Farm team
In sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...

s, a farm team, farm system, feeder team or nursery club, is generally a team
Team sport
A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together towards a shared objective. A team sport is an activity in which a group of individuals, on the same team, work together to accomplish an ultimate goal which is usually to win. This can be done in a number of ways such as...

 or club whose role is to provide experience and training for young players, with an agreement that any successful players can move on to a higher level at a given point. This system can be implemented in many ways, both formally and informally.

The term is also used as a metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

 for any organization or activity that serves as a training ground for higher-level endeavors. For instance, sometimes business school
Business school
A business school is a university-level institution that confers degrees in Business Administration. It teaches topics such as accounting, administration, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems, marketing, organizational behavior, public relations, strategy, human resource...

s are referred to as "farm clubs" for the world of business.


In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Minor League Baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 teams operate under strict franchise contracts with their major league counterparts. Although the vast majority of such teams are privately owned and are therefore able to switch affiliation, those players under contract with the affiliated Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 team are under their exclusive control, and would move to the MLB club's new affiliate. Not all players on a minor league team are under contract with the MLB club; however, the parent club has the exclusive right to "purchase" the contract of a non-contract player at its affiliate.

Minor league teams are usually based in smaller cities and players are typically paid significantly less than their Major League counterparts.

Most major league players start off their careers by working their way up the minor league system, from the lowest (Rookie) to the highest (AAA) classification, with the rare exceptions usually being those players signed from Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. Jim Abbott
Jim Abbott
James Anthony Abbott is a former Major League Baseball pitcher, who played despite having been born without a right hand. He played for the California Angels, the New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox, and the Milwaukee Brewers, from 1989 to 1999.He graduated from Flint Central High School and...

, Al Kaline
Al Kaline
Albert William "Al" Kaline is a former Major League Baseball right fielder. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Kaline played his entire 22-year baseball career with the Detroit Tigers. Kaline still works for the Tigers as a front office official. Because of his lengthy career and...

, and Dave Winfield
Dave Winfield
David Mark Winfield is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder. He is currently Executive Vice President/Senior Advisor of the San Diego Padres and an analyst for the ESPN program Baseball Tonight...

 are notable exceptions to this, however. This process is formally referred by most MLB teams as "player development". However, minor league affiliates are often informally referred to as "farm teams" and a major league player's misfortune of being sent back to the minors is sometimes described as being "farmed out".

The farm system as it is recognized today was invented by Branch Rickey
Branch Rickey
Wesley Branch Rickey was an innovative Major League Baseball executive elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967...

 who -– as field manager, general manager, and club president –- helped to build the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

 dynasty during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. When Rickey joined the team in 1916
1916 in baseball
left|thumb|300px|[[Woodrow Wilson]] throws out the ball on opening day.-Champions:*World Series: Boston Red Sox over Brooklyn Robins -MLB statistical leaders:-American League final standings:-National League final standings:-Events:...

, players were commonly purchased by major league teams from independent, high-level minor league clubs.

Rickey, a keen judge of talent, became frustrated when the players he had scouted at the A and AA levels were sold by those independent clubs to wealthier rivals such as the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 and the New York Giants
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division....

. With the support of Cardinal owner Sam Breadon
Sam Breadon
Samuel Breadon was an American executive who served as the president and majority owner of the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball from 1920 through 1947...

, Rickey devised a plan whereby St. Louis would purchase and control minor league teams from Class D to Class AA (the highest level at the time), thus allowing them to promote or demote players as they developed, and "grow" their own talent.

The talent pipeline began at tryout camps that St. Louis scouts conducted throughout the U.S. "From quantity comes quality," Rickey once observed, and, during the 1930s, with as many as 40 owned or affiliated farm teams, the Cardinals controlled the destinies of hundreds of players each year. (The reserve clause
Reserve clause
The reserve clause is a term formerly employed in North American professional sports contracts. The reserve clause, contained in all standard player contracts, stated that, upon the contract's expiration the rights to the player were to be retained by the team to which he had been signed...

 then bound players to their teams in perpetuity.)

The Cardinals would win nine National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 pennants and six World Series championships between 1926
1926 in baseball
-Champions:*World Series: St. Louis Cardinals over New York Yankees *Negro League World Series: Chicago American Giants over Bacharach Giants -Awards and honors:*League Award**George Burns, Cleveland Indians, 1B**Bob O'Farrell, St...

 and 1946
1946 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: St. Louis Cardinals over Boston Red Sox *All-Star Game, July 9 at Fenway Park: American League, 12–0-Other champions:*Negro League World Series: Newark Eagles over Kansas City Monarchs...

, proving the effectiveness of the farm system concept. Indeed, the second club to fully embrace such a system, the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

, used it to sustain their dynasty from the mid-1930s through the middle of the 1960s. When Rickey moved to the Brooklyn Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

 as president, general manager and part-owner in 1943
1943 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: New York Yankees over St. Louis Cardinals *All-Star Game, July 13 at Shibe Park: American League, 5-3-Other champions:*Negro League World Series: Homestead Grays over Birmingham Black Barons...

