Minor Sports Leagues (minor-leagues.com) is a statistics and analysis site focusing on insightful statistics as they relate to those leagues that operate outside of the Big Four Sports / Leagues. This website is dedicated to those leagues that operate in support of, in competition to, and in-difference to the Major Sports Leagues known as:
Major League Baseball (MLB)
National Hockey League (NHL)
National Football League (NFL)
National Basketball Association (NBA)
Minor Sports Leagues (minor-leagues.com) is not affiliated in any way with any of the sports leagues that it reports on. This website acknowledges that all information remains the property of the leagues that are being reported on but will present this information in a new innovative format.
While there are hundreds of sports leagues in operation across North America, the main focus of this website is the five categories of them that are considered to be a Minor Sports League.
Major Sports League – There are four major sports leagues in North America. These include baseball via Major League Baseball (MLB), hockey via the National Hockey League (NHL), football via the National Football League (NFL), and basketball via the National Basketball Association (NBA). These four leagues represent the largest and richest professional sporting teams.
Top Minor Leagues – These also known as Farm or Development Leagues and are established to develop players to play in the Major Sports Leagues. Teams may be owned by a Major Sports League team or by the league itself but all will have a contract with a Major Sports League team to develop players. The level of play is considered sub-par to what is available in Major Sports Leagues and this will be reflected in the amount of money a player will make and the attendance a teams will attract.
Low Minor Leagues – These are leagues that have a lower caliber of a player compared to the Top Minor League. The players will be those that have been dismissed or missed by a Major or Farm League. These leagues will service a market that a Major and Farm League is not involved with.
Failed Major Leagues – These are leagues that have the hubris to challenge one of the Major Sports Leagues and lose by going out of business. Unlike the Top Minor Leagues which operates in markets that will not offend the Majors, these leagues have a competitive and/or confrontational relationship with a Major Sports League and will directly compete with them for the same markets.
Alternative Sports Leagues – These are the sports leagues that is not one of the big four sports: baseball, hockey, football, or basketball. These leagues will provide a sporting experience that possesses some kind of novelty such as being played by women or will represent the highest level of professionalism of that particular sport. For various reasons these leagues have not reached the level of popularity shared by the four Major Sports Leagues. In the past decade we are seeing Soccer moving from closer to being a Major Sports League from an Alternative Sports League. Its the first time ever that an Alternative Sports Leagues may grow big enough to join the Majors.
Women Major Leagues – These are the sports leagues that is one of the big four sports: baseball, hockey, football, or basketball and is played by women.
Definition of a League Season and Championship Year:
There can be some confusion defining what sports league season “year” is and how it relates to our standard twelve month calendar.
Some of the smaller sports leagues will have a season that runs a few months where the season start and championship finale take place within a single calendar year. The WNBA would be an example of this. Their year/season runs within the 12 month calendar year. Their 2006 season ran from May to August and can be easily identified as the “WNBA 2006 Season”. Some of the top Baseball leagues have a longer season but it still begins begins and ends within the same calendar year.
Confusion can arise with those sports leagues that run from the fall, through the winter, into the spring like the AHL. The AHL has games that started in the last quarter of 2005 and ran all the way into April of 2006. This is why it will hyphenate their seasons to be 2005-06.
Since we want to standardize what is an actual season between all of the various sports league. Does the 2005-2006 AHL season belong to the 2005 or 2006 calendar years?
Minor-Leagues.com will be operating on the grounds that the calendar year in which a league plays most of its regular season belongs to that year and the championship is also named as that year. So the 2005-06 AHL season can be summarized as the “2006 AHL Season”. The 2010-11 AHL season will be identified as the “2011 AHL Season”.
It seems to be a trivial point to get hung up on, but by clearly defining what a seasonal year is we will be able to track cities who win multiple cross-sport league championships.