Oberliga (ice hockey)

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Oberliga
ESBG logo.jpg
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1948
No. of teams 39
Country GermanyGermany
Most recent champion(s) SC Riessersee
Related competitions Deutsche Eishockey Liga
2nd Bundesliga
Official website Official ESBG website

The Oberliga (English:Upper League) is currently the third tier of ice hockey in Germany. For the 2013-14 season, the Oberliga is split into four different divisions.

History[edit]

1948-58[edit]

The ice hockey Oberliga is the oldest continuously operating league in this sport in Germany. The league was formed in 1948, then as the highest level of play in the country. It started out with six teams who played a home-and-away season to determine the German champion. The founding members were:

The league expanded to eight clubs for the second season and twelve in the third. From 1952 onwards the league operated with eight clubs again. The 1957–58 season was the last one for the league as the highest level of play in the country. It was decided to form the Eishockey Bundesliga. The best eight clubs from the Oberliga, which then operated with twelve clubs again, qualified for the new top division.

1958-73[edit]

The Oberliga remained in existence however, now as the second tier of German ice hockey. Starting out with eight clubs in the league again, it expanded to twelve in the coming seasons. The year 1966 saw the league split into a northern and a southern group. The two separate leagues were called Oberliga South and Oberliga North. The winners of the two divisions would determine the Oberliga champion in a home-and-away series.

The league reunited in a single division in 1970, now with a strength of 16 teams and direct promotion to the Bundesliga.

The 1972-73 season was the last one as a tier-two league. With the foundation of the 2nd Bundesliga, the Oberliga fell to tier three. While the league champion moved up to the Bundesliga and the teams placed two to nine gained entry to the new second division, only the bottom seven clubs remained in the league.

1973-94[edit]

The Oberliga was now again divided into a northern and a southern group. The top two teams out of the two divisions originally played out a promotion round to the 2nd Bundesliga which also served to determined the Oberliga champion. While the modus and number of teams in the league continued to fluctuat, the overall situation remained the same.

1994-99[edit]

The year 1994 saw major changes in the German league system. The Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga merged to form the new DEL, an independently run league consisting of 18 clubs in its foundation years. Those second division clubs that did not elect to join the DEL were integrated into the new 1st Liga, which had replaced the Oberliga and operated in a northern and a southern group. The best teams of each of the two divisions played out a DEB championship, similar to the old Oberliga championship.

The 1998-99 season was very much a transition season. The DEB had reintroduced a single-division, nationwide league, titled Bundesliga to compete with the DEL. The league below was now the 1st Liga, which was made up of those clubs from the 1st Liga not adCentred to the new Bundesliga and 2nd Liga clubs. However, this situation existed for only one season.

1999-present[edit]

From 1999, the league returned to its traditional name Oberliga, with two regional groups, north and south. In turn, the league above it took the name 2nd Bundesliga. The DEL renamed itself DEL - Bundesliga.

Due to a lack of interest, the Oberliga North dissolved after the 2000-01 season. The three clubs from this region which were still interested in playing on Oberliga level joined the southern division.

The Oberliga South, largely made up of Bavarian clubs, continued to operate successfully in the coming season, usually including a couple of northern clubs, while the Oberliga North was not reestablished until 2007.

The ESBG, now operating the 2nd Bundesliga and Oberliga for the DEB decided to reform an Oberliga North in 2007. The two separate divisions of the league were however not completely independent of each other, like in the past. Teams from the same league would meet each other four times now, while clubs from different divisions would only meet twice in the regular season. At the end of this, a combined play-off round would determine the Oberliga champion.

In 2007-08, the Oberliga was split in a northern and a southern group for the first time since 2001. The northern group contains nine, the southern ten clubs. The four best-placed teams from each group enter a best-of-five play-off round to determine the Oberliga champion and the two promoted teams to the 2nd Bundesliga. The bottom four in each group enter a play-down round to determine the relegated teams.

In the 2008-09 season, the league played in a single division format before switching to four regional divisions with an Oberliga championship at the end from 2010 onwards.

In Summer 2010 the organisation of the Oberliga goes away from the ESBG and the Mode was changed:

  • the Oberliga South is organised by the DEB from 2010/11;
  • the new Oberliga West is organised by the LEV Northrhein-Westfalen;
  • the new Oberliga North was till 2012/13 organisied by the LEV Niedersachsen - now also organised by the DEB;
  • the new Oberliga East is organised by the LEV Berlin
  • The Best teams of Groups West, North and East plays after the Normalseasons in their divisions a Finalround
    • The Best teams of the Finalround a qualified for the Promotionplaysoffs
  • The Teams of the Group Soud plays after the Normalround Playoffs for the Teams, which qualifies thems for the Promotionplayoffs

Champions[edit]

1949-58[edit]

