Asia American Football
American Football was introduced to Japan in the 1930s and today the Japan X-League is the Major American Football League for Asia. American Football was subsequently introduced to Korea in the 1950s, and the rest of Asia, including China, India, South East Asia, West Asia, Central Asia and Eurasia in more recent decades.
Although American Football was first introduced to Japan in the 1930s it was not until 1947 that it was played regularly, with the Rice Bowl, Japan’s Super Bowl played since 1947. Japan is so big on American Football it has its own page on Eirball at: Japan American Football. Korea, likewise has been playing American Football since the National University Championship was started in 1958. West Asia started playing American Football in the 2000s and China, India, Central Asia and South East Asia in the 2010s.
JAFA Japan American Football Association
American Football was first introduced to Japan in the 1930s, although it was not until after WWII, that it was played competitvely, with the Rice Bowl, Japan’s version of the Super Bowl, being played between the Universities since 1947, and since 1984 between the University Champions and the Social Champions (Business League – currently X-League).
There is also a third League in Japan, which is the Private Club League, opening up American Football to non-students and non-Corporate Workers. The JPFF (Japan Private Football Association) organises the Ocean Bowl between the JPFF East and JPFF West Champions. It is included in Social Championships.
Friendship Bowl; Rice Bowl
Japan Rice Bowl (Universities v Social Champions):
Picture Credit: D. Young / Shutterstock (2010) DUSSELDORF, GERMANY – APRIL 24: The 1st German Japan Bowl. The action that lead to Japans last touch-down gathers momentum. On April 24, 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany [Accessed 4 May 2021]
Japan American Football Association Social Championships
The Japan X-League is the highest level of American Football in Japan. From 1984 to 2020 the X-League Champions played for the Rice Bowl with the University Champions. since 2021 the Rice Bowl is in sole ownership of the X-League after 11 X-League victories in a row. The X-League is divided into X1 Super (Premier League), X1 Area (3 Regional League – Championship) and then below that X2 and X3 Leagues.
The JPFF (Japan Private Football Association) is the National or State Level League, with Leagues run on an East – West basis.
Japan American Football Association University Championships
The Universities played for the Rice Bowl from 1947 when the introduction of American Football to Japan took hold to 1979.
From 1980 to 2020 the University Champions contested the Rice Bowl with the Social Champions (now the X-League) and from 2021 onwards the University Champions no longer compete for the Rice Bowl.
The University Championship Game is called the Koshien Bowl, with Regional Bowl Games as a Qualifier.
KAFA Korea American Football Association
American Football has been played in Korea since the 1950s. The Kimchi Bowl is their version of the Super Bowl and has been played since 1995 between the winners of the University Championship (Tiger Bowl) and Social Championship (Corporations) (Gwanggaeto Bowl).
The National University Championship has been played since 1958 and since 1995 is known as the Tiger Bowl. The Gwanggaeto Bowl is the Championship Game of the Social Championship (Corporations).
AFLC American Football League of China
American Football Leagues started in countries like China, India, Philippines and Malaysia in the 2010s. For Japan, where the Rice Bowl, their equivalent of the Super Bowl which started in 1947 see: Japan American Football and for Korea, where their National University Championship started in 1958
South East Asia Football
EFLI Elite Football League of India and South Asia
AFI American Football Israel and West Asia
American Football started in countries like Israel, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan in the early 2000s.
TAFK Turkiye Amerikan Fotbolu Kurlu and Central Asia
Tom Kelly, the intrepid American with the Irish name started the first Central Asian American Football Association in April 2002. From then until 2008 Kazakhstan team KIMEP Titans from Almaty played a series of friendlies versus Kyrgyzstan’s AUK American University of Kyrgyzstan and Bishkek BARS Leopards.
In 2004 the first Bishkek Challenge Games were played between two Leopards teams, and then in 2007 a second team was created in Bishkek: Golden Eagles and in 2008 a third: KNU (Kyrgyzstan National University). A three team tournament was then arranged between the three Bishkek teams in 2008.
Eurasia American Football
Kontinental American Football, like the Kontinental Hockey League refers to the Open Championships and National Leagues which have started since the fall of Communism in the former USSR in 1989. The Open Championships (such as the League of American Football) have featured teams from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Other Leagues have included an Independent Ukrainian League and a series of Central Asian Tournaments under the auspices of the CAAFA (Central Asian American Football Association).
Kontinental Open Championships
Tom Kelly, the intrepid American with the Irish name attempted to organize the first American Football League in USSR in 1979.It was not, however until 1989, that the first game was played in the USSR, and after a couple of tournaments and one USSR Championship the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Championship was born.
Russia, Ukraine & Belarus American Football
Kazan Motors set up the Autonomous “American Football for Everyone” (ANO) non-Profit Organization which united all the American Football teams (Children’s, Schools, Universities, Flag Football, Adult) in Tatarstan in 2006.