Liga Bet

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Liga Bet
Country Israel Israel
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Founded 1949; 65 years ago (1949)
Number of teams 16X4
Levels on pyramid 4
Promotion to Liga Alef
Relegation to Liga Gimel
Domestic cup(s) State Cup
Current champions Ihud Bnei Majd al-Krum (North A)
Ironi Nesher (North B)
Hapoel Morasha Ramat HaSharon (South A)
F.C. Shikun HaMizrah (South B)
(2013–14)
Website [1] (North A)
[2] (North B)
[3] (South A)
[4] (South B)

Liga Bet (Hebrew: ליגה ב'‎, lit. B League) is the fourth tier of the Israeli football league system.

History[edit]

League football started in Israel in 1949–50, a year after independence. However, the financial and security crises gripping the young nation caused the 1950–51 season to be abandoned before it had started. When football resumed in 1951–52, the new top division went by the name of Liga Alef with Liga Bet as the second division. The 1952–53 season was also not played, and Liga Bet resumed in 1953–54.

In the 1955–56 season, Liga Leumit came into existence as the new top division, with Liga Alef becoming the second division and Liga Bet demoted to the third division. In the summer of 1976, restructuring saw the creation of Liga Artzit as a new second tier, and the second demotion of Liga Bet, as it became the fourth division. Further restructuring to create the Israeli Premier League in the summer of 1999 saw Liga Bet demoted again, this time to the fifth tier. At the end of the 2008–09 season, Liga Artzit was scrapped as the Premier League and Liga Leumit were expanded to 16 clubs each, resulting in Liga Bet returning to the fourth tier.

Structure[edit]

Since the 1959-60 season, Liga Bet is split into four regional divisions, North A, North B, South A and South B. Because Israel's northern half is much more densely populated than the desert south, the divisions are not spread equally and the southernmost division, South B, covers about two-thirds of the country. Although this inequality is partially offset by the fact that there are so few clubs south of Beersheba (Arad, Dimona, Yeroham, Mitzpe Ramon and Eilat are the only sizable towns south of the city), the northern clubs tend to be clustered in the Galilee region, making travel to away matches much less of a chore.

Each division has sixteen clubs, who play each other home and away to make a 30-game season. The club finishing top of each regional division is promoted to Liga Alef, whilst the second to fifth placed clubs in each division play-off at the end of the season, until the play-off winner of North A faces the play-off winner of North B, and the play-off winner of South A faces the play-off winner of South B. the two winners advance to a decisive match against the two third-bottom clubs in Liga Alef, North and South, for a place in that division. The club finishing bottom of each regional division is relegated to Liga Gimel, the fifth and bottom tier, whilst another club from each division is relegated after relegation play-offs, involving the clubs that finished twelfth to fifteenth in each division. Coming into Liga Bet are the two clubs are relegated from each of the regional Liga Alef divisions (and one or two more, had they failed the play-off) and the eight clubs promoted from Liga Gimel. The clubs are then pooled and assigned to the most geographically appropriate of the four divisions.

Current members[edit]

The following teams participating at the 2014–15 season:

Liga Bet North A

Liga Bet North B

Liga Bet South B

Previous seasons[edit]

North A[edit]

Season Winner Relegated
Fourth tier
1998–99 Hapoel Hurfeish Hapoel Karmiel, Beitar Tiberias, Hapoel Bu'eine
Fifth tier
1999–2000 Tzeirei Nahf 1 Maccabi Givat HaRakafot 2
2000–01 Maccabi Ironi Shlomi Hapoel Bnei Kafr Yasif, Beitar Safed, Hapoel Ironi I'billin
2001–02 Hapoel Tuba Hapoel Ramot Menashe Megiddo 3
2002–03 Hapoel Makr Maccabi Bnei Yarka, Hapoel Kisra 4
2003–04 Hapoel Bnei Jadeidi Maccabi Bir al-Maksur 5
2004–05 Maccabi Sektzia Ma'alot 6 Beitar Acre 7
2005–06 Beitar Safed 8 Hapoel Ironi I'billin 9
2006–07 Beitar Ihud Mashhad Hapoel Kisra, Hapoel Deir Hana
2007–08 Ahva Arraba 10 Maccabi Kafr Yasif, Hapoel Yanuh
2008–09 Maccabi Ironi Jatt Bnei Abu Snan, Beitar Kafr Kanna
Fourth tier
2009–10 Ahi Acre Maccabi Ironi Kabul, Hapoel Halat El Sharif Tamra
2010–11 Maccabi Sektzia Ma'alot Hapoel Nahariya, Maccabi Kafr Sumei
2011–12 Tzeirei Bir al-Maksur 11 Maccabi Ironi Tirat HaCarmel, Hapoel Bnei Jadeidi
2012–13 Beitar Nahariya Hapoel Ahva Haifa, Tzeirei Bir al-Maksur
2013–14 Ihud Bnei Majd al-Krum 12 Maccabi Tamra, Bnei Arraba

