X-League

Last updated

X-League
Current season, competition or edition:
Sports current event.svg ja:2019年のXリーグ
X League.png
FormerlyJapan American Football League (19711997)
Sport American football
Founded1971;50 years ago (1971)
No. of teams53 (X1:18, X2:18, X3:17)
Country Japan
Most recent
champion(s)
Obic Seagulls (6th title)
Most titles Obic Seagulls (9 titles)
Official website Official website

The X-League (Xリーグ) is the top-level American football league in Japan. It was founded in 1971 as the Japan American Football League, and changed its name to the X League in 1997. There are three divisions (X1, X2, and X3) among which there is promotion and relegation. [1] Teams in the three-tier league are split into East, West, and Central divisions. There are two types of teams, one being a company team in which only employees of that particular sponsoring company may play, and the other being a club team for which anyone can try out.

Contents

Game rules are based on those of the NCAA college division in the United States, with the exception of the length of quarters, which are 12 minutes instead of 15 during the first stage of the season.

The Japanese national team, which has won the first and second editions of the American Football World Cup and was runner-up, finishing second to the American team, in the 2007 installment of the tournament, was made up almost entirely of players from this league.

Americans are often recruited to play for X League teams, with a strict rule of four per team. No more than two foreign players per team are allowed on the field of play at a time.

Season format

The league is split into 3 tiers: X1 Super, X1 Area and X2.

There are two spring tournaments as well which are used by teams to ready themselves and evaluate new players before the fall season. One is the larger Pearl Bowl which teams from eastern Japan compete in, and the other is the Green Bowl for teams in western Japan.

Regular season

The top tier, X1 Super includes eight teams who will all play each other once in a seven game season.

The second tier, X1 Area contains 12 teams while X2 comprises 18 teams. The teams in X1 Area will be divided into three groups with each team playing six games, three inside the group and three outside.

Postseason

At the end of the X1 Super season, the top four teams head into the semifinals. The winners of the semifinals would advance to the Japan X Bowl.

The top two teams in the X1 Area compete in the X1 Area Bowl for the chance to advance to the Area/Super promotional match against the 8th placed X1 Super team.

Japan X Bowl

The two semifinal winners would meet for the league championship in the Japan X Bowl held at the Tokyo Dome. Since 1987, Japan X Bowl has decided the X League championship. Until 2002, it was known as the Tokyo Super Bowl. The winner of this game goes on to the Rice Bowl to face the winner of the Koshien Bowl, the national college championship game.

Relegation and replacement games

The 8th place team from X1 Super would play a relegation playoff game against the winning team from the X1 Area league.

The same goes for the last place team in the X1 Area who would play the X2 champion to decide who would be the 12th team in X1 Area.

