Tercera División

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Tercera División
Tercera División logo.png
Founded1929
Folded2021
CountrySpain
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams397
Level on pyramid3 (1929–1977)
4 (1977–2021)
Promotion toSegunda División (1929–1977)
Segunda División B (1977–2021)
Relegation toDivisiones Regionales
Domestic cup(s)Copa del Rey
Copa Federación
International cup(s)UEFA Europa League
(via winning Copa del Rey)
Groups of Tercera División

Tercera División (English: Third Division) was the fourth tier of the Spanish football league system. Founded in 1929, it was below the Primera División (also known as La Liga), the Segunda División, and the semi-professional Segunda División B.

For the 2021–22 season, Tercera División became the fifth tier and was renamed Tercera División RFEF due to the creation of a new, semi-professional third division by the Spanish federation (RFEF) called the Primera División RFEF.[1]

Format[edit]

Tercera División featured 360 teams divided into 18 regional groups, corresponding to the autonomous communities of Spain (due to its size, Andalusia is divided into two groups, East and West; Ceuta is allocated to West Andalusia, while Melilla is allocated to the East). Each group was administered by a regional football federation. At the end of the season the first four teams in each group qualified for promotion play-offs to decide which teams were promoted to Segunda División B. At least the three teams finishing bottom of each group were relegated to the Divisiones Regionales de Fútbol. However the number of relegated teams often varied. The eighteen group champions also qualified for the following season's Copa del Rey, of which reserve teams were ineligible. Along with teams from Segunda División B, the remaining teams from the division competed in the Copa Federación.

Until the 2018–19 season, the 18 group winners had the opportunity of direct promotion to the Segunda División B. The group winners are drawn into a two-legged series, after which the nine winners are promoted to the Segunda División B. The nine losing clubs enter the play-off round for the last nine promotion spots.

The 18 runners-up were drawn against one of the 17 fourth-placed clubs outside their group and the 18 third-placed clubs were drawn against one another in a two-legged series. The 27 winners advanced with the nine losing clubs from the champions' series to determine the 18 teams that entered the final two-legged series for the last nine promotion spots. In all the play-off series, the lower-ranked club played at home first. Whenever there was a tie in position (like the group winners in the champions' series or the third-placed teams in the first round), a draw determined the club to play at home first.

In the 2019–20 season, the promotion play-off rules were altered by an RFEF resolution after that season was suspended and later curtailed due to the coronavirus disease pandemic in Spain. Thus, the top four teams in each group at the time of suspension were deemed to qualify for the play-offs, which will be contested on a regional basis at neutral venues. The 18 group winners were drawn against the fourth-place clubs while the 18 runners-up were drawn against the third-place clubs within their groups, all in two-legged series. The 36 first-round winners played single knock-out games in each of their regions, from which 18 were promoted to the Segunda División B. The 18 losing clubs will be able to play additional play-off rounds if possible for the remaining two spots in the third-tier division, which initially expanded to 100 teams divided into five groups of 20 and subdivided into 10 subgroups of 10 teams each, only for 2020–21.[2] However, two more clubs were promoted after the RFEF cancelled the Tercera División repechages without replaying them,[3] thus there are now four groups of 20 and one group of 22, subdivided into eight subgroups of 10 and two subgroups of 11.

Group Region Relegation
1 Galicia Preferente de Galicia
2 Asturias Preferente de Asturias
3 Cantabria Preferente de Cantabria
4 Basque Country Basque lower levels
5 Catalonia and Andorra Primera Catalana
6 Valencian Community Preferente Comunidad Valenciana
7 Community of Madrid Preferente de Madrid
8 Castile and León Preferente de Castilla y León
9 Eastern Andalusia and Melilla Primera Eastern Andaluza
10 Western Andalusia and Ceuta Primera Western Andaluza
11 Balearic Islands Preferente
12 Canary Islands Interinsular Preferente
13 Murcia Preferente de Murcia
14 Extremadura Preferente de Extremadura
15 Navarre Preferente de Navarra
16 La Rioja Preferente de La Rioja
17 Aragon Preferente de Aragón
18 Castile-La Mancha Preferente de Castilla-La Mancha

History[edit]

During the inaugural La Liga season of 1928–29 a third level of teams known as Segunda División B was also organised. This division featured 10 teams and at the end of the season Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa were crowned champions. However the 1929–30 season saw the first of many reorganisations of the Spanish football league system and the Tercera Division was born. During its first season the division featured 33 teams divided into eight groups. The eight group winners qualified for a play-off and CD Castellón eventually beat Barakaldo CF 3-2 to be declared champions. The most significant reorganisation came at the start of the 1977–78 season with the revival of Segunda División B which replaced the Tercera División as the third level.

