Besides the NHL, MBA, MLB, are there any other international major sports leagues?

About the only other pro league that would come close are all those “Champions leagues” in soccer but the teams are different each year; and NFL Europe, which is a farm system.

Maybe there’s some leagues in the former USSR??? But as far as I know, only Canada and the United States share major sports leagues.

Hmmm… european soccer (football) certainly to be all of major, international, sport, and a league. Or does the annual changing of a fraction of the teams between the top level league and the lower level leagues violate your definition of league?

The one that springs to mind is the oldest such league, I don’t remember the specific name but it’s the cricket league. Mostly national teams, although there are exceptions. One of my coworkers is from New Zealand and another’s from India, and they can talk professional cricket for hours. I believe there’s a similar league for rugby. Both of these are mostly played in Commonwealth nations.

Depending on your definitions of sport and league, other less team-oriented possibilities include golf, tennis, and automobile racing.

Austar Pay TV in Australia regularly shows Rugby Super 12 matches, which are played between teams from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Great Britain and probably a couple of other countries.

International cricket is now running a world championship of test cricket, which will be conducted over a couple of years. Each test match series will be like the home-and-away matches that are played in a premiership season, except that the “season” here will take considerably longer.

There’s two examples. I’m sure others exist.

Just to correct my fellow AFL-state Doper, Super 12 rugby is contested only by teams from Australia, Sth Africa and NZ. The northern hemisphere teams do not play (they have the Six Nations).

Could you give more detailed information about what constitutes “major league” VVSlayer? Full time professionalism? Bandying about of the “world champion” tag? Huge money?

I have several points here.
What are your definitions?

International = Presumably 2 or more countries. Should it be open to new applicants as well?
I don’t see why baseball have a ‘World’ Series, when there is no mechanism for new countries to enter.

Major Sports = do you mean by money, or numbers of participants?
American Football has a massive financial turnover (and is jolly exciting). But it’s not played much outside North America (as you say, the European League is basically a farm system).
Athletics and Soccer are played in over one hundred countries.

Leagues = implies teams. Do you mean franchises or countries?
There’s a Rugby Union competition called the 6 Nations (for England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy).
There’s a Rugby Union competition for club franchises called the European Cup (for teams from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy).
There’s a Rugby Union competition for club franchises called the Super 12 (teams from Australia, New Zealand and S. Sfrica).

I don’t see why the European soccer Champions League should have the same teams each year. England alone has 90+ professional soccer teams, with amateur clubs having the right of promotion into the professional league setup.

And while I’m typing the above, you’re all posting:

the cricket league hasn’t really existed. Countries played each other on tours, but these are irregular. There has been a World Cup for a few years, but that’s more a one-day (short version of cricket!) World Championship.

Vinnie, professional sports in the formaer Soviet Union did not exist as we know it, due to various financial disadvantages. See for more information.

I wouldn’t discount top-level European or South American association football leagues, however, just because teams shuttle up & down.

And really, since when do high-priced consultants fresh out of Stanford constitute a Sports League? Sounds more cheerleaders to me.

(Re-read the title of this thread.)

There are professional basketball leagues (male and female) in many European countries and I think Australia.

I guess what I’m aiming for are professional teams, with franchises or “clubs”, that play at the top level of their sports, on the same level as the NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball.

But I guess I’m interested in hearing about other leagues too if you want to throw them in as well for the sake of discussion.


Are you saying the NFL is international?

I think you’re defining Major as wealthy, or as opposed to Minor (both of which are fine, but I would use it differently to mean popular).

I can add a European hockey club championship.