Category: Team Data
Published on Saturday, 01 January 2011 00:00
Written by Matsu
When the J.League was formed, in 1993, there were just ten teams: Kashima Antlers, Urawa Reds, JEF United Ichihara, Verdy Kawasaki, Yokohama Marinos, Yokohama Flugels, Shimizu S-Pulse, Nagoya Grampus, Gamba Osaka, and Sanfrecce Hiroshima. However, the league grew rapidly during the first few seasons, due to strong interest from the public and the desire of many local company teams to cash in on the J.League's success. By 1998 there were 18 teams in the league. At that point, the J.League decided to add a second division (J2), and reorganize the first division.
In 1999, the league adopted its current, two-division structure. The number of teams in its top division was reduced to 16, while ten teams took part in the first season of J2 action. The second division added two more teams to raise the number to 12, but then remained stable for the next five years. By 2004 it was apparent that the league was once again in a position to expand, so the number of teams was once again changed to allow for expansion in the second division. At the start of the 2005 season the J1 adopted a league format which has remained the same ever since, with 18 teams playing a single round-robin home and away, for a total of 34 games in the season. Though the format of promotion and relegation has been adjusted since then, the number of teams in the J1 is now at its supposed "permanent" level. The J2 has continued to expand from 12 teams in 2005 to 22 in 2012. At present, the JFL is operating as an informal division three, but it remains essentially amateur. If there are indications that at least 10 or so of the JFL teams are capable of breaking even as professional clubs, a professional third division may be added. For the time being, teams that want to advance to the J2 will have to win the right to do so via promotion/relegation contests with the bottom-ranked J2 teams.
The 18 teams shown below will take part in the J.League first division (J1) during the 2012 season. If you click on the icon for each team, the link will take you to a page with detailed information on that team, as well as a team schedule, a player roster, and past historical data.
For information on teams in the J.League second division (J2),Click Here.