|Number of teams||10 L1
|Levels on pyramid||1-2|
|Relegation to||Japanese Regional Leagues|
|Domestic cup(s)||Empress's Cup
|Current champions||Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies
The L. League (in Japanese: "L・リーグ", Officially "日本女子サッカーリーグ",Nihon Joshi Sakkā Rīgu) is the top flight of women's association football in Japan. It is the women's equivalent of the J. League, but not professional. However, some individual players are professional.
The league consists of two divisions: division 1 has the nickname Nadeshiko League (なでしこリーグ Nadeshiko Rīgu?) and division 2 Challenge League (チャレンジリーグ Charenji Rīgu?). Since 2008 it has been sponsored by Plenus (株式会社プレナス?), a fastfood company based in Fukuoka, and are thus billed as Plenus Nadeshiko League and Plenus Challenge League.
- 1 History
- 2 League structure
- 3 Champions
- 4 L. League Clubs (2015)
- 5 Previous clubs
- 6 Award
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
L-League began in 1989. From 1993 to 1999 it adopted an Apertura and Clausura system, similar to the J. League system of the era. From 2000 to 2003 the clubs were divided into East and West groups and then the top clubs of each would go into a championship group, with the bottom clubs in a relegation group. In 2004 the single-table format was brought back.
Players from the 8 L-League teams would host an annual training camp to build skills and relationships between L-League and international women's football clubs, including US and Australian teams.
Since the 2004 season, the L. League has 2 divisions - Division 1, with 8 clubs, and Division 2 with 8 clubs in the 2006 season. Until 2009 the league operated on the same way as the old Japan Soccer League for men, the bottom club in the second division playing off against a regional league playoff winner.
Starting off with the 2010 season, the second division is divided into an east and west group of six teams each. The winners of each group are promoted.
The L-League consists of two levels. (from 2015)
|Level||League(s) / Division(s)|
|1|| Nadeshiko League Div.1 (Division 1)
|2||Nadeshiko League Div.2 (Division 2)
|3||Challenge League (Division 3)
12 (EAST 6 / WEST 6) clubs
First Division Champions
- Total titles won by club
||1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010|
|Nikko Securities Dream Ladies||
||1996, 1997, 1998|
|INAC Kobe Leonessa||
||2011, 2012, 2013|
|Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies||
||2004, 2009, 2014|
|Iga F.C. Kunoichi||
|Shimizu F.C. Ladies||
|Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki||
|Tasaki Perule F.C.||
- Yomiuri Beleza was renamed to NTV Beleza in 1999 and to Tokyo Verdy Beleza in 2011, when the Yomiuri Group sold its stake.
- Saitama Reinas were absorbed by Urawa Red Diamonds in 2005.
- Matsushita L.S.C. Bambina was renamed to Speranza F.C. Takatsuki in 2000. Then, renamed to Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki in 2012.
- Prima Ham F.C. Kunoichi was renamed to Iga F.C. Kunoichi in 2000.
- Nikko Securities Dream Ladies and Tasaki Perule no longer exist.
- Total titles won by region
|Kantō||18||NTV Beleza (12), Nikko Securities Dream Ladies (3), Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies (3)|
|Kansai||5||INAC Kobe Leonessa (3), Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki (1), Tasaki Perule F.C. (1)|
|Tōkai||3||Iga Football Club Kunoichi (2), Suzuyo Shimizu F.C. Lovely Ladies (1)|
Second Division Champions
|2004||Okayama Yunogo Belle|
|2005||INAC Kobe Leonessa|
|2006||Albirex Niigata Ladies|
|2008||JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies|
|2009||AS Elfen Sayama F.C.|
|2010||Tokiwagi Gakuen H.S||Speranza Takatsuki|
|2011||Tokiwagi Gakuen H.S||Kibi International University|
|2012||Vegalta Sendai Ladies|
|2013||Tokiwagi Gakuen H.S|
|2014||Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki|
L. League Clubs (2015)
The L-League consists of 3 levels.