1 Hapoel Kafr Sumei were also promoted as the best runners-up in Liga Bet North divisions.

2 Hapoel Tel Hanan finished in the relegation zone but were transferred to the North B division.

3 Season played with only 15 teams.

4 Hapoel Sakhnin finished bottom but were not demoted.

5 Beitar Acre finished bottom but were not demoted.

6 Hapoel Umm al-Fahm were also promoted after play-off match.

7 Season played with only 15 teams.

8 Beitar Haifa were also promoted after play-off victory over Maccabi Tamra of Liga Alef North.

9 Hapoel Deir Hana finished in the relegation zone but were not demoted as both teams relegated from the northern division of Liga Alef folded.

10 Maccabi Tamra were also promoted after play-off victory over Beitar Haifa of Liga Alef North.

11 There was no automatic promotion in the 2011-12 season. Tzeirei Bir al-Maksur lost in promotion play-offs to Hapoel Migdal HaEmek of North B and to Hapoel Hadera of Liga Alef North and remained in Liga Bet.

12 Maccabi Sektzia Ma'alot were also promoted after play-off victory over Hapoel Daliyat al-Karmel of Liga Alef North.

North B[edit]

Season Winner Relegated
Fourth tier
1998–99 Maccabi Hadera Hapoel Ilut, Maccabi Umm al-Fahm
Fifth tier
1999–2000 Maccabi Ironi Tirat HaCarmel Ironi Zikhron Ya'akov, Hapoel Barta'a, Maccabi Beit She'an
2000–01 Hapoel Asi Gilboa Hapoel Arab Nujeidat, Beitar Iksal, Ironi Umm al-Fahm
2001–02 Maccabi Tzur Shalom Hapoel Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Maccabi Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Hapoel Fureidis
2002–03 Hapoel Reineh Hapoel Nahliel 1
2003–04 Hapoel Afula Hapoel Bnei Nazareth 2
2004–05 Hapoel Bnei Tamra Hapoel Kafr Masr 2
2005–06 Hapoel Ahva Haifa None 3
2006–07 Ironi Umm Al-Fahm 4 Maccabi Daliyat al-Karmel, Hapoel Tel Hanan
2007–08 Maccabi Kafr Qara Hapoel Yokneam, Maccabi Or Akiva
2008–09 Maccabi Umm al-Fahm Maccabi Kafr Sumei, Maccabi Sha'ab
Fourth tier
2009–10 Hapoel Daliyat al-Karmel 5 Beitar Ihud Mashhad, Hapoel Bnei Musmus Ma'ale Iron
2010–11 Maccabi Daliyat al-Karmel 6 Hapoel Ironi Ar'ara, Hapoel Bnei Jisr az-Zarqa
2011–12 Hapoel Migdal HaEmek Maccabi Or Akiva, Maccabi Ironi Barta'a
2012–13 Hapoel Beit She'an Mesilot F.C. Kafr Kama, Ihud Bnei Baqa
2013–14 Ironi Nesher Hapoel Isfiya, F.C. Bu'eine

1 Hapoel Bnei Nazareth finished in the relegation zone but were not demoted.

2 Maccabi Daliyat al-Karmel finished in the relegation zone but were not demoted.

3 Season played with 15 teams. Maccabi Daliyat al-Karmel finished bottom but were not demoted as both teams relegated from the northern division of Liga Alef folded.

4 Ironi Tiberias were also promoted after play-off victory over Hapoel Kafr Sumei of Liga Alef North.

5 Hapoel Ramot Menashe Megiddo were also promoted after play-off victory over Hapoel Bnei Jadeidi of Liga Alef North.

6 F.C. Givat Olga were also promoted after play-off victory over Ironi Sayid Umm al-Fahm of Liga Alef North.

South A[edit]

