In its inaugural season the league competed with 12 clubs which was extended to 14 in the following season.
In the relegation round the four bottom placed clubs played a best-of-seven knock-out series first in which EC Bad Nauheim defeated Eispiraten Crimmitschau and Heilbronner Falken the ESV Kaufbeuren. Following this the two losers entered another round with the best four Oberliga clubs, playing a home-and-away round. The two DEL2 clubs retained their league place while EC Kassel Huskies and Löwen Frankfurt won promotion. The other two Oberliga clubs, EHC Freiburg and VER Selb, remained at this level.