3. Liga

The third league is the third highest league in the German professional football. It was introduced in the 2008 /09 season as a new division between the 2nd Bundesliga and designated as Regional fourth-highest league.


In January 2006 came again to the discussion of a reorganization of the amateur leagues and the creation of a single-track 3 Bundesliga. The aim of the reform was to create a larger power density for the substructure of the 2nd Bundesliga with better support and development opportunities for talented players. In addition, better marketing of the third division should be achieved. Violent dispute arose prior to the date set for September 2006 decision on the DFB Bundestag at the participation of the second teams of the first and second division. After the U23 teams of professional clubs for reasons of distortion of competition and low attendances at first should not participate in the newly created League, called for several Bundesliga clubs unrestricted right to participate. Ultimately, a compromise was worked out, which provided that initially only allowed to play four secondary missions in the premiere season of the 3rd league. On 8 September 2006 the introduction of the single-track 3 League was finally decided at an extraordinary DFB Bundestag. For the season premiere clubs in the existing regional leagues north and south could qualify half each, were added four relegated from the Bundesliga 2. For now, the third German soccer division is supported and managed by the DFB and thus since the 2008/ 09 season, the top division, which is exclusively organized by the DFB. Since the DFL is responsible for organizing the national leagues, the new class is not broadcasting the name of third Bundesliga. On 10 April 2008, the public put the DFB before the logo for the new league.

Unlike the introduction of the 2nd league in 1974, or the merger of the North and Südstaffel for single-track 2nd Bundesliga for the season 1981/82 there were no multi-year score in identifying participants for the first season of the new 3rd Liga. It was only the performance of the teams in the qualifying period for the Regional League season 2007/08. The teams that were in positions three to ten of the final tables of the two Regional squadrons were, athletic qualified for the third league. There were four second division relegated the season 2007/08. The non-qualified after completion of the approval process for the new league third division play in the new three-part fourth division Regionalliga provided that a license has been given.

The Premiere League game of the third denied on 25 July 2008 at 20:30 clock in the Erfurt Steigerwaldstadion the FC Rot -Weiss Erfurt and the SG Dynamo Dresden. The game ended 0-1 and was broadcast live on MDR television. First Goalscorer Halil Savran is the 3rd Liga, the first leader of the SC Paderborn 07 First Master of the 3rd Liga was on May 9, 2009, the first FC Union Berlin, who received the eight and a half -pound champion trophy made ​​of silver.

Game Mode

Since the first season 2008/ 09 playing 20 clubs for the promotion to the 2nd Bundesliga. The first two teams to rise to direct, third-placed to play against third from bottom of the Bundesliga 2 in two play-offs for promotion to the relegation. The three last-place teams will be relegated to the fourth-rate Regional and replaced by three climbers from the regional leagues. The four best teams in the league qualify for the DFB Cup.

In the founding year, a maximum of four second teams of the two clubs Bundesligen could qualify for the 3rd league. This scheme, however, was then exposed. Would this have to be led to many Second teams in the 3rd Liga, the regulations would have been reviewed in this regard in 2010. And there were in the first three seasons, never more than four secondary missions at the same time in the league. In return, the clubs in the national leagues waived the right to stand with their second teams in the DFB Cup competition. In addition, the second Representatives shall have no share of the television money.

U -23 regulation

All amateur clubs are required, at least four players to lead to any game on the scoresheet, would be eligible for a DFB team, and have not attained the age of 23 on July 1 of each season. Second teams of first and second division are committed to a maximum of three players who have reached the age of 23 on July 1, insert at the same time in a game.


Since the founding of the 3rd Liga in 2008, played a total of 42 teams in this division, with the SV Elversberg, MSV Duisburg and RB Leipzig are the latest additions in the 2013/14 season. Four teams belong to the league so far in all six seasons of uninterrupted: Rot-Weiß Erfurt, the SpVgg Unterhaching, VfB Stuttgart II and Wacker Burghausen.

