Japan X-League

American Football was introduced to Japan in the 1930s and today the Japan X-League is the Major American Football League for Asia. American Football was subsequently introduced to Korea in the 1950s, and the rest of Asia, including China, India, South East Asia, West Asia, Central Asia and Eurasia in more recent decades.

JAFA Japan American Football Association

American Football was first introduced to Japan in the 1930s, although it was not until after WWII, that it was played competitvely, with the Rice Bowl, Japan’s version of the Super Bowl, being played between the Universities since 1947, and since 1984 between the University Champions and the Social Champions (Business League – currently X-League).

There is also a third League in Japan, which is the Private Club League, opening up American Football to non-students and non-Corporate Workers. The JPFF (Japan Private Football Association) organises the Ocean Bowl between the JPFF East and JPFF West Champions. It is included in Social Championships.

1st German-Japan Bowl 2010

Picture Credit: D. Young / Shutterstock (2010) DUSSELDORF, GERMANY – APRIL 24: The 1st German Japan Bowl. The action that lead to Japans last touch-down gathers momentum. On April 24, 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany [Accessed 4 May 2021]

X-League Logo

Picture Credit: [Japan 2] X-League (2020) X-Logo [Internet] Available from: https://s3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com/xleague/images/xlogo.png [Accessed 7 January 2020]

The Japan X-League is the highest level of American Football in Japan.

From 1984 to 2020 the X-League Champions played for the Rice Bowl with the University Champions. since 2021 the Rice Bowl is in sole ownership of the X-League after 11 X-League victories in a row.

The X-League is divided into X1 Super (Premier League), X1 Area (3 Regional League – Championship) and then below that X2 and X3 Leagues.

The JPFF (Japan Private Football Association) is the National or State Level League, with Leagues run on an East – West basis.

Social Championships

X-League

Japan X-League

Japan X-League (Social League)

Japan American Football Association | X-League 2017-2019

Japan X-League X1 Super (Seasons):

2020

JPFF Japan Private Football Association

Japan Private Football Association (JPFF )

Japan Private Football Association JPFF All Japan Championship Ocean Bowl 2011-Present

Regional Adult American Football Championships

Kizuna Bowl (North Japan – Hokkaido v Tohoku) American Football Championship 2011-Present

Hokkaido Adult American Football Association (HAFA)

Hokkaido Adult American Football Association All-Star Lilac Bowl 2013-2018

HAFF North Laundry League (Seasons): 2020

X-League Logo

Picture Credit: [Japan 2] X-League (2020) X-Logo [Internet] Available from: https://s3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com/xleague/images/xlogo.png [Accessed 7 January 2020]

The Japan X-League is the highest level of American Football in Japan.

From 1984 to 2020 the X-League Champions played for the Rice Bowl with the University Champions. since 2021 the Rice Bowl is in sole ownership of the X-League after 11 X-League victories in a row.

The X-League is divided into X1 Super (Premier League), X1 Area (3 Regional League – Championship) and then below that X2 and X3 Leagues.

The JPFF (Japan Private Football Association) is the National or State Level League, with Leagues run on an East – West basis.

Japan American Football Teams (Social Leagues)

X-League

Japan X-League

Japan X-League X1 Super (2022)

Hokkaido American Football Association Potato Bowl 2018 Poster
Hokkaido American Football Association Potato Bowl 2018 Poster

Picture Credit: [8] Hokkaido American Football Association (2020) potato2018 [Internet] Available from: http://hokkaido-afa.com/potato/potato2018.jpg  [Accessed 22 October 2020]

The Universities played for the Rice Bowl from 1947 when the introduction of American Football to Japan took hold to 1979.

From 1980 to 2020 the University Champions contested the Rice Bowl with the Social Champions (now the X-League) and from 2021 onwards the University Champions no longer compete for the Rice Bowl.

The University Championship Game is called the Koshien Bowl, with Regional Bowl Games as a Qualifier.