2019 X-League team organization

X1 Super

X1 Area

X2

East


Central


West


X3

East


West

A Block


B Block

Past League Results

X-League Divisional Standings since 1997

Notations
Advanced to Final6, Super9 or Post SeasonPromoted from X2Demoted to X2 at the end of the season.Team Folded at the end of the season.
East/Central
YearDivision1st2nd3rd4th5th6th
1997EastAsahi Beer Silver StarOnward OaksBank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi ApricotFujitsu FrontiersTokai Bank Red WaveRenown Rovers
Central Kajima Deers Nissan Prince TokyoRecruit SeagullsSkylark Co.,Ltd. SkylarksSanwa Bank Lark HillsSakura Bank Dainosu
1998EastNissan Prince TokyoAsahi Beer Silver StarSkylark Co.,Ltd. SkylarksTokai Bank Red WaveSumitomo Bank SpringsBank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Apricot
Central Kajima Deers Recruit SeagullsOnward OaksFujitsu FrontiersRenown RoversSanwa Bank Lark Hills
1999EastOnward OaksRecruit SeagullsNissan Prince TokyoTokyo Marine DolphinsTokyo-Mitsubishi Bank ApricotSankura Bank Dainosu
Central Kajima Deers Asahi Beer Silver StarFujitsu FrontiersSkylark Co.,Ltd. SkylarksTokyo Marine DolphinsSanwa Bank Lark Hills
2000EastFujitsu FrontiersAsahi Beer Silver StarOnward OaksSkylark Co.,Ltd. SkylarksClub DainosuRenown Rovers
Central Recruit Seagulls Nissan Prince TokyoKajima DeersTokyo-Mitsubishi BankTokyo Marine DolphinsTokyo Skyliners
2001EastKajima DeersFujitsu FrontiersNissan Prince TokyoGakusei-Engokai RocbullClub DainosuClub Huskies
Central Recruit Seagulls Asahi Beer Silver StarOnward OaksLionsRenown RoversPenta-Ocean Construction Co. Pirates
2002EastFujitsu FrontiersKajima DeersLionsNissan SkylinersIBM Big BlueSakura Bank Dainosu
Central Seagulls Onward SkylarksAsahi Beer Silver StarGakusei-Engokai RocbullRenown RoversClub Huskies
2003EastOnward SkylarksAsahi Beer Silver StarFujitsu FrontiersNissan SkylinersTokyo Gas CreatorsClub Huskies
CentralKajima DeersObic SeagullsPenta-Ocean Construction Co. PiratesAll Mitsubishi LionsGakusei-Engokai RocbullIBM Big Blue
2004EastKajima DeersAsahi Beer Silver StarAll Mitsubishi LionsIBM Big BlueGakusei-Engokai RocbullPenta-Ocean Construction Pirates
CentralOnward SkylarksObic SeagullsNissan SkylinersFujitsu FrontiersTokyo Gas CreatorsClub Huskies
2005EastObic SeagullsOnward SkylarksFujitsu FrontiersYasuda L.A. PiratesTokyo Gas CreatorsAll Mitsubishi Lions
CentralKajima DeersAsahi Beer Silver StarIBM Big BlueNissan SkylinersGakusei-Engokai RocbullRenesas Hurricanes
2006EastOnward SkylarksKajima DeersIBM Big BlueAll Mitsubishi LionsMeiji Yasuda PiratesGakusei-Engokai Rocbull
CentralAsahi Beer Silver StarObic SeagullsFujitsu FrontiersNissan SkylinersTokyo Gas Creators Renesas Hurricanes
2007EastFujitsu FrontiersObic SeagullsAsahi Beer Silver StarAll Mitsubishi LionsRenesas HurricanesGakusei-Engokai Rocbull
CentralKajima DeersOnward SkylarksIBM Big BlueMeiji Yasuda PiratesTokyo Gas CreatorsFuji Xerox Minerva
2008EastOnward SkylarksFujitsu FrontiersAsahi Beer Silver StarMeiji Yasuda PiratesRenesas HurricanesFuji Xerox Minerva
CentralKajima DeersObic SeagullsIBM Big BlueAll Mitsubishi LionsAll Tokyo Gas CreatorsGakusei-Engokai Rocbull
2009EastAsahi Beer Silver StarObic SeagullsNihon Unisys BullsAll Mitsubishi LionsFuji Xerox MinervaAll Tokyo Gas Creators
CentralFujitsu FrontiersKajima DeersIBM Big BlueMeiji Yasuda PiratesHurricanes AFCBullseyes Tokyo
2010EastKajima DeersIBM Big BlueAsahi Beer Silver StarAll Mitsubishi LionsBullseyes TokyoFuji Xerox Minerva
CentralObic SeagullsFujitsu FrontiersMeiji Yasuda PiratesAll Tokyo Gas CreatorsHurricanes AFCNihon Unisys Bulls
2011EastKajima DeersFujitsu FrontiersAll Mitsubishi LionsMeiji Yasuda PiratesBullseyes TokyoFuji Xerox Minverva
CentralObic SeagullsNojima Sagamihara RiseAsahi Beer Silver StarIBM Big BlueAll Tokyo Gas CreatorsNihon Unisys Bulls
2012EastKajima DeersNojima Sagamihara RiseAsahi Beer Silver StarMeiji Yasuda PiratesNihon Unisys BullsBullseyes Tokyo
CentralObic SeagullsFujitsu FrontiersIBM Big BlueTokyo Gas CreatorsAll Mitsubishi LionsFuji Xerox Minerva
2013EastFujitsu Frontiers Kajima Deers Asahi Beer Silver StarTokyo Gas CreatorsNihon Unisys BullsHurricanes
CentralObic SeagullsNojima Sagamihara RiseIBM Big BlueAll Mitsubishi LionsMeiji Yasuda PiratesTokyo MPD Eagles
2014EastFujitsu FrontiersIBM Big BlueNojima Sagamihara RiseTokyo Gas CreatorsMeiji Yasuda PiratesHurricanes
CentralLIXIL DeersObic SeagullsAsahi Beer Silver StarAll Mitsubishi LionsBulls Football ClubTaiyo Building Mgmt. Cranes
2015EastFujitsu FrontiersNojima Sagamihara RiseObic SeagullsAll Mitsubishi LionsMeiji Yasuda Penta-Ocean PiratesTokyo MPD Eagles
CentralIBM Big BlueLIXIL DeersAsahi Beer Silver StarBulls Football ClubTokyo Gas CreatorsHurricanes
