Emerging and Niche Leagues


In the United States, beyond the four major professional team sports leagues and individual sports, such as NASCAR, golf, and tennis, a number of start-up leagues and niche sports are competing for space on the professional sports landscape. An early 2010 count of such entities found 272 baseball teams competing in 24 affiliated and independent minor leagues, 75 basketball teams playing in 4 basketball leagues, 4 football leagues featuring 74 teams, 7 hockey leagues with 122 teams, 7 soccer leagues housing 166 teams, 2 lacrosse leagues, and various softball and team tennis leagues. In addition to those disparate leagues are athletes competing in individual sports such as horseracing, rodeo, ...

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