Wednesday, April 24, 2013

100 Leagues and Counting

I've been yammering on about how many venues I've been to (484 now) and also mentioning the Venue Count as I begin to plan a move back to North America, where I can finally go on a couple of really extended trips. This sort of self-indulgent scorekeeping is something that most stadium travelers do in some form or other, whether it is the number of games, venues, or some combination thereof. One aspect that I haven't seen mentioned though is the number of leagues and competitions that have been witnessed. When I counted this for myself last week, I came up with the grand total of 98, which meant that my Super Rugby visit in Perth would be my 100th league or competition. Does reaching such a milestone deserve a post? Probably not, but when has that stopped me before.

First, the rules about what counts and what doesn't. Essentially any separate league or association in which teams compete against one another can be counted only once, regardless of the location, whether it is the regular season or post-season (pre-season games never count except in baseball, where the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues are special entities), or the league changes its name.

So if I see the Leafs in Toronto one year, then an NHL game in Europe the next, and a Stanley Cup Final after that, that just counts as one league. Of course, the AHL, ECHL, CHL, OHL, WHL, QMJHL, etc are all separate leagues. The World Junior Hockey Championship would count once, as would any special competition such as the Spengler Cup.

Major League Baseball is one entity, so no double counting the American and National Leagues, but each minor and independent league counts once.

NCAA sports may have separate conferences but they are meaningless as there is much inter conference competition. If you see an NCAA football game in the Big Ten and the SEC during the season and then the Sugar Bowl, that's still only one grand league. Similar with NCAA basketball and March Madness, and any other college sport.

Soccer competitions get their own special rules. I may see an English Premier League game, an FA Cup match, and a League Cup fixture and that counts as 3 leagues, because each is managed by a different entity and each features different teams. International soccer counts both the World Cup and Confederations Cup, as they are distinct events.

International cricket has 3 varieties (test, one-day, 20/20), each of which can be counted once. Domestic competitions such as the IPL and County Cricket are naturally separate.

High school and non-pro sports should be ignored, even those that are well-covered. If you want to count the Little League World Series, go ahead, but I will not. Horse racing and other events that depend mostly on the performance of animals are also not up for consideration.

Got it? Good. Here are the 106 leagues I have seen:

The Leagues

Hockey (17)
National Hockey League
American Hockey League
Central Hockey League
Southern Professional Hockey League
Ontario Hockey League
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Western Hockey League
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Alberta Junior Hockey League
Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League
World Cup of Hockey
World Junior Hockey Championship
Asia League Ice Hockey
Central Ontario Junior B Hockey League (defunct)
Japan Hockey League (defunct)

Baseball (25)
Major League Baseball
Cactus League
International League
Pacific Coast League
Eastern League
Southern League
Texas League
California League
Carolina League
Florida State League
South Atlantic League
Midwest League
New York Penn League
Northwest League
Arizona Fall League
American Association
Frontier League
Can-Am League
Northern League
Nippon Professional Baseball
Nippon Professional Baseball Minor Leagues
Japanese Industrial League
Japanese University
Chinese Professional Baseball League (Taiwan)

Football (7)
National Football League
Canadian Football League
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Arena Football League
Australian Football League*
West Australalian Football League*

Basketball (10)
National Basketball Association
National Basketball Development League
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Women's National Basketball Assocation
Asean Basketball League
Philippine Basketball Association
Philippine Basketball League

Soccer (19)
World Cup
Confederations Cup
Major League Soccer
Professional Development League
English Premier League
Ligue 1
Coppa Italia
Championnat National
J League
Emperors Cup
Japanese Football League
S League
Malaysia Super League
Malaysia Cup

Rugby (6)
World Rugby Junior Championship
Super Rugby
National Rugby League
Shute Shield
Japan Top League
Rugby 7s

Cricket (4)
International Test
International ODI
International 20/20
English County Cricket

Racing (4)
Formula 1
Indy Car

Racquet Sports (4)
ATP Tour
WTA Tour
NCAA Tennis
World Table Tennis Championship

Golf (2)
NCAA Women's

Fighting (2)
One FC
Muy Thai

Volleyball (2)
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
World Volleyball Championship

Others (4)
National Lacrosse League
Winter Olympics
Japan Sumo Association
Asian Swimming Championships

*I'm including Aussie Rules in Football for simplicity.

There are a few other leagues I'd like to add to the list, mostly based in Europe, but I doubt this number will increase much over time. I'll update it here on occasion.



1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting number to look at. One quibble with your methodology though. I find it hard to say that something like NCAA basketball only counts as one league with over 300 teams just in division one, but yet you count the Arizona Fall League seperately with only 6 teams? I understand your reasoning but I think it might make more sense to use conferences or some other method of divvying up NCAA teams. Or conversely lump all AAA, AA, and A baseball leagues together for example. Just a thought. Good stuff as always.