University Championships

Koshien Bowl

Bowl Games

Japan Universities National Championship

Japan Collegiate American Football Koshien Bowl (East v West) 2016-Present

Japan College Football (Seasons): 2019

JCAFA Koshien Bowl Division Standings & Playoffs (Seasons): 2020 2019

Japan Universities Regional Championships

East Japan Collegiate Football Deciding Match (Kantoh v North Japan) 2016-Present

North Japan University Football Pine Bowl (Tohoku v Hokkaido) 2012-Present

Japan Collegiate American Football Association Heiwadai Bowl (Chushikoku v Kyushu) 1983-2015

Japan Collegiate American Football Tokyo Bowl (Kantoh v Kansai) 2016-Present

Tokyo-Osaka Regions

Kansai Football

Kansai Football (Seasons): 2020 2019

Kantoh Collegiate Football Association (KCFA – East Japan)

KCFA (Seasons): 2020 2019

North Japan Regions

Hokkaido Student American Football Association (HAFA – North Japan)

Hokkaido American Football Association Potato Bowl 2013-2018 (Charity Bowl)

Seasons: 2019

Tohoku Collegiate American Football Association (TCAA – North Japan)

Tohoku Collegiate American Football Association TCAA (Japan) Champions 1976-Present

Seasons: 2019 2018

West Japan Regions

Kyushu Collegiate American Football Association (KCAFA – West Japan)

KCAFA (Seasons): 2019

Tokai Collegiate American Football Association (TKCAFA – West Japan)

TKCAFA (Seasons): 2019

Chushikoku Collegiate American Football Association (CSCAA – West Japan)

CSCAA (Seasons): 2019

Hokuriku Collegiate American Football Association (HCAFA – West Japan)

HCAFA (Seasons): 2019

Asia American Football

American Football was first introduced to Japan in the 1930s, although it was not until 1947 that it was played regularly, with the Rice Bowl, Japan’s Super Bowl played since 1947. Japan is so big on American Football it has its own page on Eirball at: Japan American Football. Korea, likewise has been playing American Football since the National University Championship was started in 1958. West Asia started playing American Football in the 2000s and China, India, Central Asia and South East Asia in the 2010s.

KAFA Logo [Reference: 1]

Picture Credit: [1] Korea American Football Association (2019) logo [Internet] Available from: http://www.kafa.org/kafa_new/images/logo.gif [Accessed 5 July 2020]

American Football has been played in Korea since the 1950s. The Kimchi Bowl is their version of the Super Bowl and has been played since 1995 between the winners of the University Championship (Tiger Bowl) and Social Championship (Corporations) (Gwanggaeto Bowl).

The National University Championship has been played since 1958 and since 1995 is known as the Tiger Bowl.

The Gwanggaeto Bowl is the Championship Game of the Social Championship (Corporations).

Korea (KAFA)

KAFA

Kimchi Bowl (Social Champions v University Champions):

Korea American Football Association | Kimchi Bowl 1995-2017

Tiger Bowl (National University Championship):

Korea American Football Association Tiger Bowl (University Championship) 2007-Present

Korea American Football Club Association (Arena Football)

A-League (Seasons): 2019

B-League (seasons): 2019

Emirates American Football League
Emirates American Football League Logo [References: 9]

Picture Credit: [9] Emirates American Football League (2019) logo [Internet] Available from: https://eafl.ae/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/logo.png [Accessed 5 July 2020]

American Football started in countries like Israel, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan in the early 2000s.

low angle photo of concrete building
Photo by Tobias Federle on Pexels.com

Tom Kelly, the intrepid American with the Irish name started the first Central Asian American Football Association in April 2002. From then until 2008 Kazakhstan team KIMEP Titans from Almaty played a series of friendlies versus Kyrgyzstan’s AUK American University of Kyrgyzstan and Bishkek BARS Leopards.

In 2004 the first Bishkek Challenge Games were played between two Leopards teams, and then in 2007 a second team was created in Bishkek: Golden Eagles and in 2008 a third: KNU (Kyrgyzstan National University). A three team tournament was then arranged between the three Bishkek teams in 2008.

