The league is predominantly amateur, with only one club in the league being officially a professional outfit, the Heidelberger RK .
From 2012 to 2015 the Bundesliga was expanded from ten to 24 and the league divided into four regional divisions of six teams each. Below the Bundesliga the 2. Bundesliga was organised in a similar fashion. From 2015 onwards the league returned to sixteen clubs.
* 1 History
* 2 Championship finals
* 2.1 Finals * 2.2 Winners width:400px;border:1px solid lightgray"> HRC St. Pauli DSV 78 Germania BRC RK 03 RGH HRK SCN TSV H RKH SC 1880 TV Pforzheim Köln Leipzig Hohen Neuendorf Location of teams in the RUGBY-BUNDESLIGA 2015-16
The German rugby championship was first played in 1909 and, with the exception of 2002, has always been determined by a final.
The league has changed its format a number of times over the years. In 1997-98, it played as a single-division league with eight teams. From 1998 to 2001, it was divided into two regional divisions again. The top-three teams from each of the two divisions then qualified for the finals round, held in a home-and-away format. The top two teams out of this round then played the German Final in a home-and-away format. The bottom three teams in each division played a spring round together with the top three teams of the 2nd Rugby-Bundesliga to determine the clubs who would play in the Bundesliga in the next season.
Since 2001, the Bundesliga has been organised as a single division
again with eight teams playing each other in a home-and-away season.
The top two teams play each other in the championship final. In its
first season, 2001–02, no final was held and the regular season
winner was also the German champions. In the first 34 editions of the
Final, there was always a team from
Below the Bundesliga, two 2nd Bundesligas, north and south, form the second tier of the league system, with the winners promoted to the Bundesliga. The third tier of rugby is formed by the nine Regionalligen , regional leagues.
SC 1880 Frankfurt , the 2007-08 champions, had to wait 83 years for
its fifth title, having last won the championship in 1925. The club
is the only rugby club in
On 19 July 2008 at the annual general meeting of the German rugby association, the DRV decided to expand the Bundesliga and slightly change its modus. It was decided to expand the league to nine teams for 2008-09 and ten teams for 2009-10, meaning only one club will be relegated in 2009, and two promoted. Also, the play-off format was changed, with four teams qualifying for the finals. At the bottom end, in 2008-09, the last two teams would determine one relegated club via playoff. From 2009-10, the bottom four clubs will play-off to determine two relegated teams.
As a sign of the gap between the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga,
TSV Victoria Linden , who only won the 2009-10 North/East division in
the last round of the championship, declined promotion, citing the
additional cost of travelling and the limited player pool as their
reason. The South/West champion,
Stuttgarter RC , has also indicated
that it would not take up promotion, leaving the Bundesliga with only
eight clubs for the next season. It also meant, for the first time
ever, that no club from
In February 2011, the DRV decided that the league would continue to play with ten teams in the near future.
In mid-July 2012 the Deutsche Rugby Tag, the annual general meeting of the DRV decided to approve a league reform proposed by German international Manuel Wilhelm . The new system saw the number of clubs in the Bundesliga increased from ten to 24, the league divided into four regional divisions of six clubs each and the finals series expanded from four to sixteen teams. One of the main aims of the reform was to reduce the number of kilometres travelled by individual teams and therefore reduce the travel expenses. The system will remain mostly unchanged for the 2013-14 season. The only changes will be a play-off between the fourth and fifth placed teams in each group after the first stage to determine the clubs advancing to the second stage. The championship play-offs after the second stage will be reduced from sixteen to twelve clubs with the top two teams in each group advancing directly to the quarter finals while the remaining eight will play a wild card round to determine the other four quarter finalists.
At the annual general meeting of the DRV in July 2015 it was decided to return to a sixteen club format with two regional divisions of eight. The last placed in each division would be relegated while the seventh placed teams would have to play-off against the third and fourth best team of the 2. Bundesliga. The German championship in turn will be contested by the best two teams in each group.
