Last updated
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams64 (4 Groups of 16)
Level on pyramid5
Promotion to Derde Divisie
Relegation to Eerste Klasse
Domestic cup(s) KNVB Cup
Current: 2020–21 Hoofdklasse

The Hoofdklasse (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦoːftklɑsə] ) is the second-highest league of amateur football in the Netherlands, and the fifth tier in general.



The league is divided into two sections: Saturday and Sunday. This is a result of the traditional pillarisation (Dutch : verzuiling), the segregation of Dutch society. The Saturday clubs are mainly Protestant Christian clubs, who were not allowed to play on Sunday. The Sunday clubs were in general Catholic and working class clubs, whose players had to work on Saturday and therefore could only play on Sunday. Although the pillarisation ended in the 1960s and 1970s, the clubs and the league have maintained this division. The Saturday Hoofdklasse and the Sunday Hoofdklasse are divided into two leagues each since the 2016–17 season:

The champions of the Saturday Hoofdklasse A, B and C played against each other for the national Saturday championship, just like the champions of the Sunday Hoofdklasse A, B and C faced each other for the national Sunday title until 2015. The winners of the Saturday and Sunday championships faced each other for the Hoofdklasse title until 2010, when the Topklasse decided the overall amateur champion, and in 2016 the overall championship was abolished. The transitional 2015–16 season had the period winners contest the 15th placers of the Topklasse and the 12th and 13th placers played the period winners of the 1e Klasse, all in playouts, while the 14th and 15th placers were relegated and the Hoofdklasse contracted to 4 leagues of 16 clubs each (2 each for Saturday and Sunday).

Since the 2016–17 season, clubs can be relegated from the Hoofdklasse to the 1e Klasse (First Class) and can be promoted from the 1e Klasse to the Hoofdklasse. The champion and playoff winners of each Hoofdklasse are promoted to the Derde Divisie (formerly Topklasse), and two to three teams from each Derde Divisie (four to six in total) are relegated to the Hoofdklasse.

Before this, it was only possible for Hoofdklasse clubs to be admitted to the Eerste Divisie after application and licensing. The last clubs to have done so are FC Omniworld (2005) and AGOVV Apeldoorn (2003).

Hoofdklasse champions since 1975

SeasonSaturday championSunday championNational champion
1974–75 Spijkenisse FC Emmen Spijkenisse
1975–76 IJsselmeervogels Limburgia IJsselmeervogels
1976–77 IJsselmeervogels Rheden IJsselmeervogels
1977–78 ACV Hoogeveen ACV
1978–79 DOVO Rohda Raalte Rohda Raalte
1979–80 Noordwijk Xerxes Noordwijk
1980–81 DOS Kampen RKC Waalwijk RKC Waalwijk
1981–82 IJsselmeervogels RKC Waalwijk RKC Waalwijk
1982–83 IJsselmeervogels DHC Delft IJsselmeervogels
1983–84 IJsselmeervogels Geldrop Geldrop
1984–85 Spakenburg DHC Delft Spakenburg
1985–86 ACV SV TOP ACV
1986–87 ACV Geldrop Geldrop
1987–88 DOS Kampen De Treffers DOS Kampen
1988–89 Heerjansdam RCH RCH
1989–90 Rijnsburgse Boys Geldrop Geldrop
1990–91 Quick Boys De Treffers De Treffers
1991–92 Quick Boys Rheden Quick Boys
1992–93 Katwijk Holland Katwijk
1993–94 Katwijk STEVO Katwijk
1994–95 IJsselmeervogels Holland IJsselmeervogels
1995–96 Scheveningen Baronie Scheveningen
1996–97 VVOG Baronie Baronie
1997–98 IJsselmeervogels De Treffers De Treffers
1998–99 IJsselmeervogels HSC '21 HSC '21
1999–2000 Katwijk Achilles 1894 Katwijk
2000–01 Lisse Baronie Baronie
2001–02 Huizen AGOVV AGOVV
2002–03 Huizen Türkiyemspor Huizen
2003–04 Quick Boys HSC '21 Quick Boys
2004–05 ASWH Argon ASWH
2005–06 IJsselmeervogels Türkiyemspor IJsselmeervogels
2006–07 IJsselmeervogels Argon Argon
2007–08 Lisse Hollandia Lisse
2008–09 Rijnsburgse Boys WKE WKE
2009–10 IJsselmeervogels Gemert IJsselmeervogels
2010–11 Noordwijk, GVVV, SVZW HBS Craeyenhout, UNA, HSC '21 Contested in the Topklasse
until 2016
2011–12 Jodan Boys, Scheveningen, DETO ADO '20, Gemert, Sneek Wit Zwart
2012–13 Ter Leede, Excelsior Maassluis, ONS Sneek Leonidas, UNA, Be Quick 1887
2013–14 Sparta Nijkerk, Hoek, Genemuiden Koninklijke HFC, Rosmalen, Hercules
2014–15 SteDoCo, Katwijk, DVS '33 Magreb '90, TEC, Sneek Wit Zwart
2015–16 ODIN '59, Quick Boys, Harkemase Boys Westlandia, Dongen, Juliana '31
SeasonSaturday championSunday champion
2016–17 Spijkenisse, ACV ADO '20, Blauw Geel '38
2017–18 Noordwijk, Eemdijk SJC, Oss '20
2018–19 Ter Leede, Excelsior '31 DEM, Groene Ster
2019–20 No champions [1] [2]

