Top Challenge League
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Top Challenge League
Top Challenge League
Current season or competition:
2018 Top Challenge League
Top Challenge League logo.jpg
SportRugby union
Instituted2003
Inaugural season2004
Number of teams8
CountryJapan
WebsiteTop League
Related competitionTop League

The Top Challenge League is a rugby union competition in Japan. It is the second-highest level of rugby competition in the country and is a companies league; all the teams are owned by major companies and the players are generally employees of their company. The Japan Rugby Football Union created the Top League Challenge Series in 2003 in order to give teams playing in the second-tier regional leagues a pathway to progress to the top tier Top League; this became the Top Challenge League in 2017 when a second-tier league was introduced.

History

For the 2003-04 season, a Top League competition was created as the top-tier competition in Japan, consisting of twelve teams. All remaining teams were placed in one of three regional leagues, as follows:

The Top League Challenge Series was introduced as a post-season competition for the leading teams from these three regional leagues to win promotion to the Top League for the following season.

In August 2016, the JRFU announced that the Top League Challenge Series would become a second-tier league from 2017 onwards, known as the Top Challenge League.[1]

Format

Between 2003-04 and 2016-17, the Top League Challenge Series consisted of two divisions - the Challenge 1 and the Challenge 2 series. The three teams that won the regional leagues progressed to the Challenge 1 series, while the runners-up progressed to the Challenge 2 series. In both divisions, teams played in a round-robin format to determine the final standings.

While the exact format varied from season to season, a number of top-placed teams in the Challenge 1 won automatic promotion to the next season's Top League each season, while the next-best teams qualified for promotion play-off matches against teams that finished towards the bottom of that season's Top League. The top teams from Challenge 2 would either qualify to the promotion play-off matches, or progress to the same season's Challenge 1 series.

Seasons

The following Top League Challenge Series were played as post-season play-offs:

Top League Challenge Series
Season Automatically promoted Promoted via play-offs Failed to win promotion via play-offs
2004[2] IBM Big Blue, Toyota Verblitz -- Kyuden Voltex, Toyota Industries Shuttles
2005[3] Fukuoka Sanix Blues, Secom Rugguts -- Honda Heat, Toyota Industries Shuttles
2006[4] Coca-Cola West Red Sparks, IBM Big Blue -- Honda Heat, Kintetsu Liners, Kyuden Voltex, NTT Communications Shining Arcs
2007[5] Kyuden Voltex, Mitsubishi Sagamihara DynaBoars -- Honda Heat, Kintetsu Liners
2008[6] Kintetsu Liners, Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars -- Mazda Blue Zoomers, World Fighting Bull
2009[7] Honda Heat, Ricoh Black Rams -- Mazda Blue Zoomers, Toyota Industries Shuttles
2010[8] NTT Shining Arcs, Toyota Industries Shuttles -- Mazda Blue Zoomers, Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars
2010-11[9] Honda Heat, NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes -- Canon Eagles, Kyuden Voltex
2011-12[10] Canon Eagles, Kyuden Voltex -- Kubota Spears, Toyota Industries Shuttles
2012-13[11] Coca-Cola West Red Sparks, Kubota Spears Toyota Industries Shuttles Mitsubishi Dynaboars
2013-14[12] Fukuoka Sanix Blues -- Honda Heat, Mitsubishi Dynaboars, Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars
2014-15[13] Honda Heat -- Kamaishi Seawaves, Kyuden Voltex, Mitsubishi Dynaboars
2015-16[14] -- Munakata Sanix Blues Kyuden Voltex, Mitsubishi Sagamihara DynaBoars, Osaka Police
2016-17[15] NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes -- Hino Red Dolphins, Kyuden Voltex, Mitsubishi Dynaboars

The following Top Challenge League seasons were played as a round-robin league:

Top Challenge League
Season Automatically promoted Promoted via play-offs Failed to win promotion via play-offs
2017[16] Honda Heat Hino Red Dolphins Kyuden Voltex, Mitsubishi Dynaboars
2018[17] -- Mitsubishi Sagamihara DynaBoars, NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes Kintetsu Liners, Kurita Water Gush

See also

References

  1. ^ "Japan to add second-tier rugby league in 2017". Japan Times. 19 August 2016. Archived from the original on 6 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Top League Challenge 2003/04". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Top League Challenge 2004/05". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "Top League Challenge 2005/06". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ "Top League Challenge 2006/07". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "Top League Challenge 2007/08". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "Top League Challenge 2008/09". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Top League Challenge 2009/10". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ "Top League Challenge 2010/11". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "Top League Challenge 2011/12". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "Top League Challenge 2012/13". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "Top League Challenge 2013/14". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "Top League Challenge 2014/15". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ "Top League Challenge 2015/16". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ "Top League Challenge 2016/17". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ "Top Challenge League 2017/18". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ "Top Challenge League 2018/19". The Rugby Archive. Retrieved 2018.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Top_Challenge_League
 



 



 
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