ABOUT J.LEAGUE

League Structure

Competition System

MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE
(J1 LEAGUE)
Format: Home and away round-robin tournament (38 sectors / 380 matches)
Dates: Friday February 26 – Saturday December 4
Venues: Matches will be played at the home stadium of each club in principle
Outline:
Match format and determination of winners
In case no winner is determined after 90 minutes (two 45-minute halves), the match results in a tie.
Points
three (3) points shall be awarded to the winner;
one (1) point shall be awarded to each club for a tie;
zero (0) points shall be awarded to the loser.
Tiebreakers
At the end of the season, the total points will determine the ranking of the teams.
If two or more teams are equal on points, the following criteria will be applied to determine the ranking (in descending order):
1. Goal difference
2. Number of goals scored
3. Head-to-head results (a. points; b. goal difference; c. number of goals scored)
4. Disciplinary points
5. Draw

Promotion and Relegation between J1 and J2
- The bottom four J1 clubs will be relegated to J2, and the top two J2 clubs will be promoted to J1
- Play-offs will not be held
- If one or two of the top two J2 clubs have not been granted a J1 club license, the following rules are applied:
* J2 clubs that have not received a J.LEAGUE club license cannot be promoted, and will not be replaced by third or lower place club.
* If one of the top two J2 club have not been granted a J1 club license, the 17th-place club in J1 will not be relegated.
* If both of the top two J2 clubs have not been granted a J1 license, the 17th-place and 18th-place clubs in J1 will not be relegated.
MEIJI YASUDA J2 LEAGUE
(J2 LEAGUE)
Format: Home and away round-robin tournament (42 match-days / 462 matches)
Dates: Saturday February 27 – Sunday December 5
Venues: Matches will be played at the home stadium of each club in principle
Outline:
Match format and determination of winners
In case no winner is determined after 90 minutes (two 45-minute halves), the match results in a tie.
Points
three (3) points shall be awarded to the winner;
one (1) point shall be awarded to each club for a tie;
zero (0) points shall be awarded to the loser.
Tiebreakers
At the end of the season, the total points will determine the ranking of the teams.
If two or more teams are equal on points, the following criteria will be applied to determine the ranking (in descending order):
1. Goal difference
2. Number of goals scored
3. Head-to-head results (a. points; b. goal difference; c. number of goals scored)
4. Disciplinary points
5. Draw

Promotion and Relegation between J1 and J2
- The bottom four J1 clubs will be relegated to J2, and the top two J2 clubs will be promoted to J1
- Play-offs will not be held
- If one or two of the top two J2 clubs have not been granted a J1 club license, the following rules are applied:
* J2 clubs that have not received a J.LEAGUE club license cannot be promoted, and will not be replaced by third or lower place club.
* If one of the top two J2 club have not been granted a J1 club license, the 17th-place club in J1 will not be relegated.
* If both of the top two J2 clubs have not been granted a J1 license, the 17th-place and 18th-place clubs in J1 will not be relegated.

Promotion and Relegation between J2 and J3
- The bottom four J2 clubs will be relegated to J3, and the top two J3 clubs will be promoted to J2.
- If one or two of the top two J3 clubs have not been granted a J2 club license, the following rules are applied:
* J3 clubs that have not received a J.LEAGUE club license cannot be promoted and In such case, and will not be replaced by third or lower place club.
* If one of the top two J3 club have not been granted a J.League club license, the 19th-place club in J2 will not be relegated.
* If both of the top two J3 clubs have not been granted a J.League club license, the 19th-place and 20th-place clubs in J2 will not be relegated.
MEIJI YASUDA J3 LEAGUE
(J3 LEAGUE)
Format: Home and away round-robin tournament (30 match-days / 210 matches)
Dates: Sunday March 14- Sunday December 5
Venues: Matches will be played at the home stadium of each club in principle
Outline:
Match format and determination of winners
In case no winner is determined after 90 minutes (two 45-minute halves), the match results in a tie.
Points
three (3) points shall be awarded to the winner;
one (1) point shall be awarded to each club for a tie;
zero (0) points shall be awarded to the loser.
Tiebreakers
At the end of the season, the total points will determine the ranking of the teams.
If two or more teams are equal on points, the following criteria will be applied to determine the ranking (in descending order):
1. Goal difference
2. Number of goals scored
3. Head-to-head results (a. points; b. goal difference; c. number of goals scored)
4. Disciplinary points
5. Draw

Promotion and Relegation between J2 and J3
- The bottom four J2 clubs will be relegated to J3, and the top two J3 clubs will be promoted to J2.
- If one or two of the top two J3 clubs have not been granted a J2 club license, the following rules are applied:
* J3 clubs that have not received a J.LEAGUE club license cannot be promoted and In such case, and will not be replaced by third or lower place club.
* If one of the top two J3 club have not been granted a J.League club license, the 19th-place club in J2 will not be relegated.
* If both of the top two J3 clubs have not been granted a J.League club license, the 19th-place and 20th-place clubs in J2 will not be relegated.
J.LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP Format: The 20 J1 teams will participate
Group Stage
- 16 of J1 teams are divided into four groups and matches will be played in a home and away round-robin format.
- The top two teams of each group will be qualified for the Play-off Stage.