Saturday titles since 1975

11 IJsselmeervogels
4 ACV, Quick Boys, Katwijk
3 Noordwijk
2 Spijkenisse, DOS Kampen, Rijnsburgse Boys, Scheveningen, Lisse, Huizen, Ter Leede
1 DOVO, Spakenburg, Heerjansdam, VVOG, ASWH, GVVV, SVZW, Jodan Boys, DETO,
Excelsior Maassluis, ONS Sneek, Sparta Nijkerk, Hoek, Genemuiden,
SteDoCo, DVS '33, ODIN '59, Harkemase Boys, Eemdijk, Excelsior '31

Sunday titles since 1975

3 Geldrop, De Treffers, Baronie, HSC '21
2 Rheden, RKC Waalwijk, DHC Delft, Holland, Türkiyemspor, Argon, Gemert, UNA, ADO '20, Sneek Wit Zwart
1 FC Emmen, Limburgia, Hoogeveen, Rohda Raalte, Xerxes, SV TOP, RCH, STEVO, Achilles 1894,
AGOVV, Hollandia, WKE, HBS Craeyenhout, Leonidas, Be Quick 1887, Koninklijke HFC, Rosmalen,
Hercules, Magreb '90, TEC, Westlandia, Dongen, Juliana '31, Blauw Geel '38, DEM, Groene Ster, Oss '20, SJC

National titles 1975–2010

By club

6 IJsselmeervogels
3 Geldrop, Katwijk
2 ACV, RKC Waalwijk, De Treffers, Quick Boys, Baronie
1 Spijkenisse, Rohda Raalte, Noordwijk, Spakenburg, DOS Kampen, RCH, Scheveningen,
HSC '21, AGOVV, Huizen, ASWH, Argon, Lisse WKE

By day

DayNumber of titlesTitles
Saturday211975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1993,
1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010
Sunday151979, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1997, 1998, 1999,
2001, 2002, 2007, 2009

Related Research Articles

The Dutch football league system consists of two fully professional leagues and eight levels of amateur football leagues, the highest of which is called Tweede Divisie, formerly Topklasse. All the leagues are connected by a promotion and relegation system, but in order to be promoted to the Eerste Divisie a club has to submit a solid business plan to be approved by the Royal Dutch Football Association, as well as meet certain stadium demands, and some other demands that the association stated for all the teams in the top two leagues. That way it was possible that the IJsselmeervogels won the 2010–11 Topklasse, but was not promoted, because they did not want to be bound to these demands. FC Oss was promoted instead. The association obliges every team from the two fully professional leagues to contract 16 players full-time, in order to keep these leagues fully professional. In 2016 Tweede Divisie was reintroduced as the top amateur level and placed between the Eerste Divisie and the Derde Divisie.

The Tweede Divisie is the highest amateur football league in the Netherlands. It was established in 1956, together with the Eredivisie and the Eerste Divisie. Between 1956 and 1960 and between 1962 and 1966, the league consisted of two divisions, Tweede Divisie A and Tweede Divisie B. The league was disbanded in 1971. Six clubs were promoted to the Eerste Divisie, while the other eleven teams became amateur clubs.

