The champions and the runner-up of the Regionalliga Südwest and the champions of the Regionalliga Bayern enter a promotion playoff along with the winners of the three other Regionalliga divisions for three promotions to the 3. Below the regional association's league system, the five state association league systems of the Baden Football Association, the Bavarian Football Association, the Hessian Football Association, the South Baden Football Association and the Württembergian Football Association work as feeders to the Regionalliga.
Mostly in line with the geographical borders of the 16 German states, amateur football is organised by 21 state football associations.
The professional level four Regionalliga is divided into 5 regional divisions, these typically organised by one or two of the five regional associations of the German Football association, these being the Northern German Football Association, the Northeastern German Football Association, the Western German Football Association, the Southwestern Regional Football Association and the Southern German Football Association.
For Bavaria, the Bavarian Football Association, a member state association of the Southern German Football Association, runs their top division under their own jurisdiction.
The number of teams promoted and relegated between the divisions varies, and promotion to the upper levels of the pyramid is usually contingent on meeting additional criteria, especially concerning appropriate facilities and finances.
The German football league system is held under the jurisdiction of the nationwide German Football Association and its professional body German Football League, along with its five regional associations and their 21 state associations.
The Northeastern German Football Association league system is the regional association league system in the states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia and starts at level four of the German league system with the Regionalliga Nordost on top.
Below this, the semi-professional and amateur levels have progressively more parallel divisions, which each cover progressively smaller geographic areas.For the women's league system, see Women's football in Germany.The German football league system, or league pyramid, refers to the hierarchically interconnected league system for association football in Germany that in the 2016–17 season consists of 2,235 divisions having 31,645 teams, in which all divisions are bound together by the principle of promotion and relegation.The Western German Football Association league system is the regional association league system in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and starts at level four of the German league system with the Regionalliga West on top.The champions enter a promotion playoff along with the winners of the four other Regionalliga divisions and the Regionalliga Südwest runner-up for three promotions to the 3. Below the regional association's league system, the three state association league systems of the Lower Rhine Football Association, the Middle Rhine Football Association and the Westphalian Football and Athletics Association work as feeders to the Regionalliga.