We all know about Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and La Liga, but what about all the minor football leagues present around the world? On this site you will find information about minor football leagues, booth association football leagues (soccer) and american football leagues.
Minor leagues are sports leagues which are not regarded as the premier leagues in their sport. As a consequence, minor leagues are usually found playing on less elaborate venues and tend to have smaller budgets. Of course, the popularity of a sport will play a role here. For instance, a second tier association football league in Spain or Italy can have a considerably bigger budget and more folowers than a top tier league of a less popular sport. The Vaahteraliiga is the highest level of American football in Finland, but it is still not a very large or well-funded league since American football is not a commonly played sport in Finland. (The name Vaahteraliiga means Maple League and is derived from the name of the trophy Vaahteramalja, i.e. Maple Bowl, donated by the Canadian embassy.) Betting on Minor League football can be very profitable since bookies often does not have the best information when setting the odds. For the best betting tips on football, visit Betpal.
Promotion and demotion
In North America, there is a franchise system where the group of major league teams in each sport is fixed for long periods (between expansions and other adjustments). In many other parts of the world, there is instead a system of annual promotion or relegation, where teams can move up to a higher league if they perform well or be demoted to a lower league if they peform poorly during a season.
Below are just a few examples of minor football leagues from around the world. More information about minor football leagues can be found by browsing our site.
Association Football (Soccer)
Liga Adelante (Segunda División)
Segunda Divisón is the lower tier of the two professional association football leages in Spain. Since the summer of 2008, it is formally known as Liga Adelante.
This league was founded back in 1929 by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, and has been organized by Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) since 1983.
Liga Adelante is comprised of 22 teams. Each team plays every other team twice (one home game and one away) during a season. After each season, the two top teams are promoted to La Liga while the four bottom teams are demoted to Sugunda División B. A play-off then takes place between team number 3, 4, 5 and 6 (counting from the top) and the winner is also promoted to La Liga.
Hoofdklasse is a leage of amateur women’s football in the Netherlands. It was created in 1973 as the top level league of the Netherlands, but has since then been replaced by the professional Eredivisie at the top level. It is now a third level league, under Eredivisie and Topklasse.
Hoofdklasse consists of a dozen teams from the entire country. Each team play each other team twice during the season. Hoofdklasse promotes teams to Topklasse and relegates teams to Eerste Klasse.
KNVB Beker voor Vrouwen (KNVB Women’s Cup) is a cup competition established in 1980. Since 2007-08, the first round of this cup consists of a group stage for clubs from both Hoofdklasse and Eerste Klasse. Clubs from the Eredivisie join for the second round.
USL Professional Division (USL Pro)
The USL Professional Division (USL Pro) is a professional men’s association football (soccer) league in the United States. It is a very new league, formed in 2010 as a result of the merger between United Soccer Leageus (USL) First and Second Divisions.
USL Pro is a Division III Professional League, sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation. In the hierarchy, you will find it below Major League Soccer (Division I) and the North American Soccer League (Division II).
In USL Pro, each team plays 24 games during a season, with a maximum of four games played against any single opponent. The playoffs include the top six finishers and all playoff rounds use a single-game knockout format.
Israel Football League
The Israel Football League was founded in 2005 and the first season was played in the fall that year, without any pads or any official governing body. In 2007, the players started using proper equipement and the league commenced play under the umbrella of American Football in Israel (AFI).
The Israel Football League consists of two divisions and the regular season is comprised of ten games. Each team playes twice against each team within its own division, plus two inter-division games.
The playoff culminates with the Israel Bowl at the Jerusalem Kraft Family Stadium. The trophy is named The Becker Trophy, in honour of Ofri Becker, one of the founders of the Israel Football League.
Ovens & King Football League
The Ovens & King Football League is a minor country Australian rules football league. Ovens & King Football Association was formed back in 1903 and changed its name to Ovens & King Football League efter the 1928 season. The name is derived from Ovens Valley and King Valley in Northeastern Victoria.
Ovens & King held their first matches in june 1903, a week after the founding of Ovens & King at The Bulls Head Hotel in Wangaratta.
The participating teams traditionally come from North Wangaratta, Benalla, Glenrowan, King Valley, Bright, Greta, Milawa, Whorouly, Moyhu and Tarrawingee, but in 2010 teams from Tatong, Goorambat, Swanpool and Bonnie Doon was added from the defunct Benall & District Football League.
Examples of famous players that started out in the Ovens & King Football League are Nigel Lappin, Matthew Lappin, Michael Newton, Brendan Fevola Carlton, Barry Hall and Mark Porter.