On 6 May 2020, the RFEF announced the creation of a new, two-group, 40-team third division called Primera División RFEF, which made the former third and fourth divisions, Segunda División B and Tercera División, respectively, drop down a level and change into Segunda División RFEF and Tercera División RFEF; the changes were made effective for the 2021–22 campaign.[2][4]

Evolution of the Tercera División[edit]

Tier\Years 1928–50 1950–55 1955–68 1968–70 1970–77 1977–79 1979–80 1980–83 1983–86 1986–87 1987–89 1989–92 1992–04 2004–06 2006–20 2020–21
3 4 to 10 groups 6 groups 14 groups 8 groups 4 groups Segunda División B
4 Regional divisions 6 groups 8 groups 13 groups 14 groups 16 groups 17 groups 17 groups
+2 subgroups
17 groups 17 groups
+2 subgroups
18
groups
18 groups
+36 subgroups
5 Regional divisions

Historical classification[edit]

Latest group champions and promoted teams[edit]

In bold, group champions are promoted to Segunda División B. Administrative promotions not included in this table.

Season I
X
II
XI
III
XII
IV
XIII
V
XIV
VI
XV
VII
XVI
VIII
XVII
IX
XVIII
2006–07 Deportivo B Caudal Noja Zalla Reus Dénia RSD Alcalá Mirandés Granada Atlético
Algeciras Eivissa Las Palmas B Murcia B Jerez Valle de Egüés Haro Zaragoza B Conquense
Other promoted teams: Girona (V), Sabadell (V), Gavà (V), Villarreal B (VI), Ontinyent (VI), Betis B (X), Lucena (X), San Isidro (XII), Villa de Santa Brígida (XII), Fuerteventura (XII), Mazarrón (XIII), Peña Sport (XIV), Guadalajara (XVIII)
2007–08 Ciudad de Santiago Oviedo Gimn. Torrelavega Portugalete Barcelona B Alzira Ciempozuelos Mirandés Roquetas
CD San Fernando Atlético Baleares Atlético Granadilla Ciudad de Lorquí Don Benito Izarra Alfaro Ejea Toledo
Other promoted teams: Sporting Gijón B (II), Racing Santander B (III), Sant Andreu (V), Valencia Mestalla (VI), Navalcarnero (VII), Antequera (IX), Linense (X), Peña Deportiva (XI), Las Palmas Atlético (XII), Sangonera (XIII), Murcia B (XIII)
2008–09 Compostela Oviedo Gimn. Torrelavega Lagun Onak Espanyol B Villajoyosa RSD Alcalá CF Palencia Unión Estepona
San Roque de Lepe Mallorca B Tenerife B Caravaca Cerro Reyes Izarra Varea Atlético Monzón Toledo
Other promoted teams: Mirandés (VIII), Sporting Mahonés (XI), Cacereño (XIV)
2009–10 Deportivo B Caudal Noja Real Sociedad B L'Hospitalet Gandía Rayo Vallecano B Burgos At. Mancha Real
Alcalá Atlético Baleares Corralejo Jumilla CF Badajoz Tudelano Oyonesa Teruel La Roda
Other promoted teams: Coruxo (I), Santboià (V), Alzira (VI), Getafe B (VII), Yeclano (XIII), Extremadura (XIV), Peña Sport (XV), La Muela (XVII)
2010–11 Cerceda Marino Luanco Noja Amorebieta Llagostera Valencia Mestalla Alcobendas Sport Burgos Comarca de Níjar
Linense Manacor Lanzarote Costa Cálida Villanovense Tudelano Náxara Andorra Toledo
Other promoted teams: Sestao River (IV), Reus (V), Olímpic (VI), SS Reyes (VII), Gimnástica Segoviana (VIII), Arandina (VIII), Sporting Villanueva (XIV), La Roda (XVIII)
2011–12 Ourense Caudal Noja Laudio Prat Catarroja Fuenlabrada Valladolid B Loja
At. Sanluqueño Constància Marino Yeclano Arroyo Peña Sport SD Logroñés Ejea Villarrobledo
Other promoted teams: Barakaldo (IV), San Fernando (X), Binissalem (XI), Izarra (XV), Tudelano (XV)
2012–13 Racing Ferrol Tuilla Tropezón Laudio Olot Elche Ilicitano Puerta Bonita Burgos El Palo
Algeciras Peña Deportiva Las Palmas Atlético La Hoya Lorca Extremadura San Juan Haro Sariñena Toledo
Other promoted teams: Celta Vigo B (I), Compostela (I), Granada B (IX), Conquense (XVIII)
2013–14 Somozas Lealtad Gimn. Torrelavega Leioa Cornellà Eldense Trival Valderas Valladolid B Marbella
Real Betis B Mallorca B Atlético Granadilla UCAM Murcia Villanovense Izarra Varea Zaragoza B Puertollano[N 1]
Other promoted teams: Langreo (II), Rayo Vallecano B (VII), Atlético Astorga (VIII), San Roque de Lepe (X), Socuéllamos (XVIII)
