The Chūgoku Soccer League (中国サッカーリーグ) is a Japanese football league covering the five prefectures of the Chūgoku region; Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi. It is one of the nine Japanese Regional Leagues, the fifth league level in the Japanese association football league system.
The league formed in 1973 with six teams from the Chūgoku region: Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC, Hiroshima Teachers, Mitsui Shipbuilding Soccer Club, Mitsubishi Oil, Mitsui Oil and Hitachi Works Kasado SC. The format was in a round-robin tournament with teams playing each other twice; once at home and once away. Winning teams earned two points, one point was given to each team in a draw, and losing teams earned no points. League position was determined by the number of points.
The following season, the number of teams increased to eight and generally stayed at that number for some time. However the Mitsui Oil team withdrew from the competition in 1975 because of an oil spill accident at their parent company, leaving the league with seven teams briefly. In the late 1980s, Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC and Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC achieved promotion to the then Japan Soccer League. Although Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC were able to avoid relegation back to the Chūgoku League, Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC were relegated the season following promotion twice.
In 1991 the league format changed, awarding three points for a league win, rather than just two.
From 1997 a penalty kick system was introduced so matches could be firmly decided instead of having a draw. If at the end of 90 minutes the game ends in a draw, a penalty shoot out is held. The winning team is awarded two points (instead of three) and the losing team is awarded one point (instead of zero).
In the 2000s, SC Tottori, Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C. and Fagiano Okayama achieve promotion to the JFL.
From 2007 the penalty kick system ended, and standard regulation matches commenced. Teams played each other at home and away (each team would actually play 18 matches), and an appropriate method was decided in order to determine league placements should teams have the same number of points (highest goal difference, most goals for, the results of the respective teams matches). Based on those results, the top four teams would be split from the next four teams (5th to 8th). Teams would play in these smaller groups against each other once, meaning the final league result is based on 21 matches. Furthermore, this means that teams finishing 9th or 10th will not be able to have the chance at promotion after the initial 18 matches, should they situation arise.
Since 2008, the league has consisted of ten teams. In 2009, the two block split was abolished, and a traditional home and away league structure was introduced.
Just like the JFL, matches last for two 45 minute halves with no extra time. Winning teams receive 3 points, drawing teams receive one point, and losing teams receive no points.
League winners earn the right to represent the Chūgoku region at the Regional League promotion series, with the aim of promotion to the JFL. Depending on the year, two or more teams may also be invited.
These are the ten participating teams in order of their final position in the previous season.
- Dezzolla Shimane (Hamada, Shimane Prefecture)
- Matsue City Football Club (Matsue, Shimane Prefecture)
- Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C. (Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture)
- Fuji Xerox Hiroshima Soccer Club (Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture)
- JX Nippon Oil & Energy Mizushima F.C. (Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture)
- NTN Okayama Soccer Club (Bizen, Okayama Prefecture)
- SRC Hiroshima (Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture)
- Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C. (Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture)
- S.C. Matsue (Matsue, Shimane Prefecture)
- International Pacific University (Okayama, Okayama Prefecture)
Promotion and Relegation
Promotion from the Chūgoku Soccer League
Basically, for the league champions to be promoted to a higher league, it is necessary to compete in a specified national tournament. Up until and including the 1976 season, the All Japan Senior Football Championship was used in which the winner and runner-up played off in a promotion and relegation series against the bottom two clubs of the JSL. However, from 1977 the Regional League promotion series became the tournament of choice. The following teams have achieved promotion from the Chūgoku Soccer League.
- JSL 2 (1973 - 1991)
- 1985：Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC
- 1986：Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC (Relegated in 1987)
- 1988：Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC (Relegated in 1989)
- JFL (1999–Present)
- 2000：SC Tottori
- 2004：Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.
- 2007：Fagiano Okayama
- 2013 : Fagiano Okayama Next, Renofa Yamaguchi F.C.
Promotion from Prefectural Leagues
The top two teams from each of the five prefectural leagues in the Chūgoku region meet in a promotional tournament. Teams are split into two blocks, with the block winners being promoted to the Chūgoku Soccer League. However, owing to which teams are promoted to and relegated from the JFL, there is a possibility that the number of promotions from the Prefectural leagues will change.
Relegation to the Prefectural Leagues
The two teams positioned 9th and 10th at the end of the season are relegated to their local Prefectural League.