Season Winner Relegated
Fourth tier
1998–99 Hapoel Kiryat Ono Maccabi Qalansawe, Hapoel Tel Mond, Maccabi Aharon Holon
Fifth tier
1999–2000 Hapoel Herzliya 1 Hapoel Ar'ara
2000–01 Hapoel Tira Maccabi Bnei Tira, Maccabi Kafr Qasim
2001–02 Maccabi HaShikma Ramat Hen Beitar Holon, Hapoel Kafr Qasim, Maccabi Qalansawe, Beitar Ariel, Beitar Nes Tubruk 2
2002–03 F.C. Kafr Qasim Shimshon Bnei Tayibe 3
2003–04 Hapoel Qalansawe M.M. Giv'at Shmuel, Maccabi Montefiore 4
2004–05 Ironi Bat Yam Maccabi Bnei Tira, Beitar Kiryat Ono
2005–06 Maccabi Amishav Petah Tikva Beitar Jaffa, AS Holon
2006–07 Maccabi Ironi Kfar Yona 5 Hapoel Kiryat Ono, Bnei Jaffa
2007–08 Hapoel Hadera Beitar Pardes Hana, Hapoel Qalansawe
2008–09 Shimshon Bnei Tayibe 6 Hapoel Hod HaSharon, Maccabi Ironi Or Yehuda
Fourth tier
2009–10 Maccabi Kabilio Jaffa Otzma Holon, Hapoel Ramat Yisrael
2010–11 Beitar Kfar Saba Beitar Petah Tikva, Hapoel Oranit
2011–12 Hapoel Azor Hapoel Pardesiya, Shimshon Bnei Tayibe
2012–13 Hapoel Mahane Yehuda 7 Gadna Tel Aviv, Shikun Vatikim Ramat Gan
2013–14 Hapoel Morasha Ramat HaSharon 8 Maccabi HaSharon Netanya, Shimshon Bnei Tayibe

1 Hapoel Jaljulia were also promoted as the second best runners-up in Liga Bet South divisions, after one spot vacated in Liga Alef South.

2 Season played with 18 teams.

3 Maccabi Yehud finished in the relegation zone but were not demoted.

4 Maccabi Yehud finished bottom but were transferred to Liga Bet South B.

5 Beitar Kfar Saba were also promoted as the best runners-up in Liga Bet South divisions, after one spot vacated in Liga Alef South as Hapoel Maxim Lod folded.

6 Maccabi Amishav Petah Tikva were also promoted as the best runners-up in Liga Bet South divisions, after one spot vacated in Liga Alef South as Hapoel Umm al-Fahm folded.

7 F.C. Kafr Qasim were also promoted after play-off victory over Hapoel Arad of Liga Alef South.

8 Hapoel Hod HaSharon were also promoted after play-off victory over Maccabi Be'er Sheva of Liga Alef South.

South B[edit]

Season Winner Relegated
Fourth tier
1998–99 AS Ramat Eliyahu Beitar Beit Shemesh
Fifth tier
1999–2000 Hapoel Marmorek1 None
2000–01 Ironi Ofakim 2 Hapoel Rahat 3
2001–02 Maccabi Be'er Sheva Moadon Tzeirei Rahat, Maccabi Neve Alon Lod, Hapoel Aliyah Kfar Saba
2002–03 Beitar Giv'at Ze'ev Hapoel Rahat, Hapoel Sde Uzziah
2003–04 Hapoel Bnei Lod None 4
2004–05 Hapoel Arad 5 None 6
2005–06 Hapoel Maxim Lod 7 8 Maccabi Yehud 9
2006–07 Maccabi Ironi Netivot Maccabi Kiryat Ekron, Hapoel Bnei Lakhish
2007–08 Hapoel Masos Shaqib al-Salam 10 Hapoel Tel Sheva, Hapoel Oranit
2008–09 Tzafririm Holon Hapoel F.C. Hevel Modi'in, Hapoel Jaljulia
Fourth tier
2009–10 Bnei Eilat Maccabi Be'er Ya'akov, Hapoel Tirat Shalom
2010–11 Hapoel Katamon 11 Beitar Giv'at Ze'ev, Ironi Ramla
2011–12 Maccabi Sha'arayim Maccabi Ironi Sderot, Hapoel Mevaseret Zion
2012–13 Maccabi Be'er Ya'akov Hapoel Merhavim, Bnei Yehud
2013–14 F.C. Shikun HaMizrah Maccabi Ironi Sderot, Hapoel Abirei Bat Yam

1 Maccabi Jerusalem/Ma'ale Adumim were also promoted as the best runners-up in Liga Bet South divisions.

2 Beitar Kiryat Gat were also promoted as the best runners-up in Liga Bet South divisions.

3 Hapoel Aliyah Kfar Saba finished in the relegation zone but were not demoted.

4 Maccabi Kiryat Ekron and Hapoel Oranit finished in the relegation zone but were not demoted.

5 Ironi Nes Tziona were also promoted after play-off match.

6 Tzeirei Rahat and Maccabi Yehud finished in the relegation zone but were not demoted.

7 Ironi Ramla were also promoted after play-off victory over Maccabi Sha'arayim of Liga Alef South.

8 Maccabi Kiryat Malakhi were also promoted due to the merger of Liga Alef South clubs, Beitar Kiryat Gat and Maccabi Kiryat Gat.

9 Hapoel Bnei Lakhish finished in the relegation zone but were not demoted.

10 Hapoel Arad were also promoted after play-off victory over Tzafririm Holon of Liga Alef South.

11 F.C. Ortodoxim Lod were also promoted after play-off victory over Hapoel Nahlat Yehuda of Liga Alef South.

External links[edit]