Why does the Bundesliga have winter break? Bundesliga winter break 2022/23
Why does the Bundesliga have winter break?
The Bundesliga will witness a halt of four weeks this season as the matches will resume from 18th January. There are, however, good reasons for what the Germans call die Winterpause. It allows players and staff a chance to recharge their batteries before getting back to the daily grind of winning games. Alley sports brings you a piece on Why does the Bundesliga have winter break?
The Bundesliga calendar has only 34 matchdays which is four fewer than the other top leagues around Europe , which means that the German league can afford to take a winter break in the middle of the season.
Perhaps in a more practical sense, though, it also comes down to the simple fact of the weather. With average January temperatures below freezing across Germany, it makes sense to take a breather when snowballs are easier to kick than footballs, and to stage games might require ice skates rather than studs, not just for the players — undersoil heating in Germany’s stadia usually helps them out with that — but for fans hoping to see their heroes in action.
When is the winter break? Why does the Bundesliga have winter break?
The break traditionally comes at the midpoint of the season once 17 rounds of games have been played. This provides an easy demarcation between what’s known as the Hinrunde and the Rückrunde – better explained in English as the first and second half of the season.
On occasions, though, that hasn’t been the case. In 2016/17, for example, a late start to the season because of the Rio Olympics and the fact that Christmas fell on a weekend meant that only 16 rounds of games were possible before the break, with the last matchday taking place during the week and 18 games coming in the new year.
Essentially, the Bundesliga plays as close up to Christmas as possible before putting its feet up for a number of weeks.Now, how long that period lasts is just as flexible. The Bundesliga has at times in the past taken up to six weeks off and not returned until February. More recently, it’s been about four weeks.
Sometimes that’s less when the league needs to start late or finish early because of an international tournament in the summer.
In 2019/20, the winter break lasts from Paderborn’s match against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, 22 December until Schalke and Borussia Mönchengladbach get the action going again on Friday, 17 January. The previous year it went from 23 December to 18 January, so the same length. In that unusual 2016/17 campaign it was 21 December to 20 January, so slightly longer.
This time Bundesliga clubs have an extended winter break due to the 2022 World Cup, which will also affect when some players return to training.