Japan Softball League

T he Japan Softball League was initiated in 1968 and is thus, presently in its 43rd year. The Mens League is divided into West and East Japan Leagues with 9 teams in the Western League and 8 teams in The Eastern League. Teams placed 4th and above at the end of the season proceed to the knock-out stages to decide the overall champion.

In the Womens League there are 12 teams in the First Division and 16 teams in the Second. Each team plays each other twice and again, teams paced 4th and above go on to the final stage, which is played under the Page Playoff System, to decide the overall winner. The last placed team is automatically relegated to the Second Division, and the team in 11th position faces a play-off match with the runner-up of the Second Division.

The Second Division is divided into The Advanced Section and The Hope Section and teams in both sections play each other twice. The top two teams from both sections then play each other to decide the overall rankings. This is done on a knock-out basis and the winner wins automatic promotion and the runner-up gets to play in the play-off (as mentioned above) on a best-of-three basis.

The Mens League can boast of players from New Zealand and Australia while in the Womens League there are among others, players from the USA, Australia, China and Brazil. The vast array of top class players that are based here in Japan can be seen as proof of the attraction of playing in the best league in the World.

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