Japanese Regional Football League Competition

Last updated
Japan Regional Football League Competition
Founded1977;44 years ago (1977)
RegionJapan
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Number of teams12
Promotion to Japan Soccer League (1977–1991)
Japan Football League (1992–1998)
Japan Football League (1999–present)
Current champions FC Tiamo Hirakata
(1st title)
(2020)
Most championships Yamaha Motor
Daikyo Oil Yokkaichi/Kosmo Daikyo
Nippon Denso
(2 titles each)
Current: 2020 Japanese Regional Football League Competition

The Japanese Regional Football League Competition (全国地域サッカーチャンピオンズリーグ, Zenkoku Chiiki Sakkā Championzu Rīgu, Japan Regional Football Champions League) is a nationwide play-off tournament meant as a transition for Japanese football clubs competing in regional leagues to the Japan Football League.

Contents

History

Until 1976, the main entrance route for regional clubs to the Japan Soccer League was the All Japan Senior Football Championship, a cup competition. In 1977, to test clubs in a league environment before entrance to the league, the Japan Football Association devised this tournament.

In 1984 and 1985 more promotion places were added due to the JSL, expanding its divisions. In 1992 it began promoting clubs to the former JFL's second division and, from 1994 to 1998, to its single division. In 1999 and 2000 it added extra promotion places due to the formation and expansion of the new JFL.

Yamaha Motors (Júbilo Iwata) are, thus far, the only Regional Series champions to later become First Division champions. They are also the only club to retain the title, as they failed to be promoted in their first attempt due to losing a playoff series. Since 1980 every champion has been automatically promoted, exceptions being made at the champion's request in 1993 (Nippon Denso/FC Kariya) and 2002 (Ain Foods) as they lacked the resources to compete at the national level.

Qualification

Until 2009, the number of places in the tournament was 16, distributed as follows:

As of 2010, the regional league runners-up are no longer eligible and the university association is no longer allowed to make recommendations, reducing the number of places to 12.

Format

Preliminary round

The clubs are grouped in round-robin groups of 4, playing at a single city per group (no home-and-away format is followed). Only 3 matches are played per club, since the match location is the same. The winners of each group qualify for the final round.

Final round

As of 2010, the three group winners plus the highest-scoring runner-up are grouped in a final group in a single locale, with three matches played per club. The top two places are guaranteed promotion and the third place may play a promotion/relegation series against one of the three bottom JFL clubs (subject to JFL place availability).

Round-robin rules

The usual 3-1-0 system is used; however, in case of a draw, a penalty shootout is added and the winner gets one extra point.

Winners

Teams in bold were promoted.

