FloorballToday starts off with a new series about floorball in Germany! Make sure you don’t miss out on Kimmo’s introduction article!
“I promised in my initial article to write something about the German league-system. I bet this article will be the most boring of all to read as well, since it is basically just about a bureaucratic organization. Sorry about that… worth knowing however in order to understand the competition in Germany.
To a large extent, the system is not that difficult, until you start looking at the promotion/relegation-systems between the levels. In order to fully grasp this thing, and I give no guarantees that I full have until now, one has to remember that Germany is rather large and consists of states (Bundesländer). As a rule, every Bundesland has its own Federation that then falls under one national federation Floorball Deutschland. In general, each of these state-federations follows the same rules, but the structures in regards to competition can vary. This is only natural since the amount of teams/players can wildly vary from one state to another. Most of the Federations have 2 different levels (Verbandsliga, Regionalliga). On top of that, there exists then 2. Bundesliga that is once again divided into two (North-West and South-East) and finally one national 1. Bundesliga.
“Headache yet? I have not even touched the 2. Bundesliga yet.”
How the teams move between the leagues is then a little bit more complex. Probably easier to start from the top. The 1st Bundesliga has 10 teams that play 2 rounds season so each team meets each other once home and once away. After 18 games, the top 6 teams go to Play-Offs. The first 2 teams then get to go directly to the second round when the places 3-6 play each other for the places in semi-finals. This takes place in best of three -games where the 3rd meets the 6th and the 4th meets the 5th. The team that ended lower in the table has the home-advantage for the first game but has to play the second (and the potential third game) then away.
This will, in the end, give us 2 winners who will play the rested 2 in the next semi-final. This will follow the same format as the previous round as will the finals as well. So basically, in order to be crowned German Champion, one has to play a minimum of 18 regular season games and 4 Play-Off games. If you want to do it the long way around, then you’d be looking at 18 regular season games, 3 games in each playoff round, so a total of 18+9 games and the title is yours, somewhere around May.
Now at the other end of the league are the play-downs. This involves the last 4 teams at the end of the regular season. A similar system as the promotion way is in place, where 7 meets 10 and 8 meets 9. The losers of these pairs then meet each other and the loser of that series will be directly relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga whilst the winner has to defend its position in the league against a qualifier from the 2. Bundesliga, once again in a series of best of 3. Headache yet? I have not even touched the 2. Bundesliga yet.
Second division (2. Bundesliga)
Well, it is not THAT bad…in the end it is not that much different than the system in use for 1.BuLi. However, since there are 2 different 2.BuLigas, the top two of each will first play against each other. Team #1 from North-West will meet #2 from South-East and #1 from South-East will meet #2 from North-West. Now winners of these two matches will play against each other in series of best of three and the winner will go straight up to the 1.BuLi the following year whilst the loser will get another chance by meeting the 2nd worst team from the 1.BuLi (see above).
And then there’s small field competition
Now this is all for the normal Floorball game… what is rather popular in Germany is also the small field (Kleinfeld) competition where they play 3vs3 plus goalies of course, on a smaller field. They have a somewhat simplified structure, but I leave that to another time perhaps. I will also leave the promotion/relegation system between the state-federations and the 2.BuLi as well as the internal systems of each Federation to another time as well.
I hope this has clarified somewhat how the game is organized in Germany. It is not THAT different from many other countries… share with us if you have some other examples. What do you think? Is this a good system? What are the positives and negatives? How does the league work in your
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