Nadeshiko League Div.1 (Division 1)
|Club||Hometown(s)||First Season in
|Current Spell in
|Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies||Saitama, Saitama||1999||1999-|
|JEF United Chiba Ladies||Chiba, Chiba||2000||2000-|
|NTV Beleza||Inagi, Tokyo||1989||1989-|
|Albirex Niigata Ladies||Niigata Prefecture||2004||2004-|
|Iga Football Club Kunoichi||Iga, Mie||1989||2010-|
|AS Elfen Sayama F.C.||Sayama, Saitama||2002||2014-|
|INAC Kobe Leonessa||Kobe, Hyogo||2005||2005-|
|Okayama Yunogo Belle||Mimasaka, Okayama||2003||2005-|
|Vegalta Sendai Ladies||Sendai, Miyagi||2013||2013-|
|Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki||Takatsuki, Osaka||1991||2015-|
Nadeshiko League Div.2 (Division 2)
|F.C. Kibi International University Charme||Takahashi, Okayama|
|Fukuoka J. Anclas||Kasuga, Fukuoka|
|Sfida Setagaya F.C.||Setagaya, Tokyo|
|Nippon Sport Science University L.S.C.||Yokohama|
|Japan Soccer College Ladies||Seirō, Niigata|
|A.C. Nagano Parceiro Ladies||Nagano, Nagano|
|Ehime F.C. Ladies||Matsuyama, Ehime|
|AS Harima ALBION||Himeji|
|Nojima Stella Kanagawa||Sagamihara, Kanagawa|
Challenge League (Division 3)
|Tokiwagi Gakuen High School||Sendai, Miyagi|
|Yokohama F.C. Seagulls||Yokohama|
|Yamato Sylphid||Yamato, Kanagawa|
|Niigata University of Health and Welfare L.S.C.||Niigata, Niigata|
|Tsukuba F.C. Ladies||Tsukuba|
|JFA Academy Fukushima||Gotenba, Shizuoka|
|Shizuoka Sangyo University Iwata Bonita||Iwata, Shizuoka|
|Bunnys Kyoto S.C.||Kyoto, Kyoto|
|Cerezo Osaka Sakai Ladies||Osaka|
|NGU Nagoya F.C. Ladies||Nagoya|
|Mashiki Renaissance Kumamoto F.C.||Mashiki, Kumamoto|
Relegated to regional leagues
- Je Vrille Kagoshima - Relegated to Kyushu League from 2014
- Shimizudaihachi Pleiades - Relegated to Tokai League from 2015
- Fujita Soccer Club Mercury (affiliated with Shonan Bellmare)
- Nikko Securities Dream Ladies
- Nissan F.C. Ladies (affiliated with Yokohama Marinos)
- OKI F.C. Winds
- Shiroki F.C. Serena
- Suzuyo Shimizu F.C. Lovely Ladies (affiliated with Shimizu S-Pulse)
- Tasaki Perule F.C.
- Tokyo Shidax L.S.C. (formerly Shinko Seiko F.C. Clair)
- Urawa Ladies F.C.
- TEPCO Mareeze (dissolved after Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster; many of the players moved to Vegalta Sendai Ladies)
- Aguilas Kobe
- Hoyo Sukarabu F.C.
Best Young Player
- List of women's football clubs in Japan
- Empress's Cup
- Japan and South Korea Women's League Championship
- International Women's Club Championship
- "Plenus Co. Ltd. Supports Nadeshiko League". Plenus Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "Nadeshiko League attendance on rise | The Japan Times Online". Japantimes.co.jp. 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
- "Toyota to sponsor Nadeshiko League soccer " Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion". Japantoday.com. 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
- "Sky Perfect TV to Show Japan Women's Soccer League Live Following World Cup Win". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
- "Women's football is booming in Japan as the game tries to capitalise on Nadeshiko's World Cup and Olympic success". Goal.com. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
- "Nadeshiko League attendance on rise". The Japan Times. 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
- "Japan - List of Women Champions". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
- "Goals galore on three continents". FIFA. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
- It has transferred more temporarily than Naraha for an 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
- Women's Football League in Japan (Plenus Nadeshiko League) Official Site (in Japanese)
- Japan Leagues at women.soccerway.com