Group A (4 teams): Sapporo / Kashima / Fukuoka / Tosu
Group B (4 teams): FC-Tokyo / Kobe / Tokushima / Oita
Group C (4 teams): Urawa / Kashiwa / Yokohama FC / Shonan
Group D (4 teams): Sendai / Yokohama F・M / Shimizu / Hiroshima
* Groups were determined based on the ranking of 2020 MEIJI YASUDA J1 and J2 LEAGUES.
* Four ACL participating clubs: Kawasaki-F, G-Osaka, Nagoya and C-Osaka will participate from the Prime stage.

Play-off Stage
- Matches will be played on a home and away knock-out round between the eight teams that qualified from the Group Stage.
- The four winners will be qualified for the Prime Stage.

Prime Stage
The four winners of the Play-off Stage and the four ACL participating clubs (Kawasaki-F, G-Osaka, Nagoya and C-Osaka) will play home and away knock-out round matches.
* A draw for the Prime Stage will be held after the Play-off Stage.

Dates:
Group Stage
Match-day 1: Tuesday March 2 and Wednesday March 3
Match-day 2: Saturday March 27 and Sunday March 28
Match-day 3: Tuesday April 20 and Wednesday April 21
Match-day 4: Wednesday April 28
Match-day 5: Wednesday May 5
Match-day 6: Wednesday May 19

Play-off Stage
Wednesday June 2, Sunday June 6, Saturday June 12 and Sunday 13 June

Prime Stage
Quarter-finals: 1st Leg: Wednesday September 1 / 2nd Leg: Sunday September 5
Semi-finals: 1st Leg: Wednesday October 6 / 2nd Leg: Sunday October 10
Final: TBD

Venues: Matches will be played at the home stadium of each club in principle

Outline:
Group Stage
Match format and determination of winners
In case no winner is determined after 90 minutes (two 45-minute halves), the match results in a tie.
Points
three (3) points shall be awarded to the winner;
one (1) point shall be awarded to each club for a tie;
zero (0) point shall be awarded to the loser.
Determination of the ranking
At the end of the Group Stage, the total points will determine the ranking of the teams.
If two or more teams are equal on points, the following criteria will be applied to determine the ranking (in descending order):
1. Higher number of points obtained in the group Matches played among the participating clubs in question;
2. Superior goal difference from the group Matches played among the participating clubs in question;
3. Higher number of goals scored in the group Matches played among the participating clubs in question;
4. Higher number of goals scored away from home among the participating clubs in question;

If, after having applied the criteria above, two or more participating clubs still have an equal ranking, the criteria above shall be reapplied exclusively to the matches between the participating clubs in question to determine their final rankings.
If this procedure does not lead to a decision, the criteria below shall be applied;
5. Superior goal difference from all group matches played;
6. Higher number of goals scored from all group matches played;
7. Penalty shoot-out if only the two participating clubs are both on the Field of Play;
8. Disciplinary points; or
9. Draw

Play-off Stage
Match format and determination of winners
In case no winner is determined after 90 minutes (two 45-minute halves), the match results in a tie.
The number of winning matches determines the winners of the Play-off Stage. If two teams were tied in the number of winning matches, the criteria below will be applied.
1. Goal difference
2. Higher number of goals away from home
3. 30 minutes (15-minute halves) of extra time after the second leg
*Away goals rule is not applied for goals scored during the extra time.
4. Penalty shoot-out

Prime Stage
Match format and determination of winners
- Quarter-finals and Semi-finals (Home and away)
In case no winner is determined after 90 minutes (two 45-minute halves), the match results in a tie.
The number of winning matches determines the winners of each stage. If two teams were tied in the number of winning matches, the criteria below will be applied.
1. Goal difference
2. Higher number of goals away from home
3. 30 minutes (15-minute halves) of extra time after the second leg
*Away goals rule is not applied for goals scored during the extra time.
4. Penalty shoot-out

-Final (Single match)
In case no winner is determined after 90 minutes (two 45-minute halves), 30-minute extra time (15-minute halves) takes place. If the winner is not determined after the extra time, penalty shoot-out takes place.