Japan: XLeague adopts new format

The top American football league in Japan, the XLeague, has revamped its playing format completely and now introduces a three-tier system.

The top tier, X1 Super includes eight teams who will all play each other once in a seven game season. The Fujitsu Frontiers will try to defend their title against IBM Big  Blue, Obic Seagulls, Panasonic Impulse, Nojima Sagamihara Rise, Elecom Kobe Finies, Tokyo Gas Creators and the All Mitsubishi Lions.

At the end of the X1 Super season, the top four teams head into the semifinals. Meanwhile, the eighth place team will play a relegation playoff game against the winning team from the X1 Area league.

The second tier, X1 Area contains 12 teams while X2 is comprised of 18 teams. The teams in X1 Area will be divided into three groups with each team playing six games, three inside the group and three outside.

The same goes for the last place team in the X1 Area who will play the X2 champion to decide who will be the 12th team in X1 Area.

The spring exhibition schedule is slated for release on March 1.