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United States Sport Flags

Last modified: 2024-03-23 by rick wyatt
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See also:

Sports Organizations in the U.S.

Defunct amateur and professional sport leagues

The following is a thorough yet incomplete list of past (defunct) amateur and professional sport leagues (nationwide)
Esteban Rivera
, 6 November 2023:

  • National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) (1857-1870)
  • National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP) (March 17, 1871 - 1875) (first professional sports league in the country)
  • International Association for Professional Base Ball Players (1877-1878 and 1888–1890)
  • National Base Ball Association (1879-1880)
  • Northwestern League (1879-1891) (first baseball minor league)
  • American Association of Base Ball Clubs (AA) (1882-1891)
  • Southern League of Colored Base Ballists (1886)
  • National Colored Base Ball League (1887)
  • Middle States League (1889)
  • Western Pennsylvania Hockey League (WPHL) (1896-1909)
  • National Football League (1902) (sponsored by the MLB)
  • International Professional Hockey League (IPHL) (1904-1907)
  • Ohio League (1902-1919) (and its associated leagues, also defunct: Ohio Valley League (1925-1929) and Ohio Professional Football League (1941))
  • New York Pro Football League (NYPFL) (1908-1919) (and its associated leagues/conferences, also defunct: Buffalo Semi Pro Football League, Rochester sandlot circuit, Central New York division plus several independent and/or unaffiliated teams/athletic associations)
  • Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) (1911-1924)
  • Negro National League (NNL) (1920-1931)
  • Mutual Association of Eastern Colored Clubs, more commonly known as the Eastern Colored League (ECL) (1923-1928)
  • American Negro League (ANL) (1929)
  • Negro Southern League (NSL) (1920–1936)
  • National Association of Colored Baseball Clubs of the United States and Cuba (1906-1910)
  • Federal League of Base Ball Clubs (1913-1915)
  • National Association of Colored Professional Base Ball Clubs (1921) (merger with the Negro Southern League (NSL))
  • American Football League (AFL) (1926)
  • American Football League (AFL) (1936 originally as American Association (AA)-1937)
  • Dixie League (1936 originally as South Atlantic Football Association-1947)
  • American Football League (AFL) (1940-1941)
  • All-America Football Conference (AAFC) (1944-1949)
  • United States Football League (1944-1945)
  • Trans-America Football League (1944-1945)
  • Association of Professional Football Leagues (1946) (compact among National Football League and three minor leagues of professional American football: the American Association (which subsequently changed its name to the American Football League), the Dixie League, and the Pacific Coast Professional Football League)
  • Continental Basketball Association (CBA) (April 23, 1946 originally as Eastern Pennsylvania Basketball League-June 1, 2009) (renamed Eastern Professional Basketball League in 1948, merged in 2001 with the International Basketball League (IBL))
  • American Basketball League (1961–1962)
  • Pacific Coast Professional Football League (PCPFL), also known as Pacific Coast Football League (PCFL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL) (1940-1948)
  • Atlantic Coast Football League ACFL) (1962-1973)
  • American Basketball Association (ABA) (1967-1976)
  • North American Soccer League (NASL) (1968–1984)
  • National Lacrosse League (1974–75)
  • World Football League (WFL) (1974)
  • Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) (October 1977-1992)
  • Major Indoor Soccer League (1978–1992)
  • United States Football League (USFL) (1982-1986) (2021) (official website:
  • Western Soccer Alliance (1985 originally as Western Alliance Challenge Series, renamed in 1986, again renamed in 1989 as Western Soccer League and merged with the American Soccer League (1988–89) to form the American Professional Soccer League (APSL) (1990-1996, to be renamed in 1995 to A-League).
  • Arena Football League (AFL) (1986-2008), renamed Arena Football 1 (2010) and reactivated in 2024 (official website:
  • American Soccer League (1988–89)
  • NFL Europe League (1989 originally as World League of American Football (WLAF), renamed World League in 1992 and 1995-1997 - 2007 as NFL Europa League) (official website:
  • American Professional Soccer League (APSL) (1990-1996)
  • A-League (1995/1996 as USISL Select League, merged with the American Professional Soccer League (APSL) in 1997 to become the USISL A-League 2004 to become USL First Division) (official website:
  • XFL (1999-2001) (official website:
  • arenafootball2 (AF2) (1999-2009)
  • National Indoor Football League (NIFL) (2001-2008) (official website:
  • Major Indoor Soccer League (2001–2008) (official website:
  • Intense Football League (IFL) (2003-2008) (official website:
  • American Professional Football League (APFL) (2003-2013) (official website:
  • International Basketball League (IBL) (established on August 2004-2014) (official website:
  • USL First Division (USL-1) (2005-2010) (official website:
  • United Indoor Football (2005-2008) (official website:
  • World Indoor Football League (2007) (official website:
  • World Football League (2008–2010)
  • Major Indoor Soccer League (2008–2014) (official website:
  • USSF Division 2 Professional League (D2 Pro League) (2010) (a temporary professional soccer league created by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) (official website:
  • North American Soccer League (NASL) (November 10, 2009- 2017) (official website:
  • Lone Star Football League (LSFL) (2011- August 14, 2014, when it was announced a merger with Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) to form Champions Indoor Football (CIF)) (official website:
  • Champions Professional Indoor Football League (2012-204, after merger with Lone Star Football League (LSFL) to form Champions Indoor Football (CIF) in 2015)
  • X-League Indoor Football (X-League) (2013-2015) (official website:
  • Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) (May 7, 2014-2016) (official website:
  • Champions Indoor Football (CIF) (2014-October 5, 2023 when merged with Arena Football League (AFL)) (official website:
  • The Spring League (TSL) (2016-2021) (official website:
  • Alliance of American Football (AAF) (March 20, 2018 - April 17, 2019) (official website:
  • Arena Football Association (AFA) (2021-2022) (official website:
Esteban Rivera, 6 November 2023

