The Handball-Bundesliga (HBL) is the top German professional handball league. From 2007 onwards, the league was sponsored by Toyota and has officially been called the Toyota Handball-Bundesliga. This lasted until 2012 when the Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB)[1] became the new sponsor. The official name has consequently been changed to DKB Handball-Bundesliga. The winners of the respective season are the official German handball champions. HBL is headquartered in Dortmund.

Current season, competition or edition:
2019–20 Handball-Bundesliga
Official logo of the Handball-Bundesliga
Countries Germany
Founded1965 (1965)
Number of teams18
Relegation to2. Handball-Bundesliga
Level on pyramidLevel 1
International cup(s)Champions League
Current championsSG Flensburg-Handewitt (2018–19)
Most championshipsTHW Kiel (20 titles)


The Bundesliga was introduced with the 1966/67 season and initially operated with two regional sections, North and South. Since 1977 the Bundesliga has operated with a single section first division, currently composed of eighteen clubs. In 1981 a 2.Bundesliga was introduced as a new second division, supplanting the Regionalliga which became the third tier. The 2.Bundesliga used to consist of two (resp. three in the first two years after the German reunification) sections north and south for thirty years. Starting with the 2011/12 season the 2.Bundesliga is run in a single section consisting of twenty teams.


The season has 34 game days (or weeks) and is played as a Round-robin tournament without playoffs or a final. The season starts in August or September and ends in May. The first, second and third placed teams are entitled to play in the EHF Champions League the following season. The fourth and fifth placed teams additionally play in the EHF Cup. The seedings are subject to change, in case a German team wins the Champions League, the EHF Cup or the EHF Cup Winner's Cup because each winner of those tournaments is granted an automatic start in next years tournament without taking one of the leagues spots. It also can change if the DHB-Pokal Champion has one of the league spots for the Champions League or the EHF Cup.

Relegation and Promotion

Until 2011, the two last placed teams would be relegated to the 2. Handball-Bundesliga for the next season, either in its northern or the southern section. The sixteenth placed team used to play in a home and away decider against the winner of the decider between the two-second placed teams of the northern and the southern section of the 2. Bundesliga. The champions of the second divisions received a spot for the Bundesliga automatically.

Since the 2017/18 season, the bottom two teams of the Bundesliga will directly be relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, while the top two teams of the 2. Bundesliga will be directly promoted to the Bundesliga.


The complete list of the German handball champions since 1950.

1949–50SV Polizei Hamburg
1950–51SV Polizei Hamburg
1951–52SV Polizei Hamburg
1952–53SV Polizei Hamburg
1953–54Frisch Auf Göppingen
1954–55Frisch Auf Göppingen
1955–56Berliner SV 1892
1956–57THW Kiel
1957–58Frisch Auf Göppingen
1958–59Frisch Auf Göppingen
1959–60Frisch Auf Göppingen
1960–61Frisch Auf Göppingen
1961–62THW Kiel
1962–63THW Kiel
1963–64Berliner SV 1892
1964–65Frisch Auf Göppingen
1965–66VfL Gummersbach
1966–67VfL Gummersbach
1967–68SG Leutershausen
1968–69VfL Gummersbach
1969–70Frisch Auf Göppingen
1970–71Grün-Weiß Dankersen
1971–72Frisch Auf Göppingen
1972–73VfL Gummersbach
1973–74VfL Gummersbach
1974–75VfL Gummersbach
1975–76VfL Gummersbach
1976–77Grün-Weiß Dankersen
1977–78TV Grosswallstadt
1978–79TV Grosswallstadt
1979–80TV Grosswallstadt
1980–81TV Grosswallstadt
1981–82VfL Gummersbach
1982–83VfL Gummersbach
1983–84TV Grosswallstadt
1984–85VfL Gummersbach
1985–86TUSEM Essen
1986–87TUSEM Essen
1987–88VfL Gummersbach
1988–89TUSEM Essen
1989–90TV Grosswallstadt
1990–91VfL Gummersbach
1991–92SG Wallau-Massenheim
1992–93SG Wallau-Massenheim
1993–94THW Kiel
1994–95THW Kiel
1995–96THW Kiel
1996–97TBV Lemgo
1997–98THW Kiel
1998–99THW Kiel
1999–20THW Kiel
2000–01SC Magdeburg
2001–02THW Kiel
2002–03TBV Lemgo
2003–04SG Flensburg-Handewitt
2004–05THW Kiel
2005–06THW Kiel
2006–07THW Kiel
2007–08THW Kiel
2008–09THW Kiel
2009–10THW Kiel
2010–11HSV Hamburg
2011–12THW Kiel
2012–13THW Kiel
2013–14THW Kiel
2014–15THW Kiel
2015–16Rhein-Neckar Löwen
2016–17Rhein-Neckar Löwen
2017–18SG Flensburg-Handewitt
2018–19SG Flensburg-Handewitt

Total titles won

Club Winners Years
THW Kiel 20 1957, 1962, 1963, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
VfL Gummersbach 12 1966, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1991
Frisch Auf Göppingen 09 1954, 1955, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1970, 1972
TV Großwallstadt 06 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1990
SV Polizei Hamburg 04 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953
TUSEM Essen 03 1986, 1987, 1989
SG Flensburg-Handewitt 03 2004, 2018, 2019
Rhein-Neckar Löwen 02 2016, 2017
TBV Lemgo 02 1997, 2003
SG Wallau/Massenheim 02 1992, 1993
GWD Minden 02 1971, 1977
Berliner SV 1892* 02 1956, 1964
HSV Hamburg 01 2011
SC Magdeburg 01 2001
SG Leutershausen 01 1968


EHF coefficients

The following data indicates German coefficient rankings between European handball leagues.


  1. DKB wird Namenssponsor der Handball-Bundesliga (german)
  2. "2018/19 season ranking" (PDF). European Handball Federation. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  3. "Club coefficients". eurotopteams.com. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
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