|Number of teams||12|
|Promotion to|| Japan Soccer League (1977–1991) |
Japan Football League (1992–1998)
Japan Football League (1999–present)
|Current champions|| FC Tiamo Hirakata |
|Most championships|| Yamaha Motor |
Daikyo Oil Yokkaichi/Kosmo Daikyo
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Teams in bold were promoted.
|Year||Winner||Runner-up||Third place||Also promoted|
|1977||Yamaha Motors||Toshiba Horikawa-cho||Toho Titanium|
|1978||Yamaha Motors||Toho Titanium||Dainichi Nippon Densen|
|1979||Cosmo Oil Yokkaichi||Kyoto Shiko Club||Furukawa Electric Chiba|
|1980||Nagoya S.C.||Furukawa Electric Chiba||Saitama Teachers|
|1981||Saitama Teachers||NTT West Japan Kyoto||Cosmo Oil Yokkaichi|
|1982||Toho Titanium||Seino Transportation||Hyōgo Teachers|
|1983||Yokohama TriStar||Matsushita||Teijin Matsuyama|
|1984||Seino Transportation||Kyoto Police Dept.||TDK SC||Osaka Gas|
|1985||Cosmo Oil Yokkaichi||Kawasaki Steel Mizushima||Toho Titanium||NTT Kansai|
|1986||NTT Kanto||Mazda Auto Hiroshima||Toyoda Machine Works|
|1987||Teijin Matsuyama||Fujieda City Hall||Matsushima S.C.|
|1988||Mazda Auto Hiroshima||Kyoto Shiko Club||Tokyo Gas|
|1989||Yomiuri S.C. Juniors||Otsuka Pharmaceutical||Seino Transportation|
|1990||Tokyo Gas||Chuo Bohan||Seino Transportation|
|1991||Osaka 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|
|1996||Jatco||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 |
|2001||Sagawa Express Osaka S.C.||Professor Miyazaki||Nangoku Kochi F.C.|
|2002||Ain 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
|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|
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.
|Region||Number of titles||Clubs|
|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||4||Mazda 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|
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