Ice Hockey Wiki
ESBG logo.jpg
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1948
No. of teams 19
Country(ies) Flag of GermanyGermany
Most recent champion(s) Heilbronner Falken
Official website Official ESBG website

The Oberliga (English:Premier League) is currently the third tier of ice hockey in Germany. In the 2007-08 season, the Oberliga is split in a northern and a southern group.



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 determined the German champion. The founding members were:

  • EV Füssen (became first champion of the league)
  • Preußen Krefeld
  • SC Riessersee
  • VfL Bad Nauheim
  • HC Augsburg
  • Kölner EK

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 highest level of play in the country. It was decided to form the Eishockey Bundesliga. The best eight clubs from the Oberliga, which now operated with twelve clubs again, qualified for the new first division.


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 Süd and Oberliga Nord. The winners of the two divisions would determined 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.


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.


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, nation wide 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 admitted to the new Bundesliga and 2nd Liga clubs. However, this situation existed for only one season.


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

The ESBG, now operating the 2nd Bundesliga and Oberliga for the DEB decided to reform an Oberliga Nord 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 determined the Oberliga champion.

The ESBG plans to extend the league from 19 to 20 clubs for the 2008-09 season, to run two regional divisions of ten clubs.

Season 2007-08

The Oberliga was split into a northern and a southern group for the first time in years. The northern group contains nine, the southern ten clubs. The four best placed teams from each group will be entering a best-of-five play-off round to determind the Oberliga champion and the two promoted teams to the 2nd Bundesliga. The bottom four in each group enter a play-down round to determind the relegated teams.



  • From 1949 to 1958, the Oberliga champions were also the German champions.
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


  • 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 Nord Oberliga Süd
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


  • From 1973, the Oberliga was now the third tier of German ice hockey.
Season Oberliga Nord Oberliga Süd
1973-74 EC Hannover EC Peiting
1974-75 Herner EV EHC 70 München
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 Nord Oberliga Mitte Oberliga Süd
1985-86 Neusser SC EV Stuttgart EHC 80 Nürnberg
1986-87 EC Ratingen EV Stuttgart ERC Ingolstadt
Season Oberliga Nord Oberliga Süd
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

  • The league was renamed and became the second tier of German ice hockey.
Season 1st Liga Nord 1st Liga Süd 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 Nord Oberliga Süd
1999-2000 EV Duisburg EHC Straubing
2000-01 EHC Wolfsburg EV Regensburg
  • The Oberliga Nord folded and the southern division became the only German Oberliga.
Season Oberliga Süd
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 Nord Oberliga Süd Championship
2007-08 Dresdner Eislöwen Tölzer Löwen Dresdner Eislöwen
2008-09 Hannover Indians ESV Kaufbeuren not determined

See Also

List of Oberliga seasons

External links


This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Oberliga (ice hockey). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).