Final League Positions
Teams in blue participated in the National Promotional Tournament, with bold teams achieving promotion.
1973 to 1987
|1||1973||6||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Hiroshima Teachers||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Mitsui Oil||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||-||6 teams||1|
|2||1974||8||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Hiroshima Teachers||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Nihon Seikoukure||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Mitsui Oil||Increase to 8 teams||2|
|3||1975||7||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Hiroshima Teachers||Nihon Seikoukure||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Masuda Club||-||Mitsui Oil withdraws||3|
|4||1976||8||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Masuda Club||Hiroshima Teachers||Nihon Seikoukure||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||4|
|5||1977||8||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Masuda Club||Tanabe Mitsubishi||Nihon Seikoukure||Hiroshima Teachers||5|
|6||1978||8||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Tanabe Mitsubishi||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Masuda Club||6|
|7||1979||8||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Tanabe Mitsubishi||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Matsue City Football Club||7|
|8||1980||8||Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC||Masuda Club||Tanabe Mitsubishi||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Yamaguchi Teachers||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||8|
|9||1981||8||Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Masuda Club||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Tanabe Mitsubishi||Yamaguchi Teachers||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||8|
|10||1982||8||Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC||Yamaguchi Teachers||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Tanabe Mitsubishi||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Masuda Club||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||10|
|11||1983||8||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Yamaguchi Teachers||Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC||Tanabe Mitsubishi||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Masuda Club||11|
|12||1984||8||Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Yamaguchi Teachers||Tanabe Mitsubishi||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Matsuda SC||Masuda Club||12|
|13||1985||8||Kawasaki Seitetsu Mizushima SC||Hiroshima Teachers||Matsuda SC||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Yamaguchi Teachers||Tanabe Mitsubishi||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||13|
|14||1986||8||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Hiroshima Teachers||Yamaguchi Teachers||Matsuda SC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Yonago FC||Mitsui Shipbuilding S.C.||Tanabe Mitsubishi||14|
|15||1987||7||Matsuda SC||Hiroshima Teachers||Yamaguchi Teachers||Yonago FC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Tottori Teachers||Tanabe Mitsubishi||-||15|
1988 to 2002
|16||1988||9||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Matsuda SC||Yamaguchi Teachers||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Hiroshima Teachers||Yonago FC||Tottori Teachers||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Hiroshima City Hall||16|
|17||1989||7||Matsuda SC||Yamaguchi Teachers||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Okayama Teachers FC||Hiroshima Teachers||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Yonago FC||-||17|
|18||1990||9||Matsuda SC||Mazda Auto Hiroshima SC||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Yamaguchi Teachers||Hiroshima Teachers||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Okayama Teachers FC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Yonago FC||18|
|19||1991||8||Matsuda SC||NTN Okayama S.C.||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Yamaguchi Teachers||Ẽfini Hiroshima S.C.||Hiroshima Teachers||Hiroshima Fujita SC||SC Tottori||-||3 point win system introduced||19|
|20||1992||8||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Ẽfini Hiroshima S.C.||Matsuda SC||Hiroshima Fujita SC||SC Tottori||Yamaguchi Teachers||Hiroshima Teachers||NTN Okayama S.C.||-||20|
|21||1993||8||Matsuda SC||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Yamaguchi Teachers||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Ẽfini Hiroshima S.C.||NTN Okayama S.C.||SC Tottori||Masuda Club||-||21|
|22||1994||8||Matsuda SC||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||NTN Okayama S.C.||Ẽfini Hiroshima S.C.||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Yamaguchi Teachers||SC Tottori||Masuda Club||-||22|
|23||1995||8||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Matsuda SC||Yamakou FC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Ẽfini Hiroshima S.C.||NTN Okayama S.C.||Yamaguchi Teachers||-||23|