2016EastFujitsu FrontiersIBM Big BlueAsahi Beer Silver StarAll Mitsubishi LionsTokyo MPD EaglesBulls Football Club
CentralObic SeagullsLIXIL DeersNojima Sagamihara RiseTokyo Gas CreatorsMeiji Yasuda Penta-Ocean PiratesBullseyes Tokyo
2017EastFujitsu FrontiersLIXIL DeersAsahi Beer Silver StarFuji Xerox Minerva AFCTokyo Gas CreatorsTokyo MPD Eagles
CentralNojima Sagamihara RiseIBM Big BlueObic SeagullsAll Mitsubishi LionsMeiji Yasuda Penta-Ocean PiratesBulls Football Club
2018EastFujitsu FrontiersIBM Big BlueAsahi Beer Silver StarAll Mitsubishi LionsMeiji Yasuda Penta-Ocean PiratesDentsu Club Caterpillars
CentralNojima Sagamihara RiseObic SeagullsLIXIL DeersTokyo Gas CreatorsFuji Xerox Minerva AFCBulls Football Club
West
YearDivision1st2nd3rd4th5th6th
1997WestMatsushita Electric Works ImpulseSunstar FiniesMYCAL BearsOsaka Black EaglesIwatani SidewindersAsahi Soft Drinks Challengers
1998WestAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersMatsushita Electric Works ImpulseMYCAL BearsIwatani SidewindersSunstar FiniesIuchi Black Eagles
1999WestAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersMYCAL BearsMatsushita Electric Works ImpulseKohaku FiniesIuchi Black EaglesIwatani Sidewinders
2000WestMatsushita Electric Works ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersMYCAL BearsKohaku FiniesIuchi Black EaglesIwatani Sidewinders
2001WestMatsushita Electric Works ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersMYCAL BearsIwatani SidewindersKohaku FiniesAS ONE Black Eagles
2002WestMatsushita Denko ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesIwatani SidewindersHankyu BruinsKohaku Finies
2003WestMatsushita Denko ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesNaigai Denki MarviesHankyu BruinsIwatani Sidewinders
2004WestMatsushita Denko ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesNaigai Denki MarviesFinies Football ClubHankyu Bruins
2005WestMatsushita Denko ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersNaigai Denki MarviesAS ONE Black EaglesIwatani SidewindersKobe Finies
2006West Matsushita Denko Impulse Nagai Denki MarviesAsahi Soft Drinks Challengers SRC Kobe Finies AS ONE Black EaglesIwatani Sidewinders
2007WestMatsushita Denko ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersNaigai Denki MarviesAS ONE Black EaglesSRC Kobe FiniesNagoya Cyclones
2008WestAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersPanasonic Denko ImpulseSRC Kobe FiniesNaigai Denki MarviesAsahi Pretec Golden FightersAS ONE Black Eagles
2009WestPanasonic Denko ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersSuita MarviesElecom Kobe FiniesAsahi Pretec Golden FightersAS ONE Black Eagles
2010WestPanasonic Denko ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersSuita MarviesElecom Kobe FiniesAS ONE Black EaglesNagoya Cyclones
2011WestPanasonic ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesElecom Kobe FiniesNagoya CyclonesFuji Xerox J-Stars
2012WestPanasonic ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesElecom Kobe FiniesNagoya CyclonesNishinomiya Bruins
2013WestPanasonic ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesElecom Kobe FiniesNishinomiya BruinsNagoya Cyclones
2014WestElecom Kobe FiniesPanasonic ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesNagoya CyclonesNishinomiya Bruins
2015WestPanasonic ImpulseAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersElecom Kobe FiniesAS ONE Black EaglesNagoya CyclonesFuji Xerox J-Stars
2016WestPanasonic ImpulseElecom Kobe FiniesAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesNagoya CyclonesSidewinders
2017WestPanasonic ImpulseElecom Kobe FiniesAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesNagoya CyclonesClub Hawkeye
2018WestPanasonic ImpulseElecom Kobe FiniesAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersAS ONE Black EaglesNagoya CyclonesSidewinders
Notations
Advanced to SemifinalsPromoted from X1 AreaDemoted to X1 Area at the end of the season.Team Folded at the end of the season.
X1 Super
Year1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th
2019Fujitsu FrontiersObic SeagullsPanasonic ImpulseElecom Kobe FiniesIBM Big BlueTokyo Gas CreatorsAll Mitsubishi LionsNojima Sagamihara Rise
Notations
Advanced to Post SeasonPromoted from X2Demoted to X2 at the end of the season.Team Folded at the end of the season.
X1 Area East/Central
YearDivision1st2nd3rd4th
2019EastAsahi Beer Silver StarFuji Xerox Minerva AFCDentsu Club CaterpillarsAFC Cranes
CentralLIXIL DeersMeiji Yasuda PentaOcean PiratesTokyo MPD EaglesBullseyes Tokyo
X1 Area West
YearDivision1st2nd3rd4th
2019WestAsahi Soft Drinks ChallengersFukuoka Opatsu SunsNagoya CyclonesAS ONE Black Eagles

