The Bundesliga is Germany’s top level of the country’s soccer (called football in Europe) league system. The league was established in 1962 (play commenced in 1963) which is very recent compared with other countries. It was decided that Germany needed a strong national league due to the country’s poor performances at the international level. The Bundesliga now incorporates the Second Bundesliga, the second level of the system, and the Third Bundesliga, the third level which will begin play in 2008-09.
The top three levels are all professional leagues, while the leagues below them, the Regionalligen, are amateur. Teams can fluctuate between the top three levels based on where they finish out a season. The top three clubs in the Second Bundesliga move up to the Bundesliga while the bottom three in the Bundesliga drop down.
The season lasts from August until May, with a six week break lasting from mid-December to the end of January. Games are primarily played on Saturdays and Sundays with one game played each Friday. Victories earn a team three points while ties and losses are worth zero points. The club with the most points at the end of the year is named Bundesliga champion.