|24||1996||8||Matsuda SC||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Hiroshima Teachers||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Yamaguchi Teachers||Ẽfini Hiroshima S.C.||Yamakou FC||-||24|
|25||1997||8||Matsuda SC||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Yamakou FC||Hiroshima Teachers||NKK Fukuyama||Yamaguchi Teachers||-||Penalty kick system introduced||25|
|26||1998||8||Matsuda SC||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Hiroshima Teachers||Mitsubishi Oil Mizushima||NKK Fukuyama||Yamakou FC||SC Tottori||-||26|
|27||1999||8||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Matsuda SC||Hiroshima Teachers||Nisseki Mitsubishi Mizushima||SC Tottori||NKK Fukuyama||Yamakou FC||-||27|
|28||2000||8||SC Tottori||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Hiroshima Teachers||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Yamaguchi Teachers||Nisshin Steel Kure||Matsuda SC||Nisseki Mitsubishi Mizushima||-||28|
|29||2001||7||Hiroshima FC||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Hiroshima Teachers||Matsuda SC||Nisshin Steel Kure||Yamaguchi Teachers||-||29|
|30||2002||8||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Hiroshima FC||Yamaguchi Teachers||Iwami FC||Matsuda SC||Hiroshima Teachers||Nisshin Steel Kure||-||30|
|31||2003||8||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Tottori Kickers||Iwami FC||Hiroshima Fujita SC||JFE Steel West Japan||Hiroshima FC||Matsuda SC||Yamaguchi Teachers||-||31|
|32||2004||8||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Iwami FC||JFE Steel West Japan||Tottori Kickers||Hiroshima FC||-||32|
|33||2005||7||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||Fagiano Okayama||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Iwami FC||JFE Steel West Japan||Yamaguchi Teachers||-||33|
|34||2006||8||Fagiano Okayama||Central Chūgoku||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||Renofa Yamaguchi F.C.||Hiroshima Fujita SC||JFE Steel West Japan||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Iwami FC||-||34|
|35||2007||8||Fagiano Okayama||Central Chūgoku||Renofa Yamaguchi F.C.||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||Hiroshima Fujita SC||Matsuda SC||JFE Steel West Japan||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||-||2 block league split introduced||35|
|36||2008||9||Renofa Yamaguchi F.C.||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||NTN Okayama S.C.||FC Ube Yahhh-Man||Dezzolla Shimane||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||Matsuda SC||JFE Steel West Japan||Hiroshima Fujita SC||-||10 team structure introduced||36|
|37||2009||10||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||Renofa Yamaguchi F.C.||NTN Okayama S.C.||FC Ube Yahhh-Man||JX Mizushima||Dezzolla Shimane||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||JFE Steel West Japan||Matsuda SC||Genki S.C.||2 block league split abolished||37|
|38||2010||10||Renofa Yamaguchi F.C.||Dezzolla Shimane||Volador Matsue||Fagiano Okayama Next||NTN Okayama S.C.||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||JX Mizushima||FC Ube Yahhh-Man||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||JFE Steel West Japan||38|
|39||2011||10||Dezzolla Shimane||Renofa Yamaguchi F.C.||Fagiano Okayama Next||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Fuji Xerox Hiroshima S.C.||NTN Okayama S.C.||Matsue City Football Club||JX Nippon Oil & Energy Mizushima F.C.||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||FC Ube Yahhh-Man||39|
|40||2012||10||Dezzolla Shimane||Fagiano Okayama Next||Matsue City Football Club||Renofa Yamaguchi F.C.||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Fuji Xerox Hiroshima S.C.||JX Nippon Oil & Energy Mizushima F.C.||NTN Okayama S.C.||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||SC Tottori Dreams||40|
|41||2013||10||Fagiano Okayama Next||Dezzolla Shimane||Renofa Yamaguchi F.C.||Matsue City Football Club||NTN Okayama S.C.||Fuji Xerox Hiroshima S.C.||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||SRC Hiroshima||JX Nippon Oil & Energy Mizushima F.C.||41|
|42||2014||10||Matsue City Football Club||Dezzolla Shimane||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||SRC Hiroshima||JX Nippon Oil & Energy Mizushima F.C.||Fuji Xerox Hiroshima S.C.||NTN Okayama S.C.||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||FC Ube Yahhh-Man||Hitachi Works Kasado SC||42|
|43||2015||10||Matsue City Football Club||Dezzolla Shimane||Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C.||SRC Hiroshima||International Pacific University||NTN Okayama S.C.||Fuji Xerox Hiroshima S.C.||JX Nippon Oil & Energy Mizushima F.C.||Sagawa Express Chugoku S.C.||SC Matsue||43|
- ↑ Sagawa Express Chugoku declined berth in Regional Promotion Series at the request of owner Sagawa Express, which also owns Sagawa Shiga F.C. in Japan Football League. NTN Okayama thus substituted.