YearWinnerRunner-upThird placeAlso promoted
1977 Yamaha Motors Toshiba Horikawa-cho Toho Titanium
1978 Yamaha Motors Toho TitaniumDainichi Nippon Densen
1979 Cosmo Oil Yokkaichi Kyoto Shiko Club Furukawa Electric Chiba
1980Nagoya S.C.Furukawa Electric Chiba Saitama Teachers
1981 Saitama Teachers NTT West Japan KyotoCosmo Oil Yokkaichi
1982Toho TitaniumSeino TransportationHyōgo Teachers
1983 Yokohama TriStar Matsushita Teijin Matsuyama
1984Seino TransportationKyoto Police Dept. TDK SC Osaka Gas
1985Cosmo Oil Yokkaichi Kawasaki Steel Mizushima Toho TitaniumNTT Kansai
1986 NTT Kanto Mazda Auto HiroshimaToyoda Machine Works
1987Teijin MatsuyamaFujieda City HallMatsushima S.C.
1988Mazda Auto Hiroshima Kyoto Shiko Club Tokyo Gas
1989Yomiuri S.C. Juniors Otsuka Pharmaceutical Seino Transportation
1990 Tokyo Gas Chuo Bohan Seino Transportation
1991Osaka Gas Osaka Taidai Kemari Club Seino Transportation
1992 PJM Futures Toyota Motors Higashifuji NEC Yamagata
1993 Nippon Denso NEC Yamagata Jatco
1994 Brummell Sendai Fukushima FC Yokogawa Denki
1995 Nippon Denso Ōita F.C. Yokogawa Denki
1996Jatco Prima Ham Mazda S.C.
1997 Sony Sendai FC Albirex Niigata Yokogawa Denki
1998 Yokogawa Denki Hitachi Shimizu Ehime FC
1999 Alo's Hokuriku Tochigi SC Honda Luminoso Sayama F.C.F.C. Kyoken
2000 Sagawa Express Tokyo SC YKK AP F.C. NTT Kumamoto S.C. Tottori
Ehime FC
2001 Sagawa Express Osaka S.C. Professor MiyazakiNangoku Kochi F.C.
2002Ain Foods Sagawa Printing SC Shizuoka F.C.
2003 Thespa Kusatsu Gunma F.C. Horikoshi Shizuoka F.C.
2004 Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C. Ryutsu Keizai University FC Honda Lock SC
2005 F.C. Ryukyu JEF United Ichihara Chiba B Rosso Kumamoto
2006 TDK SC FC Gifu Fagiano Okayama F.C.
2007 Fagiano Okayama New Wave Kitakyushu F.C. Mi-O Biwako Kusatsu
2008 Machida Zelvia V-Varen Nagasaki Honda Lock
2009 Matsumoto Yamaga Hitachi Tochigi Uva Zweigen Kanazawa
2010 Kamatamare Sanuki Nagano Parceiro Sanyo Electric Sumoto
2011 YSCC Yokohama Fujieda MYFC Hoyo AC Elan Ōita
2012 SC Sagamihara Fukushima United Norbritz Hokkaido
2013 Grulla Morioka Fagiano Okayama Next FC Kagoshima
(merged with Volca Kagoshima
to form Kagoshima United FC )
Vanraure Hachinohe
Azul Claro Numazu
Renofa Yamaguchi
Maruyasu Okazaki
2014 Nara Club FC Osaka Club Dragons
2015 ReinMeer Aomori Briobecca Urayasu Saurcos Fukui
2016 FC Imabari Veertien Mie Suzuka Unlimited
2017 Cobaltore Onagawa Tegevajaro Miyazaki Vonds Ichihara
2018 Matsue City Suzuka Unlimited FC Kariya
2019 Iwaki FC Kochi United SC Ococias Kyoto AC
2020 FC Tiamo Hirakata FC Kariya Tochigi City FC

Wins by region

Clubs in bold compete in the J.League (any division) in the 2021 season. Clubs in italics no longer exist. A dagger (†) indicates clubs that moved away from the region after winning the title.

RegionNumber of titlesClubs
Kantō 12 Saitama SC, Toho Titanium SC, Yokohama Flügels , Omiya Ardija , Yomiuri S.C. Juniors, FC Tokyo , Yokogawa Musashino, Sagawa Express Tokyo , Thespa Kusatsu , Machida Zelvia , YSCC Yokohama , SC Sagamihara
Tōkai 10 Júbilo Iwata (2), Cosmo Oil Yokkaichi (2), Nagoya S.C., Seino Transportation , Tosu Futures †, FC Kariya (2), Jatco SC
Tōhoku 7 Vegalta Sendai , Sony Sendai, Blaublitz Akita , Grulla Morioka , ReinMeer Aomori, Cobaltore Onagawa, Iwaki FC
Kansai 5 Osaka Gas, Sagawa Express Osaka , Ain Foods, Nara Club, FC Tiamo Hirakata
Chūgoku 4Mazda Auto Hiroshima, Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima, Fagiano Okayama , Matsue City
Shikoku 3 Teijin SC , Kamatamare Sanuki , FC Imabari
Koshin'etsu 2 ALO's Hokuriku , Matsumoto Yamaga
Kyūshū 1 FC Ryukyu
Hokkaidō

See also

Soccer/Football
League system
Domestic cup
Futsal
Beach soccer

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