The Oberliga Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein started out in 1994 as a replacement for the Oberliga Nord, which was disbanded in that year. Along with this league, the Oberliga Niedersachsen/Bremen was formed to cover the other two of the four states the Oberliga Nord previously had served. The reason for the disbanding of the Oberliga Nord and the creation of two separate leagues in its stead was the formation of the Regionalliga Nord, which became the new third tier of league football in the north and covered exactly the same region as the Oberliga previously.
The league was formed from sixteen clubs, with eight of them coming from the Verbandsliga Schleswig-Holstein, seven from the Verbandsliga Hamburg and one from the Oberliga Nord.
For the duration of the leagues existence, it was feed by the two Verbandsligas of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein with the winners of these leagues gaining direct promotion to the Oberliga.
The winner of the Oberliga was directly promoted to the Regionalliga from 1995 to 1999. In 2000, no promotion was available due to changes in the league system. From 2001 to 2004, the league champion had to play-off for promotion with the winner of the Oberliga Niedersachsen/Bremen. The first three years, the winner of this league won this contest, only in 2004 gained the Oberliga Niedersachsen/Bremen champion the upper hand.
In 2000, with the reduction of the number of Regionalligas to two, eight clubs were relegated from this league to the Oberligas and the league expanded to eighteen teams. The Regionalliga Nord now covered the complete northern half of Germany, not just the traditional region of the Oberliga Nord.
On the grounds of this it was decided in 2004 to reform a united Oberliga Nord which allowed direct promotion to its champion to the Regionalliga. The Oberliga Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein was therefore disbanded. The clubs placed first to eighth were admitted to the new Oberliga. The other ten clubs in the league were relegated to the Verbandsligas.
In 2008, with the introduction of the new 3rd Liga, the Oberliga Nord will be disbanded again. The Oberligas Niedersachsen/Bremen and Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein however will not be reformed at this stage. Below the Regionalliga Nord the five Verbandsligas in the north will function as the next level of play, making it the only region without an Oberliga and without direct promotion to the Regionalliga.
Read more about this topic: Oberliga Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein
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