Last updated : Thursday, 28 March 2024

Introduction

The Japan Football League (JFL) is the fourth level in the Japanese football pyramid, and is known as the highest level for amateur club football.

Prior to 2010, the JFL was governed by Japan Football Association (JFA); since 2010, the JFL became independent from the Japan FA with its own status and governing body, and consists mainly of amateur football clubs and company teams, though some fully professional clubs (J. League associate members) also exist. Due to presence of these professional clubs, the league has de facto semi-professional status.

JP League action

The JFL season runs from March to December, with each team playing each other twice, once at home and once away. The top two teams at the end of the season are promoted to the J3 League, while the bottom two teams are relegated to the Regional Leagues.

History

The JFL was founded in 1992 as the successor to the Japan Soccer League (JSL), which was the top flight of Japanese football at the time. The JSL was a professional league, but the JFL was intended to be an amateur league that would provide a stepping stone for teams to the JSL.

JP League match

The JFL has been successful in achieving its goals, and many teams have used the league as a springboard to the JSL. In recent years, the JFL has also become more professionalized, with some teams now offering full-time contracts to their players.

Current season

The current JFL season is the 2023 season. There are 16 teams competing in the league, including the following:

  • AC Nagano Parceiro
  • Azul Claro Numazu
  • Fukushima United
  • Giravanz Kitakyushu
  • Honda Lock
  • Iwate Grulla Morioka
  • Kochi United
  • Mito Hollyhock
  • Oita Trinita
  • Renaissance Kumamoto
  • SC Sagamihara
  • Tokyo United
  • YSCC Yokohama
JP League teams

The top two teams at the end of the season will be promoted to the J3 League, while the bottom two teams will be relegated to the Regional Leagues.

Sources

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