2013 Japan Football League
1st JFL title
1st D3 title
|Goals scored||784 (2.56 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Yuji Unozawa
F.C. Ryukyu vs Uva
Printing vs Uva
The 2013 Japan Football League is the 17th season of the third tier of the Japanese football, and the 15th season since the establishment of Japan Football League. It started on 10 March and finished on 24 November.
Due to unfortunate withdrawal of Arte Takasaki, the previous season has featured only 17 teams, but for 2013 the league has brought the number of teams back to 18. After having another team (Sagawa Shiga) ceasing its operations and withdrawing after the season, the league has welcomed into its ranks two newcomers, SC Sagamihara and Fukushima United. Both clubs are looking forward to eventual J. League promotion, with Sagamihara holding the associate membership status, and Fukushima having applied for it in 2007, though unsuccessfully.
Last season has for the first time ever featured direct exchange of teams between JFL and J. League. JFL champions and J. League associate members V-Varen Nagasaki were promoted at the expense of Machida Zelvia, who returned to JFL after only a single season in J2.
Tochigi Uva were on the brink of relegation, as their play-off series against Norbritz Hokkaido was tied after two rounds. It was decided in penalty shootout, which Tochigi club has won 4–1 and retained their place in the JFL.
On 26 February Blaublitz Akita and Zweigen Kanazawa were granted J. League associate membership status, bringing the number of such clubs to six, an all-time high mark for the league. On 20 August YSCC Yokohama's application was also granted by J. League, further increasing associate members count to seven. It raised again to 10 members after another J. League board session on 16 September, when applications of Fukushima United, FC Ryukyu and Fujieda MYFC were approved.
|Club Name||Home Town||Notes|
|Blaublitz Akita||All cities/towns in Akita||J. League associate member|
|Fukushima United||Fukushima, Fukushima||Promoted from Tohoku league D1 in 2012. J.League associate member|
|Honda FC||Hamamatsu, Shizuoka|
|Honda Lock||Miyazaki, Miyazaki|
|Hoyo Oita||Ōita, Ōita|
|Kamatamare Sanuki||All cities/towns in Kagawa||J. League associate member|
|MIO Biwako Shiga||Kusatsu, Shiga|
|Fujieda MYFC||Fujieda, Shizuoka||J.League associate member|
|Nagano Parceiro||Nagano, Nagano||J. League associate member|
|Sagawa Printing||Mukō, Kyoto|
|FC Ryukyu||All cities/towns in Okinawa||J.League associate member|
|SC Sagamihara||Sagamihara, Kanagawa||Promoted from Kantō league D1 in 2012. J. League associate member|
|Sony Sendai||Tagajō, Miyagi|
|Tochigi Uva||Tochigi, Tochigi|
|Yokogawa Musashino||Musashino, Tokyo|
|YSCC Yokohama||Yokohama, Kanagawa||J.League associate member|
|Machida Zelvia||Machida, Tokyo||Relegated from J2 in 2012, eligible for J2 promotion|
|Zweigen Kanazawa||Kanazawa, Ishikawa||J. League associate member|
Change in rules
- Promotion to J. League Division 2
- As in the previous year, the league winner will promote to J. League Division 2 (J2) if it meets promotion criteria, and the runner-up will promote to J2 if it meets promotion criteria and win a home-and-away play-off against a J2 club.
- As the establishment of J3 League, if a playoff is taken place, the losing team will go to J3, but not staying to JFL.
- Relegation to regional leagues
- As the establishment of J3 League leads to a number of teams' transfer in next year, only promotion of teams from regional leagues will take place, not relegation. 
||Promotion or relegation
|1||Nagano Parceiro (C)||34||21||9||4||61||25||+36||72||Formed J3 League|
|2||Kamatamare Sanuki† (P)||34||21||5||8||49||26||+23||68||Qualification to Promotion playoffs 1|
|3||SC Sagamihara||34||18||7||9||58||42||+16||61||Formed J3 League|
|7||Zweigen Kanazawa||34||14||8||12||60||48||+12||50||Formed J3 League|
|11||FC Ryukyu||34||12||10||12||47||51||−4||46||Formed J3 League|
|16||MIO Biwako Shiga||34||8||6||20||40||56||−16||30|
Updated to games played on 8 December 2013.
Source: Japan Football League
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd goal differential; 3rd goals scored; 4th head-to-head results; 5th disciplinary points; 6th draw
If two clubs are tied for first place, both clubs will be declared champions.
† Kamatamare Sanuki topped the table at the end of the 17th round and thus were awarded JFL seed for 2013 Emperor's Cup.
