Soviet Second League
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after 52 seasons
|Level on pyramid||Level 3|
|Promotion to||Soviet First League|
|Relegation to||Soviet Second League B |
or KFK competitions
|Last champions||Karpaty Lviv|
|Most championships||11 clubs (2)|
The Soviet Second League was the third highest division of Soviet football, below the Soviet First League. The division lasted from the inception of Soviet league football in 1936 to the dissolution of USSR in 1991.
The League was established in 1936, but was discontinued after the 1937 season for over 15 years. The experimental edition of the League was introduced in 1946. But the consistent League takes its roots from 1963. Prior to 1990, the league was divided into multiple regional zones (as many as 9) and the top finishers of those zones would take part in an additional mini-tournament to determine which teams get promoted to the Soviet First League. In 1991, the regional zones became a part of Soviet Second League B, while the Soviet Second League was split into 3 major regional zones, West, Center, and East. The group winners of these zones would now qualify for the Soviet First League.
The most titles of the League won was two by 11 different teams out of various now independent republics. The last winners of the League were FC Karpaty Lviv, FC Asmaral Moscow, and FC Okean Nakhodka.
Between 1960 and 1970 football competitions in Class B were split by republican principle at first as tier two, that as tier three, and at the end in 1970 it was downgraded to the auxiliary tier four (or lower tier three). Each competition had multiple number of groups that were known as zones.
- Class B of the Russian SFSR (1959-1970)
- Class B of the Ukrainian SSR (1960-1970)
- Class B of Union republics (1960-1967)
- Class B of Central Asia (1966-1970)
- Class B of the Kazakh SSR (1968-1970)
- Class B of Caucasus (1969)
In 1970-1971 the Soviet league system was restructured for lower leagues and Class B competitions were discontinued. Republican competitions were conducted with the Soviet Second League which consisted of multiple groups (zones). There was no explicit designation of zones as they were simply numerated.
Republican competitions continued to be conducted among collective of physical culture and were considered as amateur.
- 1936-1937 Group V (third letter in the Russian alphabet)
- 1936-1937 Group G
- 1936-1937 Group D and Group of Cities of the Far East
- 1946-1946 Third Group
- 1963-1969 Class B
- 1970-1970 Second Group (Class A)
- 1970-1970 Class B
- 1971-1989 Second League
- 1990-1991 Buffer League
- 1990-1991 Second League B
|1936 (spring)||FC Dinamo Rostov/Don||Stroiteli Baku||Dynamo Odessa|
|1936 (autumn)||Dinamo Kazan||Spartak Kharkiv||Dynamo Dnipropetrovsk|
|1937||Dynamo Odessa||Lokomotyv Kyiv||Stakhanovets Staline|
|1946||1||Spartak Uzhhorod||Krylya Sovetov Tbilisi||five groups winners and runners-up of which qualified for the two final groups|
|2||Dinamo Riga||Zenit Kaliningrad|
Second Group (Class A)
|1970||Ukraine||Metalurh Zaporizhia||Tavriya Simferopol||Avtomobilist Zhytomyr||three zones; top two teams of second and third groups played in final Russian group|
|Russia||Avtomobilist Nalchik||Spartak Yoshkar‑Ola||Kuzbass Kemerevo|
All-time table (top 20)
There were over 520 teams that played in the Soviet Second League.
|Krivbass Krivoi Rog||Ukraine||22||1963||1988||1003||428||295||280||1267||967||1579|
|Mashuk Piatigorsk||Russia||24||1936 (f)||1989||916||431||202||283||1224||953||1495|
1Three points for a win. In 1973, a point for a draw was awarded only to a team that won the subsequent penalty shootout. In 1978–1988, the number of draws for which points were awarded was limited.
- Ukrainian Zone - the Ukrainian Republican competitions of the Soviet Second League only, not including the interzonal tournaments.