Season Club
1948-49 EV Füssen
1949-50 SC Riessersee
1950-51 Preußen Krefeld
1951-52 Krefelder EV
1952-53 EV Füssen
1953-54 EV Füssen
1954-55 EV Füssen
1955-56 EV Füssen
1956-57 EV Füssen
1957-58 EV Füssen

1959-73[edit]

  • From 1959, the league was the second tier of German ice hockey.
Season Club
1958-59 VfL Bad Nauheim
1959-60 TuS Eintracht Dortmund
1960-61 ESV Kaufbeuren
1961-62 EV Landshut
1962-63 EV Landshut
1963-64 TuS Eintracht Dortmund
1964-65 Preußen Krefeld
1965-66 Berliner Schlittschuhclub
  • League played in a northern and southern division.
Season Oberliga North Oberliga South
1966-67 VfL Bad Nauheim Augsburger EV
1967-68 Eintracht Frankfurt SC Riessersee
1968-69 Kölner EK ESV Kaufbeuren
1969-70 EC Deilinghofen EV Rosenheim
  • Bold denotes Oberliga champion.
Season Club
1970-71 Preußen Krefeld
1971-72 Berliner Schlittschuhclub
1972-73 Kölner EC

1973-94[edit]

  • From 1973, the Oberliga was now the third tier of German ice hockey.
Season Oberliga North Oberliga South
1973-74 EC Hannover EC Peiting
1974-75 Herner EV EHC 70 München
1975-76 Herner EV EHC 70 München
1976-77 EHC Essen ERC Freiburg
1977-78 RSC Bremerhaven EV Regensburg
1978-79 Herner EV Deggendorfer SC
1979-80 Hamburger SV VER Selb
1980-81 Hamburger SV Augsburger EV
1981-82 Eintracht Frankfurt EC Peiting
1982-83 ESG Kassel SV Bayreuth
1983-84 EC Bad Nauheim VERE Selb
1984-85 SC Solingen EHC 80 Nürnberg
  • In 1975, the TSV Straubing won the title, having come second in the regular season.
  • For two seasons, the league was split into three divisions.
Season Oberliga North Oberliga Centre Oberliga South
1985-86 Neusser SC EV Stuttgart EHC 80 Nürnberg
1986-87 EC Ratingen EV Stuttgart ERC Ingolstadt
Season Oberliga North Oberliga South
1987-88 Westfalen Dortmund ERC Sonthofen
1988-89 ECD Sauerland Iserlohn Augsburger EV
1989-90 Grefrather EV EV Ravensburg
1990-91 EC Bad Nauheim SC Memmingen
1991-92 ETC Timmendorfer Strand TuS Geretsried
1992-93 Frankfurter ESC EV Landsberg
1993-94 ESC Wedemark Heilbronner EC
  • In 1994, the EC Bad Tölz won the Oberliga championship, having finished third in the regular season.
  • Bold denotes Oberliga champion.

1994- present[edit]

  • The league was renamed and became the second tier of German ice hockey.
Season 1st Liga North 1st Liga South Championship
1994-95 ERC Westfalen Dortmund SC Riessersee EHC Freiburg
1995-96 ESC Wedemark Heilbronner EC ESC Wedemark
1996-97 EHC Neuwied EC Bad Tölz EHC Neuwied
1997-98 EHC Neuwied Heilbronner EC EHC Neuwied
1998-99 REV Bremerhaven SC Bietigheim-Bissingen REV Bremerhaven
  • The league returned to its old names and became the third tier of the league system again.
Season Oberliga North Oberliga South
1999–2000 EV Duisburg EHC Straubing
2000-01 EHC Wolfsburg EV Regensburg
  • The Oberliga North folded and the southern division became the only German Oberliga.
Season Oberliga South
2001-02 EV Landshut
2002-03 1. EV Weiden
2003-04 REV Bremerhaven
2004-05 Dresdner Eislöwen
2005-06 EV Landsberg 2000
2006-07 Heilbronner Falken
  • The league is split into two groups with a joint finals round.
Season Oberliga North Oberliga South Championship
2007-08 Dresdner Eislöwen Tölzer Löwen Dresdner Eislöwen
2008-09 Hannover Indians ESV Kaufbeuren not determined
  • In the 2009-10 season, the league played in a single division format with eleven clubs:
Season Oberliga
2009–10 Starbulls Rosenheim
  • From 2010 onwards the league was played in four regional divisions:
Season Oberliga North Oberliga East Oberliga West Oberliga South Championship
2010–11 Rostocker EC Piranhas Saale Bulls Halle EHC Dortmund Tölzer Löwen SC Riessersee
2011–12 Rostocker EC Piranhas Saale Bulls Halle Rote Teufel Bad Nauheim EC Peiting Tölzer Löwen
2012-13 Rostocker EC Piranhas Saale Bulls Halle Kassel Huskies EC Peiting Rote Teufel Bad Nauheim

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]