Central Asia & TransCaucasia American Football

Turkey (TAFK), Central Asia (CAAFA)

Turkey (TAFK):

Turkiye Amerikan Futbolu Kurlu Turkey Tournament (Seasons): 2001

Central Asia (CAAFA)

CAAFA Central Asian Challenge Games

CAAFA Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)

EFLI Logo [References: 1]

Picture Credit: [1] Wikipedia (2018) Elite Football League of India Logo [Internet] Available from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f0/Elite_Football_League_of_India_Logo.png [Accessed 2 August 2018]

South Asia American Football

EFLI; EFLI SL;

Indian Sub-Continent Pro Leagues (EFLI)

Elite Football league of India 2012

India (EFLI)

All India University American Football Championship (Seasons): 2015 2016

Bengaluru Cup 7v7 American Tackle Football Championship (Seasons): 2015

Sri Lanka (EFLI SL)

Elite Football League of India Sri Lanka – University Flag Football League 2015

CAFL Logo [References: 10]

Picture Credit: [10] China Arena Football League (2019) CAFL 2019 Competition Medal [Internet] Available from: http://caflfootball.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CAFL-2019-Competition-Medal-768×768.png [Accessed 10 December 2019]

American Football Leagues started in countries like China, India, Philippines and Malaysia in the 2010s. For Japan, where the Rice Bowl, their equivalent of the Super Bowl which started in 1947 see: Japan American Football and for Korea, where their National University Championship started in 1958

East & South East Asia American Football

China (AFLC)

China (AFLC)

China Arena Football League 2016-2019

China Arena Football League (seasons): 2019

American Football League of China (Results)

Philippines (PAFL)

Philippines American Football League 2018-2019

Philippines American Football League (Seasons): 2019

Malaysia (MAFA)

Malaysia American Football Association Flag Football Rose Bowl (Seasons): 2019

Eurasia American Football

Kontinental American Football, like the Kontinental Hockey League refers to the Open Championships and National Leagues which have started since the fall of Communism in the former USSR in 1989. The Open Championships (such as the League of American Football) have featured teams from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Other Leagues have included an Independent Ukrainian League and a series of Central Asian Tournaments under the auspices of the CAAFA (Central Asian American Football Association).

American Football in Russia Billboard 1989
Billboard Poster advertising first ever game of American Football in Russia in 1979.

[3] American Football (Russia) (2017) History in Russia | Billboard Advertising First College Game in Russia 1989 [Internet] Available from: http://www.americanfootball.ru/History/pics/billboard-1989-400×600.jpg%5BAccessed 24 December 2017]

Tom Kelly, the intrepid American with the Irish name attempted to organize the first American Football League in USSR in 1979.

It was not, however until 1989, that the first game was played in the USSR, and after a couple of tournaments and one USSR Championship the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Championship was born.

FAFR Russia Logo [References: 1]
[1] League of American Football (2018) fafr_logo [Internet] Available from: http://web.archive.org/web/20161103012214im_/http://amfoot.ru/themes/img/fafr_logo.png?1 [Accessed 14 December 2020]

Kazan Motors set up the Autonomous “American Football for Everyone” (ANO) non-Profit Organization which united all the American Football teams (Children’s, Schools, Universities, Flag Football, Adult) in Tatarstan in 2006.

Russia, Ukraine & Belarus

UKRAINE (ULAF)

ULAF (Results): 1999

Russia (FAFR)

Moscow-Kazan Friendlies

Kazan (Tatarstan) (ANO)

ANO Kazan Maturity Cup

Kazan Domestic Flag Football League

low angle photo of concrete building
Photo by Tobias Federle on Pexels.com

Tom Kelly, the intrepid American with the Irish name started the first Central Asian American Football Association in April 2002. From then until 2008 Kazakhstan team KIMEP Titans from Almaty played a series of friendlies versus Kyrgyzstan’s AUK American University of Kyrgyzstan and Bishkek BARS Leopards.

In 2004 the first Bishkek Challenge Games were played between two Leopards teams, and then in 2007 a second team was created in Bishkek: Golden Eagles and in 2008 a third: KNU (Kyrgyzstan National University). A three team tournament was then arranged between the three Bishkek teams in 2008.

Central Asia & TransCaucasia American Football

Turkey (TAFK), Central Asia (CAAFA)

Turkey (TAFK):

Turkiye Amerikan Futbolu Kurlu Turkey Tournament (Seasons): 2001

Central Asia (CAAFA)

CAAFA Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)