Ukrainian Soviet Competitions

Ukrainian Soviet Competitions

The Championship of the Ukrainian SSR in football was at first established as the All-Ukrainian inter-city competition in 1921, later being included into the All-Ukrainian Olympiade and Spartakiade. During several seasons the competitions were suspended due to football being identified as a "non-proletariat sport". Also because of a difficult social cataclysm in 1933 (Holodomor), there was no competitions as well.

With the establishment of the All-Union competitions in 1936, the republican football competitions in Ukraine were degraded to regional level. Since then and before the Great Patriotic War, the champion of Ukraine title was awarded to a team that would place first in the 1 Group of the championship. The consistent All-Ukrainian Soviet competition take their beginning since 1963 as the first All-Ukrainian league was formed as part of the Soviet Second League, more known back then as the Klass B, with UkrSSR zone. In 1970 the Soviet Second League was named as the second group of Klass A for the season, before changing to simply the Soviet Second League. For 1990 and 1991 seasons this competition was moved further down the Soviet league levels into the newly formed Soviet Second League B also earlier known as the G group or simply the Third League.

Until WWII up to 11 clubs competed in the Soviet championship. Nine clubs from Ukraine participated in the first season of the Soviet competition: Dynamo Kyiv (I Division); Dynamo Dnipropetrovsk and Dynamo Kharkiv (II Division); Dynamo Odessa, Spartak Kharkiv, Ugolschiki Staline, Lokomotyv Kyiv (III Division); Traktor Plant Kharkiv, Stal Dnipropetrovsk (IV Division). Later other clubs has entered the competition: Silmash Kharkiv, Frunze Plant Kostiantynivka, Sudostroitel Mykolaiv, and Dzerzhynets Voroshylovhrad.

The Ukrainian club competition in the Second League had existed and prior to 1963, but was not such an exclusive and consistent part of the Soviet League system. In 1970 and 1990 there were few reformations. In 1970 the First League was reduced to a single group and, because of that, the Second League extended into upper and lower (B) divisions. The lower division was named as the Second League B and for the next season was liquidated. In 1990 a similar reform was taken upon the Second League. Its 10 regional groups were reduced to just three still by the regional principal while the league was renamed into the Buffer League (West, Center, and East). This reform also introduced what was planned to be a fourth level of professional competition allowing each republic to have its own professional league. That fourth level competition was named as the Second League, the former name of the Buffer League.

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