In term papers, The Oberliga Westfalen was the highest Football League in the region of Nordrhein which is part of the state of North Rhine Westphalia from 1978 to 2008. In its last season, it was one of nine Oberligas in German Football, the 4th tier of the German football league system. From 2008, it was replaced by the Oberliga Nordrhein-Westfalen, a new state-wide league.
The league was formed in 1978 as a highest level of play for the region of Westfalen, which previously was split into two groups and covered the eastern half of the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. The main reason for the creation of this league was to allow its champion direct promotion to the 2nd Bundesliga Nord rather than having to go through a promotion play-off. The league was created from nine clubs from the Verbandsliga Westfalen-Nordost and eight from the Verbandsliga Westfalen-Südwest. The SC Herford was relegated from the 2nd Bundesliga Nord to the new league.
Originally, the league was called Amateur Oberliga Westfalen, from 1994 this was shortened to just Oberliga Westfalen.
With the introduction of the unified 2nd Bundesliga in 1981, direct promotion for the Oberliga champions became impossible again because there were eight of them competing for four promotion spots. The champion of the Oberliga Westfalen had to compete with the winners of the Oberligas Nord, Berlin and Nordrhein for two 2nd Bundesliga spots.
Upon creation of the Regionalligas in 1994, the champions of the Oberligas were directly promoted again, however the Oberligas slipped to fourth tier in the German football league system. The top six team of the Oberliga that year were admitted to the new Regionalliga West/Südwest, the clubs being:
With the reduction of the number of Regionalligas from four to two in 2000, the Oberliga Westfalen was now located below the Regionalliga Nord. However, the Sportfreunde Siegen, based in the very south of the region, played in the Regionalliga Süd.
With the creation of the 3rd Liga in 2008 the Oberliga Westfalen was replaced by the Oberliga Nordrhein-Westfalen, which now is the fifth tier of the league system. The Oberliga Westfalen ceased to exit after 30 seasons. Its clubs were split up over three league levels. The first four teams were promoted to the new Regionalliga West, clubs from place five to eleven went to the new Oberliga while the bottom seven teams were relegated to the Verbandsligas.
Throughout the leagues existence the two leagues below the Oberliga were: