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X-League

X-League

Overview
The X-League is a professional American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 league in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. It was founded in 1971 as the Japan American Football League. It changed its name to the X-league in 1997. There are four divisions (X1, X2, X3, and X4) between which there is promotion and relegation
Promotion and relegation
In many sports leagues around the world, promotion and relegation is a process that takes place at the end of each season. Through it, teams are transferred between divisions based on their performance that season...

. Teams in the four-tier league are split into east, west, and central divisions. There are two types of teams, one being a company-team which only employees of that particular sponsoring company may participate as a player, and the other classified as a club-team for which anyone can try out.

The Japanese game is shorter, with quarters lasting 12 minutes instead of the standard 15 with some exceptions.
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Encyclopedia
The X-League is a professional American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 league in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. It was founded in 1971 as the Japan American Football League. It changed its name to the X-league in 1997. There are four divisions (X1, X2, X3, and X4) between which there is promotion and relegation
Promotion and relegation
In many sports leagues around the world, promotion and relegation is a process that takes place at the end of each season. Through it, teams are transferred between divisions based on their performance that season...

. Teams in the four-tier league are split into east, west, and central divisions. There are two types of teams, one being a company-team which only employees of that particular sponsoring company may participate as a player, and the other classified as a club-team for which anyone can try out.

The Japanese game is shorter, with quarters lasting 12 minutes instead of the standard 15 with some exceptions. Game rules are based on those of the NCAA college division in America. The regular season consists of three stages, namely first stage, second stage and final stage. The Japan X Bowl is played by winners of the final stage. There is a spring tournament as well called the Pearl Bowl which is used by teams to ready themselves and evaluate new players before the fall season.

The Japan national American football team
Japan national American football team
The Japan national American football team represents Japan in international American football competitions. The team is controlled by the Japan American Football Association, and has been one of the world's strongest international teams since it began participating regularly in international...

, which has won the first and second editions of the American Football World Cup
American Football World Cup
The IFAF World Championship of American Football is an international American football competition held every four years and contested by teams representing member nations. The competition is run by the International Federation of American Football , the international governing body for the sport...

 and was runner-up, finishing second to the American team in last year's third installment of the tournament, was made up almost entirely of players from this league.

2010 X League X1 Teams

Division Team
East Asahi Beer Silver Star
Kajima Deers
IBM Big Blue
All Mitsubishi Lions
Fuji Xerox Minerva American Football Club
Bullseyes Tokyo
Central Fujitsu Frontiers
Obic Seagulls
Nihon Unisys Bulls
Akiharu Yasuda Pirates
Hurricanes
All Tokyo Gas Creators
West Panasonic Electric Works Impulse
renamed from "Matsushita Electric Works Impulse" on October 1, 2008
Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers
Suita Marvies
Elecom Kobe Finies
AS One BlackEagles
Nagoya Cyclones

Japan X Bowl


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
Rice Bowl
The Rice Bowl is an annual American Football national championship game held in Japan every January 3rd that pits the Japanese college champion and the champion of the corporate X-League. The game can draw over 60,000 spectators.- Champions :...

 to face the winner of the Koshien Bowl
Koshien Bowl
The Koshien Bowl is the annual Japanese American college football national championship game, usually played in December at Koshien Stadium.From the 2009 season until 2010 season, the game is held as the final game of Japan University American Football Championship...

, the national college championship game.

Winners

YearBowlStadiumWinnerScoreRunner-up
1987 Tokyo Super Bowl I Yokohama Stadium
Yokohama Stadium
is a stadium in Naka Ward, Yokohama, Japan. It opened in 1978 and holds 30,000 people.It is primarily used for baseball and is the home field of the Yokohama BayStars. The stadium is unique, because it features dirt around the bases and pitcher's mound, but with dirt colored turf infield and base...

Renoun Rovers 31-28 Silver Star
1988 Tokyo Super Bowl II Tokyo Dome
Tokyo Dome
Tokyo Dome is a 55,000-seat baseball stadium located in Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo, Japan.The stadium opened for business on March 17, 1988. It was built on the site of the Velodrome which was next door to the site of the predecessor ballpark, Kōrakuen Stadium...

Renoun Rovers 28-20 Matsushita Electric Works Impulse
1989 Tokyo Super Bowl III Tokyo Dome Asahi Beer Silver Star 14-9 NEC Falcons
1990 Tokyo Super Bowl IV Tokyo Dome Matsushita Electric Works Impulse 14-6 Onward Oaks
1991 Tokyo Super Bowl V Tokyo Dome Onward Oaks 49-10 Sunstar Finies
1992 Tokyo Super Bowl VI Tokyo Dome Asahi Beer Silver Star 21-7 Matsushita Electric Works Impulse
1993 Tokyo Super Bowl VII Tokyo Dome Asahi Beer Silver Star 13-0 Sunstar Finies
1994 Tokyo Super Bowl VIII Tokyo Dome Matsushita Electric Works Impulse 48-28 Onward Oaks
1995 Tokyo Super Bowl IX Tokyo Dome Matsushita Electric Works Impulse 54-20 Recruit Seagulls
1996 Tokyo Super Bowl X Tokyo Dome Recruit Seagulls 30-10 Onward Oaks
1997 Tokyo Super Bowl XI Tokyo Dome Kajima Deers 48-12 Matsushita Electric Works Impulse
1998 Tokyo Super Bowl XII Tokyo Dome Recruit Seagulls 45-24 Asahi Beer Silver Star
1999 Tokyo Super Bowl XIII Tokyo Dome Asahi Beer Silver Star 18-16 Kajima Deers
2000 Tokyo Super Bowl XIV Tokyo Dome Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers 20-18 Matsushita Electric Works Impulse
2001 Tokyo Super Bowl XV Tokyo Dome Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers 14-7 Matsushita Electric Works Impulse
2002 Tokyo Super Bowl XVI Tokyo Dome Seagulls 14-7 Fujitsu Frontiers
2003 Japan X Bowl XVII Tokyo Dome Onward Skylarks 13-10 Asahi Beer Silver Star
2004 Japan X Bowl XVIII Kobe Wing Stadium
Kobe Wing Stadium
, nicknamed , called Home's Stadium Kobe for the J. League association football events and the rugby football Top League events, is a football stadium in Misaki Park, Hyogo-ku, Kobe, Japan. The stadium's capacity is 30,132. This stadium, which features a retractable roof, is the home ground of J...

Matsushita Electric Works Impulse 15-6 Asahi Beer Silver Star
2005 Japan X Bowl XIX Tokyo Dome Obic Seagulls 25-16 Matsushita Electric Works Impulse
2006 Japan X Bowl XX Kyocera Dome Osaka
Osaka Dome
Osaka Dome is a baseball stadium located in Osaka, Japan. Beginning in 1997, the stadium was the home field of the Kintetsu Buffaloes. In 2005, the stadium became one of the homes of the Orix Buffaloes, a result of the merger between the Orix Blue Wave and Kintetsu Buffaloes. Prior to the Osaka...

Onward Skylarks 24-21 Kajima Deers
2007 Japan X Bowl XXI Tokyo Dome Matsushita Electric Works Impulse 33-13 Fujitsu Frontiers
2008 Japan X Bowl XXII Kyocera Dome Osaka Panasonic Electric Works Impulse 28-14 Kajima Deers
2009 Japan X Bowl XXIII Tokyo Dome Kajima Deers 21-14 Fujitsu Frontiers
2010 Japan X Bowl XXIII Tokyo Dome Obic Seagull 20-16 Panasonic Electric Works Impulse

Team names
  • Silver Star → Asahi Beer Silver Star
  • Matsushita Electric Works Impulse → Panasonic Electric Works Impulse
  • Kohoku Finies → Sunstar Finies → Kohoku Finies → Finies Football Club → Kobe Finies → SRC Kobe Finies → Elecom Kobe Finies
  • Recruit Seagulls → Seagulls → Obic Seagulls
  • NEC Falcons (dissolved in 1997)
  • Renoun Rovers (dissolved in 2003)
  • Onward Oaks → Onward Skylarks(Combined with Skylark Skylarks in 2001) → Onward Oaks (dissolved in 2009)→ Sagamihara Rise (Remnants of the Onward Oaks formed a new team called the Sagamihara Rise (same uniforms and colors, although different logo) and played one level down in the X2 league through the 2010 season. They subsequently won the challenge game against the Renesas Hurricanes to move back up to X1 in December of 2010, and will play again in the X1 Central Division for the 2011 season, with the Hurricanes moving down to X2)