the best five teams earned entry to the newly formed 2. Oberliga Süd, which became the second tier in Southern Germany. The remaining nine clubs plus seven promoted teams formed the new Amateurliga Bayern, now the third tier.
Alongside the Landesliga Bayern, four other regional Landesligas existed as the second tier below the Oberliga Süd, these being:
After the interception of the three Landesligas in 1963 the winners of the leagues were automatically promoted to the Bayernliga. The runners-up faced a relegation play-off with the team of the Bayernliga that is placed just above the relegation zone, usually the 15th placed team unless the league held more or less than the desired number of 18 teams, for a final promotion spot. Since the start of the promotion play-offs in 1981, Landesliga Süd had won the extra spot 17 times, Landesliga Mitte 8 times and Landesliga Nord only 5 times. In 1985, 1994, 1996 and 2003 additional spots were available on top of the usual four.
Since 1988 the seven Bezirksoberligas were set below the Landesligas, covering the above mentioned seven Bezirke. The winners of those gained promotion, the runners-up faced a promotion play-off for a number of promotion spot which vary from season to season. Previous to that, the Bezirksligas were set below the Landesligas, with the slight fluctuations in the number of leagues.
Since 1980, the reserve teams of Landesliga clubs were permitted to enter the league system. Previous to that, they had to compete in separate reserve leagues, with only teams in the Bayernliga and above being permitted to enter their reserve teams in league football.
The Bavarian football federation decided on drastic changes to the league system from 2012 onwards. With the introduction of the Regionalliga Bayern from 2012–13, it placed two Bayernligas, north and south, 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 would be geographically divided to limit travel and increase the number of local derbies.
The clubs in these leagues were made up from Landesliga clubs who failed to qualify for the Bayernliga, a set amount of Bezirksoberliga clubs and, through a promotion round, the Bezirksliga champions.