Sports Evolution

The Evolution of Sports Leagues

One area where FanSeeStats will be different from other stats websites is that it has developed a glossary of definitions that provides an understanding about the diversity of sports leagues. While others simply divide sports leagues into the Majors and the Minors, FanSeeStats believes there is a rich nuance and evolutionary process to be found in each of those two broad categories.

Let’s start at the beginning of the evolutionary process which you can follow chronologically.


Before the Major Leagues could exist, there needed to be sports clubs that had the ambition to create such a league. These clubs would meet each other in what FanSeeStats considers to be the Pre-Majors phase, and would compete at the the Proto-League and Elite Leagues stage. These clubs and leagues would then evolve the sport and rules to increase competition or in the case of Top Player Leagues, pay players to attract talent.

  • Proto-League – the earliest leagues that help form Elite leagues. League page tracked at
  • Elite League – the earliest strong leagues that will carry on to form Major Leagues. Standings tracked at
  • Top Player League – the earliest leagues that did not leave a legacy but attracted top players. League page tracked at

Majors Established

Eventually, the Elite Leagues form the Major League of a sport which then establishes a pyramidal arrangement with the Majors at the top. The Majors would then further establish themselves by placing themselves in the richest cities and attract the best player talent. To help develop that player talent leagues that are further down the sports pyramid are formed and carry out their own business.

  • Major League – being formed from an Elite League, these leagues become national in name, scope, stability, and internationally famous in player attraction. Standings tracked at
  • Rival League – a league that competes against the Majors and does not survive. Standings tracked at
  • Top-Minor League – a league that works for the Majors. Standings tracked at
  • Low-Minor League – a league that is independent or works for the Top-Minor Leagues. League page tracked at

Outside of the Big Leagues

These are leagues that are outside of the Big Leagues system. They do not directly engage with the Big Leagues because they play an Alternate Sport, are played by Women, or are a league that focuses on Junior Development. The remaining leagues would be considered to be Obsolete.

So I hope you can see the richness of the different types of Sports Leagues that are being tracked on FanSeeStats. This is a conceptual framework that I think can help us understand how modern Sports Leagues have come to play such a big part of modern society.

Long live sports!


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