Japan’s X League Teams Advance To Critical Super 9 Stage

Japan’s X League, among the best American football leagues in the world, has finished its divisional play which whittled the 18 original teams down to nine. The top nine teams from the East, Central and West divisions now advance to the Super 9 round robin tournament while the remaining nine play the Battle 9 round robin stage.

The top four teams to emerge from the Super 9 will meet in the semi-final round on November 29 with the winners advancing to the Japan Bowl December 15 in the Tokyo Dome.

Super 9

Group A

X League - Panasonic Impulse

The top seed in Group A is the Panasonic Impulse  from the West Division who finished first with a 5-0 record after beating the Elecom Kobe Finies 27-0. Second seed in Group A is the East Division’s number two, the Nojima Sagamihara Rise, who upended the Meiji Yasuda PentaOcean Pirates 16-3 in a surprisingly tough game. Finally seed number three is the Central Division number three the Asahi Beer Silver Star who whalloped the Bulls 71-10.

Group B

X League - IBM Big Blue

In Group B, IBM Big Blue, Japan Bowl finalists in 2014 and Central Division number one, enter as the top seed with a 4-1 record despite losing 33-25 to the Lixil Deers. IBM finished first in the Central Division while the West Division #2 the Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers are the second seed in Group B. The Challengers beat the As One Black Eagles 24-14 to finish with a 4-1 record. The final seed in this Group is the surprising Obic Seagulls who were badly beaten by the Fujitsu Frontiers and barely made the cut with a 3-2 mark.

Group C

X League - action4

The defending Japan Bowl champions and East Division winners, the Fujitsu Frontiers find themselves as the top seed in Group C after their thrashing of the Obic Seagulls which left them undefeated at 5-0. They are followed in Group C by the Lixil Deers  who defeated IBM in their final game and finished with a 4-1 record in the Central Division. Finally, the Elecom Kobe Finies backed into the Super 9 round despite losing 27-0 to the Panasonic Impulse.

X League - Super 9 image

The three rounds of the Super 9 kick off on October 31 continuing on November 7 and 8 and finishing November 15.

Photos: X League, Panasonic and IBM.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.