German Bundesliga, how does it work ?

atatu

Hall of Fame
#1
I'm curious if anyone can explain how the Bundesliga works, is it like World Team Tennis here in the US ? I was looking on another forum and saw this 2012 roster...unbelieveable !

TK Grün-Weiß Mannheim
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)
Jürgen Melzer (AUT)
Björn Phau (GER)
Rui Machado (POR)
Tommy Haas (GER)
Benjamin Becker (GER)
Denis Gremelmayr (GER)
Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
Martin Fischer (AUT)
Gerald Melzer (AUT)
Juan Pablo Brzezicki (POL)
Simon Stadler (GER)
Alexander Peya (AUT)
Marc Lopez (ESP)
 

jrs

Professional
#4
They have Bundesliga for all kinds of sports

Bundesliga? Isn't that German football (soccer)?
Yes, but they have it for all kinds of Sports. I watch some their Table Tennis division 1 - some of the Top players from the world play in it.

Table Tennis version is 3 vs 3 all singles match. First team to win 5 matches takes the match.

As I understand Top Divs 1 - 5 are made up of mostly pro's or international or national level players - but you have amateur division that go all the way down to Div 75.

I would think - Tennis might be organized in a similar fashion.
 

Alex78

Hall of Fame
#5
Describing how the whole system is organized would require a rather lengthy explanation, so I'll try to sketch it in a nutshell:
The 1. Bundesliga consists of a number of teams (10), which are regular tennis clubs, as you would find in any given city or community. They play round robin games, with 4 singles and 2 doubles. At the end of the season, the team with the most points (a win is 2 points, a draw is 1 point) is the "Bundesligameister". Clubs are sponsored, usually by some local business companies, and this money is used to take pros under contract. These pros may play a couple of games - or they may not :) But being on the payroll doesn't hurt, no? ;-)
Oh, and there's a 2. Bundesliga, so in theory you have relegation. But as tennis no longer attracts too many fans and big businesses in Germany, sponsoring a tennis team is basically a pet hobby by some rich individual / companies with tennis-crazy CEOs ;-) And this also means that relegation is not always executed, for the lack of teams wanting / being able to spend big.

Furthermore, below the 1. and 2. Bundesliga, there are many more league levels, which are organized within the individual tennis organizations of the 16 "Bundesländer". Here, you may also have some local sponsors paying for (inter-)national pros or semi-pros. For instance, some years back a friend of mine played in a lower level team from Münster which had Swiss player Yves Allegro (who once won an ATP doubles title at Vienna (2003) with Roger Federer) in its line up - but I forgot if he actually played a game for them.
Hope this select information is interesting :)
 
#8
Furthermore, below the 1. and 2. Bundesliga, there are many more league levels, which are organized within the individual tennis organizations of the 16 "Bundesländer". Here, you may also have some local sponsors paying for (inter-)national pros or semi-pros. For instance, some years back a friend of mine played in a lower level team from Münster which had Swiss player Yves Allegro (who once won an ATP doubles title at Vienna (2003) with Roger Federer) in its line up - but I forgot if he actually played a game for them.
Hope this select information is interesting :)
I was lucky enough, as a non-German, to play Regionalliga tennis as a senior which is a level below the Bundesliga for seniors tennis. It's a really well organised system in Germany and the competition is great as most clubs have well-off sponsors who pay good money to bring in higher level amateur players from outside Germany to boost a club's competitive chances in the leagues. They basically play as sponsored players and some receive well paid playing contracts. It helps to keep you alive as an older player as club tennis in your own country can be totally stifling once you've reached the seniors. In my club we all went away together for a pre-season training week on clay.

If you get a chance to play there, grab it.
 

MAXXply

Hall of Fame
#9
Describing how the whole system is organized would require a rather lengthy explanation, so I'll try to sketch it in a nutshell:
The 1. Bundesliga consists of a number of teams (10), which are regular tennis clubs, as you would find in any given city or community. They play round robin games, with 4 singles and 2 doubles. At the end of the season, the team with the most points (a win is 2 points, a draw is 1 point) is the "Bundesligameister". Clubs are sponsored, usually by some local business companies, and this money is used to take pros under contract. These pros may play a couple of games - or they may not :) But being on the payroll doesn't hurt, no?
Oh, and there's a 2. Bundesliga, so in theory you have relegation. But as tennis no longer attracts too many fans and big businesses in Germany, sponsoring a tennis team is basically a pet hobby by some rich individual / companies with tennis-crazy CEOs ;-) And this also means that relegation is not always executed, for the lack of teams wanting / being able to spend big.

Furthermore, below the 1. and 2. Bundesliga, there are many more league levels, which are organized within the individual tennis organizations of the 16 "Bundesländer". Here, you may also have some local sponsors paying for (inter-)national pros or semi-pros. For instance, some years back a friend of mine played in a lower level team from Münster which had Swiss player Yves Allegro (who once won an ATP doubles title at Vienna (2003) with Roger Federer) in its line up - but I forgot if he actually played a game for them.
Hope this select information is interesting
Very helpful thank you - I too have always been curious about the German League system but was too shy to ask :oops:

Slightly off-topic, I am fascinated how Europe has a Champions League-style club competition in volleyball . I always thought I had a better shot at cracking it as a pro volleyballer than a tennis pro...:-?
 

jrs

Professional
#10
Alex78
Thanks for info.
Do the sponsors get any benefit from sponsoring the clubs?
Also, when are the matches played? I thought because the tennis season is so long - wouldn't the pro's be playing the ATP tournaments?
 

Alex78

Hall of Fame
#11
I think the sponsors mainly do it because they are tennis fans. Then there's also the possibility to look good in your local community. If you can make real money from it, I don't know.
For instance, there's a guy who owns / leads Lambertz, a company producing gingerbread and other sweets, which is based in Aachen. I recently saw a TV documentary about him. Showed he was a really good tennis player in his youth and never stopped playing on a high level. Now he's sponsoring the Bundesliga team from "TC Kurhaus Aachen", and they are highly successful.
And the schedule is usually during the summer months only (like June to August), so it's clay only (though I can't confirm this 100%, but Germany is almost completely clay outdoors).
The pros may plan to play a match or two when they travel Europe, will have to see if it fits their tournament schedule, of course. But if you lose early in a tournament where you had anticipated a deep run, then it's no problem playing a singles match for the team or something like this.
 
#12
The success of Becker and Graf instilled huge emotional pride in Germans and the tennis boom there was unprecedented, probably unlike anywhere else on the planet. Sponsors don't make money from the game, far from it. Tennis is far more embedded with society at large in Germany than say in the UK where outside the game itself nobody basically gives a toss any more. The concept of sponsorship and supporting a club in a serious financial way is virtually unknown in the UK. My German sponsor by contrast put in, I was told, approximately 20,000 euros a season to support seniors teams just in the 50's, 55's and 60's age groups. The club's open team (Regionaliga then Bundesliga) had ATP pros to play at 1 and 2 in singles.
 

jaggy

Talk Tennis Guru
#13
I know a lot of the Indiana college men's players have played club tennis in summer in Germany but that's as much as I know, I'm not sure what division or level they compete in.
 
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