2014–15 Pontevedra Condal Laredo Portugalete Ascó Castellón Rayo Majadahonda Arandina Linares
Algeciras Formentera Mensajero Jumilla Mérida Peña Sport Varea Ebro Talavera de la Reina
Other promoted teams: Gernika (IV), Arenas (IV), Pobla de Mafumet (V), Atlético Levante (VI), Llosetense (XI), Izarra (XV)
2015–16 Boiro Caudal Laredo Zamudio Prat Atlético Saguntino SS Reyes Zamora At. Mancha Real
Córdoba B Mallorca B Villa de Santa Brígida Lorca Deportiva Extremadura Osasuna B Calahorra Deportivo Aragón Conquense
Other promoted teams: Gavà (V), Navalcarnero (VII), Palencia (VIII), El Ejido (IX), At. Sanluqueño (X), San Fernando (X), Mutilvera (XV)
2016–17 Deportivo B Sporting B Gimn. Torrelavega Alavés B Olot Olímpic Atlético Madrid B Gimn. Segoviana Atlético Malagueño
Real Betis B Formentera Las Palmas Atlético Lorca Deportiva Cacereño Peña Sport Calahorra Deportivo Aragón Talavera de la Reina
Other promoted teams: Rápido de Bouzas (I), Vitoria (IV), Ontinyent (VI), Unión Adarve (VII), Écija (X), Badajoz (XIV)
2017–18 Compostela Oviedo B Gimn. Torrelavega Cultural Durango Espanyol B Atlético Levante Internacional Unionistas Atlético Malagueño
Cádiz B Mallorca B Tenerife B Yeclano Don Benito Mutilvera Calahorra Teruel Conquense
Other promoted teams: Langreo (II), Castellón (VI), Salmantino (VIII), Almería B (IX), Atlético Sanluqueño (X), Ejea (XVII)
2018–19 Racing Ferrol Lealtad Escobedo Portugalete Llagostera Orihuela Getafe B Zamora Jaén
Cádiz B Peña Deportiva Tamaraceite Yeclano Mérida Osasuna B Haro Tarazona Socuéllamos
Other promoted teams: Marino Luanco (II), Alavés B (IV), Prat (V), La Nucía (VI), Las Rozas (VII), Algeciras (X), Villarrubia (XVIII), Villarrobledo (XVIII)
2019–20 Compostela Lealtad Laredo Portugalete L'Hospitalet Alcoyano Navalcarnero Zamora Linares
Betis Deportivo Poblense Marino Lorca Deportiva Villanovense Mutilvera SD Logroñés Tarazona Socuéllamos
Other promoted teams: Covadonga (II), Atzeneta (VI), El Ejido (IX), Tamaraceite (XII)
2020–21 Arenteiro Ceares Cayón Gernika Europa Eldense Leganés B Gimn. Segoviana Vélez
Xerez Deportivo Ibiza Pitiusas Mensajero Águilas FC Cacereño Peña Sport Racing Rioja Teruel Marchamalo
Other promoted teams: Bergantiños, Arosa (I) Llanera, Avilés (II) Rayo Cantabria, Tropezón (III) Real Sociedad C, Sestao River (IV) Terrassa, Cerdanyola del Vallès (V) Alzira, Intercity (VI) Unión Adarve, Móstoles URJC (VII) Cristo Atlético, Burgos Promesas (VIII) Mancha Real, Antequera (IX) San Roque Lepe, Ceuta (X) Andratx, Formentera (XI) Panadería Pulido, San Fernando (XII) Pulpileño, Mar Menor (XIII) Montijo, Coria (XIV) San Juan, Ardoi (XV) Náxara, UD Logroñés B (XVI) Brea, Huesca B (XVII) Calvo Sotelo, Toledo (XVIII)
  1. ^ Puertollano resigned to promotion due to financial difficulties.

Records[edit]

Updated at the end of the 2019–20 season.
Most seasons
Most points
Most games played
Most wins
Most draws
Most losses
Most goals scored
Most goals received
Most group titles
Most promotion play-offs played
Highest attendance

References[edit]

  1. ^ "La R.F.E.F. comunica las novedosas bases de competición para la próxima temporada en Tercera División" [The RFEF communicates the new competition rules for the next season in the Third Division]. VTV (in Spanish). 15 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Comunicado de la RFEF en relación con las competiciones no profesionales del fútbol español" (in Spanish). RFEF. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Suben a 2ªB los cuatro equipos que no pudieron disputar la fase adicional de ascenso de 3ª División". RFEF (in Spanish). 10 August 2020.
  4. ^ "La Federación desvela el misterio: La nueva Segunda B se denominará Primera División RFEF". ABC (in Spanish). 15 September 2020. Retrieved 18 September 2020.

External links[edit]