The mode

18 teams compete season by season in the Second Bundesliga for the three promotion places into the highest class. Matches are played in a round robin mode in first and second leg ties (at home and away). The bottom four of the table are relegated at the end of the season and are replaced by the four best teams of the Regionalligen (third division).

Since the 1995/96 season the three-point rule is being applied. The winner of a match gets three (formerly two) points; in case of a tie one point is given to each team, the loser gets none.

The champions of the Regionalligen Süd, West/Südwest und Nord/Nordost (third divisions south, west/southwest and north/northeast) are qualified for the 1999/2000 season of the Second Bundesliga. The champion of the Regionalliga Nord/Nordost (third division north/northeast) is determined in two decisive matches by the winners of the Regionalliga Gruppe Nord and Regionalliga Gruppe Nordost. The fourth team to go up is determined in a play-off round between the second-placed of the Regionalligen Süd and West/Südwest (third division south and west/southwest) and the losers of the decisive matches of the two Regionalligen Gruppe Nord und Nordost (third division, groups north and northeast).

Beginning with the season 2000/2001 the new two-track Regionalliga (third division) will become effective where, 18 clubs will be playing in the Regionalliga Süd (third division south) and, 19 clubs in the Regionalliga Nord (third division north). The first and the second-placed of the Regionalligen Nord und Süd (third divisions north and south) will then go up to the Second Bundesliga. Should there be clubs among them who are already playing professional soccer, or who don't get a license, the right to promote goes automatically to the third or fourth, respectively, of the table, but not to a club who is lower in the table. The number of clubs in a division may possibly be reduced in a year of transition.

last update: 2000