Treća HNL

The 3rd HNL or HNL treca is the third- highest division in the Croatian football club. The treca HNL was established in 1991, after Croatia had detached from the Yugoslav confederation. The treca HNL is organized by the Croatian football federation HNS and organized.


The clubs are divided into five leagues and play in the return game for the promotion to the second HNL ( Druga HNL). The last five teams in the league will be relegated to the fourth division regional leagues, while the master of 3rd HNL ascend directly or play the climber in a qualification game.

Initially, each season champion went straight on into the second HNL. Later the relegation mode has been introduced. In addition, the rule was introduced that the club, which wants to ascend to the second Croatian league, must meet certain criteria in order to obtain a license. This arrangement meant that clubs which have risen from a sporting point of view, had to withdraw its claim to a place in the second division, as for example, the stages were unsuitable.

  • Treca HNL center Zagreb (city)
  • County of Karlovac
  • Krapina-Zagorje County
  • Sisak - Moslavina
  • Zagreb ( surrounding )
  • Lika- Senj
  • Gorski Kotar Primorje -
  • County of Istria
  • County of Brod - Posavina
  • Osijek - Baranja
  • Požega - Slavonia
  • Vukovar- Syrmia County
  • Zadar County
  • Šibenik-Knin County
  • Split- Dalmatia
  • County of Dubrovnik -Neretva
  • Bjelovar -Bilogora
  • Koprivnica - Križevci
  • Međimurje County
  • Varaždin County
  • Virovitica - Podravina


The treca HNL was founded in 1991, its first edition was, however, only a year later. The league format changed several times since its founding; last for the season 2012/13. Originally treca HNL had four leagues. In the season 1992/93 was introduced with the Eastern League for a fifth season treca HNL. In this mode, the third HNL took place until the 2006/07 season, before a reclassification in three leagues held á 18 teams. Since the 2012/13 season, the third HNL is fünfgleisig again.

  • Football competition in Croatia
  • Abbreviation
  • Founded in 1991