Current amateur and professional leagues

The following is a list of current (as of 2023) amateur and professional leagues (nationwide):

Esteban Rivera, 6 November 2023

Current professional leagues

List of current (as of 2023) professional leagues, which can be categorized as major professional sports leagues (traditionally includes four leagues):

  • Major League Baseball (MLB) (established in 1903 after a cooperation agreement between the National League (NL) (established on February 2, 1876) and American League (AL) (established on January 28, 1901), making MLB the oldest major professional sports league in the country.
  • National Hockey League (NHL) (established on November 26, 1917) (official website:
  • National Basketball Association (NBA) (established on June 6, 1946 originally as Basketball Association of America (BAA) which merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) (1937-1949) to form the NBA).
  • National Football League (NFL) resulting from the merger of the American Football League (AFL) (1959-1970) and the National Football League (NFL) (established on August 20, 1920 originally as American Professional Football Conference, later renamed a month later to American Professional Football Association (APFA), renamed again in 1922 to its current denomination, with the merger being announced on June 8, 1969 (official website:

Esteban Rivera, 6 November 2023

Other prominent/top level sport leagues

  • United Soccer League (USL) (established in 1986 originally as Southwest Indoor Soccer League, with an outdoor league added in 1989 named Southwest Outdoor Soccer League, to be merged into Sunbelt Independent Soccer League in 1990, renamed as United States Interregional Soccer League in 1991, renamed in 1995 twice as United States International Soccer League and then as United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues, renamed again United Soccer Leagues in 1999, taking over operation of Major Indoor Soccer League in 2011) (official website:
  • National Lacrosse League (NLL) (established in 1986) (official website:
  • Major League Soccer (MLS) (established on December 17, 1993) (official website:
  • Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL-Premier) (established in 1997) (official website:
  • American Indoor Football (established in 2005 originally as Atlantic Indoor Football League, renamed American Indoor Football League in 2006 and again renamed American Indoor Football Association (2007-2010) adopting its current denomination in 2012) (official website:
  • Indoor Football League (IFL) (established in 2008 out of the merger between the Intense Football League (IFL) and United Indoor Football (UIF)) (official website:
  • Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) (established on May 18, 2008 originally as Professional Arena Soccer League, "PASL-Pro" and renamed on May 18, 2014 to its current denomination after a merger with PASL-Premier) (official website:
  • USL Championship (USLC) (established on September 8, 2010 originally as USL Pro (2010–2014) and renamed USL (2015–2018), later renamed to its current denomination) (official website:
  • American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) (established in 2010) (official website:
  • Drone Racing League (DRL) (established in 2015) (official website: and
  • Major League Rugby (MLR) (established in 2017) (official website:
  • Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) (established in 2018) (official website:
  • National Volleyball Association (NVA) (established in 2017) (official website:
  • Major League Cricket (MLC) (established in 2023) (official website:
and Other top-level professional leagues

Esteban Rivera, 6 November 2023