HHC Hardenberg Dutch football club

HHC Hardenberg is a football club from Hardenberg, Netherlands. The club is currently playing in the Tweede Divisie.

Quick Boys Dutch football club

Quick Boys is an amateur football club from Katwijk aan Zee, Netherlands. The club, established on February 1, 1920, is the second most successful amateur football club in the Netherlands, behind IJsselmeervogels.

Achilles 29 Dutch football club

Achilles '29 is a football club from Groesbeek, Netherlands, competing in the fifth-tier Hoofdklasse.

Kozakken Boys Dutch football club

Kozakken Boys is a Dutch football club based in Werkendam. It competes in Tweede Divisie, the third tier of Dutch football.

The 2012–13 season of the Hoofdklasse is competed in six leagues, three Saturday leagues and three Sunday leagues. The champions of each group promoted direct to the 2013–14 Topklasse.

AFC Ajax (amateurs) Dutch football club

AFC Ajax Amateurs or Ajax Zaterdag is a Dutch amateur football club and the amateur team of the professional club AFC Ajax from Amsterdam. They compete in the Derde Divisie since 2019–20, playing their home matches at the Sportpark De Toekomst training grounds.

The 2015–16 Topklasse season was the sixth and last edition of the Dutch third tier since its inauguration in the current form in 2010. A total 32 teams participated in the league: 25 from the 2014–15 Topklasse, and the remaining seven from the 2014–15 Hoofdklasse. As usual, the competition was divided into two leagues: "Saturday" and "Sunday", who differed by the day their games were usually played.

SVA Papendorp Dutch football club

SVA Papendorp are a Dutch amateur football (soccer) club from Utrecht, founded in 1990. The club holds a Saturday team competing in the Derde Divisie, the fourth tier of professional football in the Netherlands.

The Derde Divisie, formerly known as Topklasse, is the fourth tier of football in the Netherlands, which had its inaugural season as a third tier in 2010–11 and as a fourth tier in 2016–17. The league is placed between the Tweede Divisie and the Hoofdklasse, the third and fifth tiers of Dutch football, respectively. The introduction of the then Topklasse resulted from discussions between the Royal Dutch Football Association, the Coöperatie Eerste Divisie and the Centraal Overleg Hoofdklassers.

The 2015–16 season of the Hoofdklasse is competed in six leagues, three Saturday leagues and three Sunday leagues. The champions of each group will be promoted directly to the 2016–17 Derde Divisie. The 2015–16 Hoofdklasse started on Saturday 5 September 2014.

The 2018–19 season is the 129th season of competitive football in the Netherlands.

The 2019–20 season of the Hoofdklasse was played in four leagues, two Saturday leagues and two Sunday leagues. The champions of each league were to be promoted directly to the 2020–21 Derde Divisie; other teams could have been promoted through playoffs. The exact division of the 2019–20 Hoofdklasse competitions was published on 1 July 2019. The 2019–20 Hoofdklasse started on Saturday 31 August 2019.

The 2019–20 Eerste Klasse season was a season of the Eerste Klasse.

The 2019–20 Derde Divisie season was the fourth edition of the Dutch fourth tier, formerly called Topklasse, since the restructuring of the league system in the summer of 2016.

The 2020–21 Tweede Divisie season was the fifth edition of the Dutch third tier since on hiatus from 1970-71 season and the 20th edition using Tweede Divisie name.

The 2020–21 Derde Divisie season was the fifth edition of the Dutch fourth tier, formerly called Topklasse, since the restructuring of the league system in the summer of 2016.

The 2020–21 season of the Hoofdklasse was played in four leagues, two for Saturday and two for Sunday. The champions of each league were to be promoted directly to the Derde Divisie; other teams could have been promoted through play-offs. The 2020–21 Hoofdklasse started on Saturday 29 August 2020 and ended abruptly on 24 February 2021.

The 2021–22 season of the Hoofdklasse will be played in four leagues, two for Saturday and two for Sunday. The champions of each league will be promoted directly to the Derde Divisie; other teams can get promoted through play-offs. The 2021–22 Hoofdklasse will start on Saturday 28 August 2021.


  1. "Competities amateurvoetbal niet hervat" [Amateur competitions not resumed] (in Dutch). KNVB. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  2. "Competities senioren categorie A niet hervat" [Seniors category A competitions not resumed] (in Dutch). KNVB. 24 February 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.