The Westfalenliga (formerly the Verbandsliga Westfalen) is the second highest amateur football league in the region of Westphalia which is part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the sixth tier of the German football league system. It operates in two groups which run parallel below the Oberliga Westfalen. Until the introduction of the 3. Liga in 2008 it was the fifth tier of the league system, until the introduction of the Regionalligas in 1994 the fourth tier.
|Confederation||Westphalian Football and|
|Number of teams||32|
|Level on pyramid||Level 6|
|Promotion to||Oberliga Westfalen|
|Relegation to||Landesliga Westfalen|
|Current champions||Group 1: SC Preußen Münster II|
Group 2: RSV Meinerzhagen
The league was formed as a tier-three league under the name Verbandsliga Westfalen in two groups of 16 clubs in 1956 to provide a more streamlined top level for the regional football governing body, the Westphalian Football Association. In earlier years, the Landesliga Westfalen, operated in five groups, was the highest levels of football in the region. The Landesliga still remains as the tier below the Verbandsliga until today.
Despite being operated in two groups, called Nordost or (Gruppe 1) and Südwest or (Gruppe 2), the Verbandsliga Westfalen has to be seen as one league with two regional groups as clubs have been moved frequently between groups, according to geographical needs. The administration and history of the two groups have always been closely tied.
In the early years, the league held a championship series between the two group winners for the title of Westphalian champions at the end of the season. The winner of this series however was not automatically the team promoted to the tier-two 2. Oberliga West. Instead, promotion was determined by a series of games involving the two Verbandsliga Westfalen group winners as well as the champions of the Verbandsliga Niederrhein and Verbandsliga Mittelrhein. This championship series was abandoned after the Oberliga Westfalen was introduced in 1978 as a highest league for the region.
With the introduction of the Bundesliga in 1963, the Verbandsliga came a feeder the also new implemented Regionalliga West but remained, unchanged otherwise, as the third tier of the league system. The same applied when the Regionalliga was replaced by the 2nd Bundesliga Nord in 1974. The league champions however now had to gain promotion through a play-off system with the winners of the other tier-three leagues in northern Germany.
In 1978, the Amateur-Oberliga Westfalen was formed as the third tier of football in Westfalen. One of the main reasons for this move was to provide direct promotion for the tier-three champions again. The clubs placed one to nine in each Verbandsliga group were admitted to the new Oberliga. The Verbandsliga became the feeder league for the new Oberliga, but now as a tier-four competition. Both champions, and some years one or both runners-up, were directly promoted to Oberliga. With the re-introduction of the Regionalligen in 1994, the league slipped to tier-five but remained unchanged otherwise.
In 2008, with the introduction of the 3. Liga, the Verbandsliga was downgraded to the sixth tier. Also, the league now became a feeder to the new founded NRW-Liga, a merger of the Oberliga Nordrhein and the Oberliga Westfalen. The champions of both Verbandsliga groups were still directly promoted. Promotions for the runners-up was abolished due to the merger. The league also changed their name to Westfalenliga.
In 2012 the Oberliga Westfalen was reintroduced as the league above the Westfalenliga, replacing the NRW-Liga again. The number of Landesligas below the Westfalenliga was also reduced from five to four.
From 1957 to 1978 a championship decider was played to determine the Westfalen champion, usually played on home-and-away base with a third game if necessary. Some seasons however, there was only one game, on neutral ground and in 1966 and 1968 no games were played.
|Season||Group 1||Group 2|
|1957||SpVgg Beckum||Sportfreunde Gladbeck||5-1||3-3||-|
|1958||SpVgg Erkenschwick||FV Hombruch 09||2-3||3-7||-|
|1959||SpVgg Beckum||Sportfreunde Siegen||2-0||2-1||-|
|1960||BV Selm||SSV Hagen||1-3||3-0||2-1|
|1961||Germania Datteln||Sportfreunde Siegen||0-3||5-0||2-0|
|1962||Arminia Bielefeld||BV Brambauer||2-1||0-0||-|
|1963||VfB 03 Bielefeld||Lüner SV||-||-||1-3|
|1964||Eintracht Gelsenkirchen||SC Dortmund 95||1-1||2-2||2-0|
|1965||SpVgg Erkenschwick||VfL Bochum||1-4||3-2||1-1|
|1966||Hammer SpVg||SSV Hagen||-||-||-|
|1967||SpVgg Erkenschwick||Lüner SV||-||-||0-0|
|1968||SpVgg Erkenschwick||SSV Hagen||-||-||-|
|1969||DJK Gütersloh||SG Wattenscheid 09||-||-||3-1|
|1970||Eintracht Gelsenkirchen||Westfalia Herne||-||-||2-1|
|1971||Arminia Gütersloh||VfL Klafeld-Geisweid||-||-||1-0|
|1972||STV Horst-Emscher||Sportfreunde Siegen||3-1||0-4||6-7|
|1973||VfB 03 Bielefeld||Rot-Weiß Lüdenscheid||-||-||2-1|
|1974||SC Recklinghausen||TuS Neuenrade||0-3||2-4||-|
|1975||Arminia Gütersloh||Westfalia Herne||0-2||2-4||-|
|1976||SC Herford||SV Holzwickede||3-1||1-2||-|
|1977||Arminia Gütersloh||Rot-Weiß Lüdenscheid||2-6||2-0||-|
|1978||1. FC Paderborn||DSC Wanne-Eickel||0-2||2-1||-|
- Promoted teams in bold.