For the 2013/14 season, the following teams have qualified:

2 relegated from the Bundesliga 2:

  • SSV Jahn Regensburg
  • MSV Duisburg ( demotion due to lack of funds )

15 teams from the previous season:

  • Wehen
  • FC Rot -Weiß Erfurt
  • 1 FC Saarbrücken
  • Hansa Rostock
  • VfL Osnabrück ( losers of relegation to Bundesliga 2 )
  • Chemnitz FC
  • Preußen Münster
  • SV Darmstadt 98 ( Sporty relegated last season, benefited from the relegation of Kickers Offenbach)
  • 1.FC Heidenheim
  • VfB Stuttgart II
  • SpVgg Unterhaching
  • Wacker Burghausen
  • Hallescher FC
  • Borussia Dortmund II
  • Stuttgarter Kickers

3 climbers from the regional leagues:

Stadiums 2013/14


In addition to the qualification on sporting merit the clubs concerned must also meet the mandatory DFB Bureau economic, technical and organizational requirements. These include the fact that the capacity of the stadiums more than 10,000 courses must ( including 2,000 seats) be in the new 3rd Liga; of these places in turn must be covered at least one-third. In second teams a stadium capacity of 5000 seats is sufficient. The coach must have completed the football teacher training. Except Kickers Emden met all qualified on sporting merit clubs in the establishment season these conditions. After Emden yet received a license with conditions in the first season, the club was forced to withdraw its application for a license in the 3rd League the following year.

The Bureau of the DFB in November 2007 regulated the distribution of television money for the new league. From an initially valid up to 2009 television contract with SportA the clubs received a total of 10 million euros. The three qualified secondary representations of first division are not involved in the television money. Since the 2009/10 season, a new contract that guarantees an annual cash distribution of 12.8 million euros to the clubs applies. The contract ran until 2012.

The third league is economically more successful than the first-class German leagues in all other sports since its first season.

Season budgets

Promoted and relegated from the 3rd Liga

And losers in the 3rd League


  • Most points, namely 311, collected so far 1.FC Heidenheim in five seasons ( 184 games).
  • The best season record in the league reached 3 Eintracht Braunschweig in the 2010/11 season with 85 points from 26 wins, 7 draws and 5 losses.
  • The most goals scored in a season Dominik Stroh-Engel from SV Darmstadt 98 (currently 26 goals after the 32nd matchday of the 2013/14 season ).
  • The team with the most goals in a season is Eintracht Braunschweig ( 81 goals in the season 2010 /11).
  • The team with the fewest goals against in a season is Eintracht Braunschweig (22 goals in the season 2010/ 11).
  • Most goals ( 4) within a game made ​​Dominik Stroh-Engel from SV Darmstadt 98 on September 21, 2013 in a 6-0 against Hansa Rostock, Salvatore Amirante from FC Carl Zeiss Jena 9 August 2009 in a 6-0 against Bayern Munich Munich II and Marcel Reich wine from FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt 17 March 2012 in a 4-2 against SV Sandhausen.
  • The biggest win was the 7-0 away win from 1 FC Saarbrücken FC Carl Zeiss Jena on August 11, 2010.
  • The highest-scoring game was the 5:5 Eintracht Braunschweig against Fortuna Dusseldorf on matchday 35 of the season 2008/09.
  • The fastest goal scored in the game Daniel Frahn RB Leipzig vs VfB Stuttgart II Round 9 of the 2013/14 season after 9 seconds.
  • The record attendance set with 50 095 visitors Fortuna Dusseldorf in the match against Werder Bremen II on May 23, 2009.
  • The longest winning streak reached Karlsruher SC with nine games won episode (Matchday 15 - 23rd of the season 2012/ 13).
  • The highest average attendance of a third-highest league in Germany reached Eintracht Braunschweig in the 2010/11 season with an average of 17,473 spectators.

Players in bold are currently active with a club in the third division.

Player of the Month / Player of the Year

Since the 2009/10 season, the Internet platform fussball.de leads together with dfb.de the election of the " third- League Player of the Month" by. The coaches of the 20 teams in the calendar months with game operation nominate a total of five players, one of whom will be chosen by internet vote for player of the month. At season's end, the monthly winners will be in another online poll for "third- League Player of the Year " for election.

The overviews of the " Player of the Month " are located in the seasonal items.