The J. League’s board of directors on Tuesday formally approved a new two-stage format that will be implemented from 2015.
The J. League moved to its existing single-stage championship in 2005. Until then, the season was decided by the winners of two stages.
The playoff of the new two-stage format — the league is currently calling it the “Super Stage” — pits the winners of the first stage against the runners-up of the second stage, and vice versa.
The winners of that round face off to decide who will play the team with the most points from the two stages combined in a championship match.
The three teams with the fewest points over the whole year will be relegated.
The changes were made to increase attendance as well as sponsorship and broadcast revenues. The J. League moved from a two-stage format to its current single-stage championship in 2005.