Main article: German rugby union championship
The German rugby champions are determined by a final (except in 2001-02), currently contested by the two top teams of the Bundesliga:
SEASON WINNER RUNNER–UP RESULT
1971–72 TSV VICTORIA LINDEN SC Neuenheim 17–16
1972–73 HEIDELBERGER RK SV 08 Ricklingen 3–0
1973–74 SV 08 RICKLINGEN Heidelberger TV 15–9
1974–75 TSV VICTORIA LINDEN Heidelberger RK 12–4
1975–76 HEIDELBERGER RK TSV Victoria Linden 35–0
1976–77 SC GERMANIA LIST Heidelberger RK 16–9
1977–78 FV 1897 LINDEN TSV Handschuhsheim 24–16
1978–79 SC GERMANIA LIST Heidelberger TV 9–0
1979–80 RG HEIDELBERG FV 1897 Linden 16–10
1980–81 SC GERMANIA LIST Heidelberger RK 28–19
1981–82 DSV 78 HANNOVER RG Heidelberg 15–6
1982–83 DSV 78 HANNOVER RG Heidelberg 16–12
1983–84 DSV 78 HANNOVER TSV Victoria Linden 27–6
1984–85 DSV 78 HANNOVER RG Heidelberg 24–9
1985–86 HEIDELBERGER RK DSV 1878 Hannover 15–9
1986–87 TSV VICTORIA LINDEN DSV 1878 Hannover 24–0
1987–88 DRC HANNOVER DSV 1878 Hannover 12–9
1988–89 TSV VICTORIA LINDEN Berliner RC 20–6
1989–90 DSV 78 HANNOVER SC Neuenheim 31–4
1990–91 DSV 78 HANNOVER TSV Victoria Linden 6–3
1991–92 TSV VICTORIA LINDEN SV 08 Ricklingen 59–3
1992–93 TSV VICTORIA LINDEN DSV 1878 Hannover 18–14
1993–94 TSV VICTORIA LINDEN Heidelberger TV 15–3
1994–95 SC NEUENHEIM TSV Victoria Linden 14–13
1995–96 TSV VICTORIA LINDEN RG Heidelberg 9–8
1996–97 RG HEIDELBERG TSV Victoria Linden 15–13
1997–98 DRC HANNOVER TSV Victoria Linden 25–20
1998–99 DRC HANNOVER RG Heidelberg 24–10 / 11–22
1999–2000 DRC HANNOVER TSV Victoria Linden 45–12 / 34–3
2000–01 DRC HANNOVER SC Neuenheim 28–16 / 8–13
2001–02 DRC HANNOVER RG Heidelberg not held
2002–03 SC NEUENHEIM DRC Hannover 18–9
2003–04 SC NEUENHEIM DRC Hannover 23–18
2004–05 DRC HANNOVER TSV Handschuhsheim 21–9
2005–06 RG HEIDELBERG SC Neuenheim 13–9
2006–07 RG HEIDELBERG SC 1880 Frankfurt 23–15
2007–08 SC 1880 FRANKFURT RG Heidelberg 28–13
2008–09 SC 1880 FRANKFURT Heidelberger RK 11–8
2009–10 HEIDELBERGER RK SC 1880 Frankfurt 39–22
2010–11 HEIDELBERGER RK SC 1880 Frankfurt 12–9
2011–12 HEIDELBERGER RK TV Pforzheim 20–16
2012–13 HEIDELBERGER RK SC Neuenheim 41–10
2013–14 HEIDELBERGER RK TV Pforzheim 43–20
2014–15 HEIDELBERGER RK TV Pforzheim 53–27
2015–16 TV PFORZHEIM Heidelberger RK 41–36
Source:"Die Deutschen Meister der Männer". Deutscher Rugby Verband. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
* ^ Getränke-Hersteller gegen Gold-Händler (in German) Offenbach-Post , published: 28 May 2011. accessed: 21 August 2011 * ^ Die Deutschen Meister der Männer (in German) List of German rugby championship finals, accessed: 25 December 2008 * ^ Geschichte (in German) DRV website – History, accessed: 9 October 2014 * ^ SC Frankfurt 1880 Deutscher Meister, RK 03 Berlin steigt auf (in German) scrum.de, accessed: 26 December 2008 * ^ In Deutschland müssen Profis dem Platzwart helfen (in German) <