- In 1965, VfL Bochum won by coin flip.
- In 1966 and 1968, no champion was determined; in 1967 the contest was drawn.
- In 1969, SpVgg Erkenschwick, runners-up of Group 1, was also promoted.
With the introduction of the Oberliga Westfalen in 1978, the winner of this league was the official champion of Westfalen, deciders between the two Verbandsliga champions were therefore unnecessary. League winners were automatically promoted, some seasons the runners-up too.
|Jahr||Group 1||Group 2||Promoted runners-up|
|1979||VfB Waltrop||Teutonia Lippstadt||-|
|1980||Hammer SpVg||STV Horst-Emscher||-|
|1981||SC Eintracht Hamm||Lüner SV||-|
|1982||ASC Schöppingen||VfL Bochum II||-|
|1983||FC Gohfeld||SV Langendreer 04||-|
|1984||VfL Reken||Hellweg Lütgendortmund||-|
|1985||1. FC Recklinghausen||SuS Hüsten 09||-|
|1986||SC Verl||SG Wattenscheid 09 II||-|
|1987||SpVgg Marl||Borussia Dortmund II||SC Buer-Hassel|
|1988||VfB Rheine||Sportfreunde Siegen||-|
|1989||SpVgg Beckum||VfR Sölde||VfL Bochum II|
|1990||VfB Hüls||Rot-Weiß Lüdenscheid||1. FC Recklinghausen|
|1991||FC Gütersloh||VfL Gevelsberg||-|
|1992||FC Schalke 04 II||Sportfreunde Siegen||SV Brakel, SG Wattenscheid 09 II|
|1993||TSG Dülmen||SV Holzwickede||-|
|1994||VfB Hüls||Sportfreunde Siegen||-|
|1995||TuS Ahlen||Sportfreunde Oestrich-Iserlohn||SV Rotthausen|
|1996||TSG Dülmen||TuS Hordel||-|
|1997||Blau-Weiß Recklinghausen||FC Schalke 04 II||VfL Bochum II|
|1998||FC Eintracht Rheine||VfB Kirchhellen||SV Lippstadt 08, SV Langendreer|
|1999||SC Herford||Westfalia Herne||SV Rotthausen|
|2000||Lüner SV||TSG Sprockhövel||-|
|2001||VfB Fichte Bielefeld||SC Buer-Hassel||Hövelhofer SV|
|2002||Arminia Bielefeld II||TSG Sprockhövel||SpVgg Emsdetten, Sportfreunde Siegen II|
|2003||LR Ahlen II||SV Schermbeck||Vorwärts Kornharpen|
|2004||Sportfreunde Lotte||SpVgg Erkenschwick||-|
|2005||Delbrücker SC||Westfalia Herne||-|
|2006||Hammer SpVg||DSC Wanne-Eickel||Sportfreunde Oestrich-Iserlohn|
|2007||SV Schermbeck||TSG Sprockhövel||SC Wiedenbrück 2000, DJK Germania Gladbeck|
|2008||VfB Hüls||SG Wattenscheid 09||-|
|2009||SC Wiedenbrück 2000||TSG Sprockhövel||-|
|2010||Westfalia Rhynern||SpVgg Erkenschwick||-|
|2011||TuS Dornberg||TuS Erndtebrück||-|
|2012||SV Lippstadt 08||SG Wattenscheid 09||see note|
|2013||SV Rödinghausen||SV Zweckel||Eintracht Rheine|
|2014||SuS Stadtlohn||ASC 09 Dortmund||-|
|2015||TSV Marl-Hüls||SC Paderborn 07 II||SV Schermbeck|
|2016||SC Hassel||FC Brünninghausen||1. FC Kaan-Marienborn|
|2017||TuS Haltern||Westfalia Herne||-|
|2018||1. FC Gievenbeck||Holzwickeder SC||SV Schermbeck|
|2019||SC Preußen Münster II||RSV Meinerzhagen||-|
|2020||TSV Victoria Clarholz||SG Finnentrop/Bamenohl||SpVgg Vreden|
- In 2006, DSC Wanne-Eickel was refused promotion.
- In 2012, because of the recreation of the Oberliga Westfalen, Hammer SpVgg, FC Gütersloh 2000, SC Roland Beckum, 1. FC Gievenbeck, SuS Neuenkirchen, SpVgg Erkenschwick, TuS Heven, TuS Ennepetal and TSG Sprockhövel were also promoted.
- "League reform". Ruhr Nachrichten (in German). 1 May 2008.
- Deutschlands Fußball in Zahlen, (in German) An annual publication with tables and results from the Bundesliga to Verbandsliga/Landesliga, publisher: DSFS
- Kicker Almanach, (in German) The yearbook on German football from Bundesliga to Oberliga, since 1937, published by the Kicker Sports Magazine
- Die Deutsche Liga-Chronik 1945-2005 (in German) History of German football from 1945 to 2005 in tables, publisher: DSFS, published: 2006