Germany Regional liga
The Regionalliga is the fourth league in the German football league system. Until 1974 it was the second stage in Germany and in 1994 it was introduced as a third stage. With the creation of the new nationwide 3rd league in 2008, it became the fourth tier.
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In October 2010, another reform of Regionalligas was decided, with the number of leagues rose to five and the game began in the 2012/13 season. Under this new format, the old Regionalliga Nordost would be restored and created the new Regionalliga Südwest and the new Regionalliga Bayern. The southwest would take clubs from the southern part of the Regionalliga West and also everything from the Regionallia Süd outside of Bavaria. It was also decided to limit the number of reserve teams per regional league to seven.
The five league champions and the vice-champion of the Regionalliga Südwest play for the three promotion places in a home and away series. The new leagues consisted in their opening season of up to 22 clubs, but were reduced to 16 to 18 clubs. The Regionalligas are not administered by the DFB, but by the regional football associations. As for reserve teams, only seven were initially allowed in each league, but this rule may change in certain circumstances. Reserve sides of 3rd league teams are not allowed in the Regionalliga.
At the 96th DFB Bundestag in December 2017, the delegates decided to change the promotion rules and reduce the number of leagues to four. To achieve this, a temporary solution was introduced for the seasons 2018-19 and 2019-20. Four teams will be promoted and three guaranteed places will be awarded by the champions of the five regional leagues. The champion of the Southwest League, who gives up his second playoff spot, will automatically be promoted in the next two seasons. In addition, two teams will be promoted from the other four regional leagues. In the season 2018/19, the champion of the Northeastern league is also promoted directly. The winner of the third guaranteed action place will be determined by draw. The remaining two regional league champions of the 2018/19 season will compete against each other in a two-legged playoff that sets the fourth promotion spot. The two regional leagues whose teams participated in the playoffs will automatically be promoted for the 2019-20 season. As a result, the third tier will have four relegation spots.
An association that wants to play in the Regionalliga must fulfill two conditions. First, the team must qualify for the league. Second, the club must obtain a license from the DFB. This license is issued when the club can prove that it is financially sound, that its stadium complies with safety regulations and that it has a youth work department.
The champions of three divisions are promoted automatically. The remaining two take part in the promotion round in the third league for the fourth promotion round at the end of the season. Reserve teams can also be promoted, unless the first team plays in the third league.
At least the two lowest teams of each division are downgraded to their respective leagues. In the Regionalliga Nord, the fourth last team is also devalued if they lose a play-off against the runner-up of the Oberliga Niedersachsen. The penultimate team takes part in the play-off, when the Nordmeister is promoted and no relegated from the 3rd league comes from the north. The actual number of relegated players from each division depends on the number of relegated players from the 3rd league and promotions from the top league.
Since clubs in the Regionalliga have to have their teams licensed by the DFB each season, a relegation can also take place in that his license is withdrawn or the administration begins. Reserve teams are also relegated when the respective first team has relegated to the third league.
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