Playing venues

Awards and honors

All X-League Team

Since 2000, the X-League honors outstanding players by electing them to the All X-League Team. 11 offensive players, 11 defensive players and 3 special team players are voted by the Head Coaches and 5 players on each of the 18 X1 teams to be selected for the team.

X-League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award

The X-League Most Valuable Player award (X-League MVP) is an award given to the Japanese American Football player who is considered most valuable to his team in the X-League. Started in 2012, the award was divided between the best player in each division until 2014 when one overall MVP was awarded.

YearDivisionWinnerPositionTeam
2012EastYasuhiro Maruta Running Back Kajima Deers
Central Noriaki Kinoshita Wide Receiver Obic Seagulls
WestRyohei Imanashi Cornerback Panasonic Impulse
2013EastKeiya Hiramoto Quarterback Fujitsu Frontiers
CentralNoriaki KinoshitaWide ReceiverObic Seagulls
WestTetsuo TakataQuarterbackPanasonic Impulse
YearWinnerPositionTeam
2014Gino GordonRunning BackFujitsu Frontiers
2015Tetsuo Takata [2]
QuarterbackPanasonic Impulse
2016 Colby Cameron [3]
QuarterbackFujitsu
2017Benjamin Anderson [4]
QuarterbackPanasonic Impulse
2018Trashaun NixonRunning BackFujitsu Frontiers
2019Samajie GrantRunning BackFujitsu Frontiers
2020Michael BirdsongQuarterbackFujitsu Frontiers

X-League Rookie of the Year (ROY) award

The X-League Rookie of the Year award (X-League ROY) is an award given to the player who is considered have made a big impact during his first year with his team. Started in 2012, the award was divided between the best player in each division until 2014 when one overall ROY was awarded.

YearDivisionWinnerPositionTeam
2012EastKohei Arai Center Kajima Deers
Central Kevin Craft Quarterback IBM Big Blue
WestHisashi Kurokawa Offensive Tackle Panasonic Impulse
2013EastJinpei Yoshimoto Wide Receiver Fujitsu Frontiers
CentralKealakai MaiavaOffensive TackleObic Seagulls
WestDavid Motu Linebacker Panasonic Impulse
YearWinnerPositionTeam
2014 Colby Cameron QuarterbackFujitsu Frontiers
2015Mason MillsQuarterback Asahi Beer Silver Star
2016 Devin Gardner Quarterback Nojima Sagamihara Rise
2017Taku LiRunning BackObic Seagulls
2018Michael BirdsongQuarterbackFujitsu Frontiers
2019Samajie GrantRunning BackFujitsu Frontiers
2020 Kurt Palandech [5]
Quarterback Nojima Sagamihara Rise

X-League Fairplay award

Since 2012, the X-League Fairplay award is awarded to the team that had accumulated the fewest penalties during the regular season.

YearDivisionTeam
2012West Panasonic Impulse
2013Central All Mitsubishi Lions
2014East Hurricanes (X-League)
2015Central Hurricanes (X-League)
2016East Keishichou Eagles
2017East Keishichou Eagles

Team names

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References

  1. "League Playoff Works". xleague.com. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  2. Nagatsuka, Kaz (February 2, 2016). "Takata named MVP; 8 Impulse make All X-League team". xleague.com. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  3. "Cameron named MVP, heads 9 Frontiers on All-League team". xleague.com. January 31, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  4. Marantz, Ken (November 30, 2017). "Panasonic QB Anderson named MVP; Impulse, Frontiers lead All X-League selections with 7 each". xleague.com. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  5. "ALL X1 Super". xleague.jp. December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.