1 Direct promotion and pro/rele series will take place only if there will be promotion-eligible teams (shown in bold) that will claim either of two top spots in JFL.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
|Home ╲ Away||BLA||FUK||HON||LOC||HOY||KAM||MIO||MYF||PAR||PRI||RYU||SGM||SON||UVA||YMS||YSC||ZEL||ZWE|
|MIO Biwako Shiga||3–0||1–0||0–2||1–0||2–0||0–4||0–2||1–5||0–1||4–1||0–1||0–0||0–4||1–2||1–2||2–3||2–2|
Updated to games played on 24 November 2013.
Source: Japan Football League: first round, second round
1 ^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
For coming matches, an a indicates there is an article about the match.
|1||Yuji Unozawa||Nagano Parceiro||
|2||Ryosuke Kijima||Kamatamare Sanuki||
|Koji Suzuki||Machida Zelvia||
|4||Shohei Kiyohara||Zweigen Kanazawa||
|Yuki Matsumoto||SC Sagamihara||
|Yatsunori Shimaya||Hoyo Oita||
|Shunta Takahashi||FC Ryukyu||
|8||Kazuki Ganaha||FC Ryukyu||
|Sho Gokyu||SC Sagamihara||
|Goshi Okubo||Sony Sendai||
Updated to games played on 24 November 2013
Source: Japan Football League
|15||MIO Biwako Shiga||9,233||1,091||224||543||−14.7%|
Post-season promotion and relegation
J2 Promotion playoffs
After conclusion of the JFL and J2 seasons, playoffs for participation in 2014 J2 season were contested by lowest-placed J2 club Gainare Tottori and Kamatamare Sanuki, who possess J2 license and have finished second in JFL. The playoffs took place on 1 and 8 December.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Gainare Tottori||1–2||Kamatamare Sanuki||1–1||0–1|
1 December 2013
|Kamatamare Sanuki||1–1||Gainare Tottori|
|Takahashi 47'||Report||50' Mori|
8 December 2013
|Gainare Tottori||0–1||Kamatamare Sanuki|
Promotion from Regional leagues
After 10 of 18 teams were set to leave JFL for newly created J3, the league announced that it will suffer a contraction and only 14 teams will participate in 2014. The league will accommodate all winners of Regional Promotion Series and will accept applications from another Regional clubs that are willing to participate in the nationwide league.
The top three spots of Regional Promotion Series were occupied by Grulla Morioka, Fagiano Okayama Next and FC Kagoshima respectively, and Volca Kagoshima took the last spot. However, the Morioka club has been chosen by J. League for participation in 2014 J3 season, and both Kagoshima clubs have announced their post-season merger to Kagoshima United. On December 4 the league announced the final list of promoted teams:
- Fagiano Okayama Next – Chūgoku Soccer League champions, 2nd place in Regional promotion play-offs.
- Kagoshima United – new club, created on merger of Volca Kagoshima and FC Kagoshima, Kyushu Soccer League respective champions and runner-ups
- Vanraure Hachinohe – Tōhoku Soccer League runners-up, and J. League associate members
- Azul Claro Numazu – Tōkai Soccer League 4th place, and J. League associate members
- Maruyasu Industries – Tōkai Soccer League champions
- Renofa Yamaguchi – Chūgoku Soccer League 3rd place, Shakaijin Cup winners, and J. League associate members
- Ｊリーグ準加盟審査結果について [Examination results of J. League associate members] (in Japanese). J. League. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Ｊリーグ準加盟審査結果について [Examination results of J. League associate members] (in Japanese). J. League. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- Ｊリーグ準加盟審査結果について [Examination results of J. League associate members] (in Japanese). J. League. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "ＪＦＬ 来季はＪ３発足により６減の１２チームで開催へ！" [JFL will decrease the number of teams by 6 into 12, due to the establishment of J3 next year]. Sports Nippon. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- "第15回JFL第17節「福島ユナイテッドＦＣが逆転勝利、第９３回天皇杯のＪＦＬシードはカマタマーレ讃岐が獲得！」" [After defeating Fukushima United FC in Round 17 of 15th JFL season, Kamatamare Sanuki has earned a place in 93rd Emperor's Cup!]. Japan Football League. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
- "２０１４年度 第１６回日本フットボールリーグ チーム数についてのお知らせ" [Announcement on number of teams for 2014 JFL season]. Japan Football League. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "お知らせ「第１６回日本フットボールリーグ新入会チーム決定！」" [Announcement on the decision on admission of new teams for 16th JFL season!]. Japan Football League. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.