, he proceeded to build a hugely successful farm system there as well. Moreover, the teams that ignored the farm system in the 1930s and early 1940s (such as the Philadelphia A's
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the Coliseum....

 and Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 and the Washington Senators
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

) found themselves falling on hard times.

The existence of the minor league system is due in part to MLB's ability to include a reserve clause in its contracts with minor league players, which gives the major league team exclusive rights to a player even after the contract has expired. In a landmark 1922 Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 decision, Federal Baseball Club v. National League
Federal Baseball Club v. National League
Federal Baseball Club v. National League, , is a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sherman Antitrust Act did not apply to Major League Baseball.-Background:...

, baseball was granted a special immunity from antitrust laws. Despite the advent of free agency
Free agent
In professional sports, a free agent is a player whose contract with a team has expired and who is thus eligible to sign with another club or franchise....

 in 1976
1976 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Cincinnati Reds over New York Yankees ; Johnny Bench, MVP*All-Star Game, July 13 at Veterans Stadium: National League, 7-1; George Foster, MVP-Other champions:*Caribbean World Series: Naranjeros de Hermosillo...

, which led many to predict the demise of the farm system, it still remains a strong component of a winning baseball strategy.

Ice hockey

The teams of the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 also have their own farm teams. They are primarily in the American Hockey League
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League is a 30-team professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental circuit for the National Hockey League...

. For example, the Binghamton Senators
Binghamton Senators
The Binghamton Senators are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League . Nicknamed the B-Sens, they play in Binghamton, New York at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Along with the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL, the B-Sens are minor league affiliates of the Ottawa Senators...

 are the farm team for the Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators are a professional ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

. However, many teams have additional affiliates in the ECHL
The ECHL is a mid-level professional ice hockey league based in Princeton, New Jersey with teams scattered across the United States...


Unlike baseball, not all the players on the rosters of the minor league teams are owned by an NHL team. In fact, the majority only have a contract with their minor league team.

Association Football

In many clubs, there will be internal feeder teams. These may be age restricted teams, such as an 'Under-18s' team, or an 'A team'. For example, in international association football, national teams also operate youth sides, - see England national under-21 football team
England national under-21 football team
England's national Under-21 football team, also known as England Under-21s or England U21, is considered to be the feeder team for the England national football team....

, for example.

In many sports, these feeder teams will compete in their own leagues, though in some cases they compete with other 'full teams' at a lower level. In Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, B-teams can compete in the lower leagues; Villarreal B
Villarreal CF B
Villarreal Club de Fútbol B is a Spanish football team based in Villarreal, in the autonomous community of Valencia. Founded in 1999, it is the reserve team of Villarreal CF, and plays in Segunda División, holding home games at Ciudad Deportiva Villarreal CF, with a 5,000-seat capacity.Unlike in...

 (affiliated to Villarreal CF
Villarreal CF
Villarreal Club de Fútbol, S.A.D. , usually abbreviated to Villarreal CF or just Villarreal, is a Spanish Primera División football club based in Vila-real, a city in the province of Castellón within the Valencian Community...

) currently competes in the Spanish Second Division, for example.

In some countries, such as New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, major teams are organised as regional franchises, and local club sides within these regions become automatic feeder clubs for these regional teams.

It is also getting more common for football clubs to arrange formal deals with other clubs with which they originally had no connection. The feeder/parent club connection could have many functions, and be very beneficial both for the feeder and the parent club. For bigger clubs, it is common to arrange agreements with the minor clubs in the area. The smaller teams can provide the bigger team (the parent club) with young talents, and the mother club have an opportunity to send their young players away on loan to these teams.

In addition to local connection, it's also getting usual to have feeder clubs in other regions of the country or in other nations, in order to gain further knowledge. Prominent Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an clubs are often making intercontinental deals with other clubs for the same reason. AFC Ajax have for instance a connection with the South African team Ajax Cape Town, Manchester United have a connection with the Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n team Wollongong Wolves
Wollongong Wolves
The South Coast Wolves Football Club is an Australian Association football club based in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia currently playing in the NSW Premier League.The club was formed in 2009 as a not for profit organisation, run and owned by the community since the financial...

 and the Belgian
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 team Royal Antwerp, and Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

n side FBK Kaunas
FBK Kaunas
Kauno futbolo beisbolo klubas is a Lithuanian football club from the city of Kaunas, that currently plays in the A Lyga, the top level of Lithuanian football.- History :...

 have loaned many of their younger players out to their Scottish parent team Heart of Midlothian
Heart of Midlothian F.C.
Heart of Midlothian Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Gorgie, in the west of Edinburgh. They currently play in the Scottish Premier League and are one of the two principal clubs in the city, the other being Hibernian...

 in the hope of securing them a deal at a bigger club in the future. Having a feeder club in wealthy countries, where football is gaining a gradually better reputation, has also proved to be very beneficial. Countries such as USA, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 are good examples. Alternatively, some clubs within the EU have used feeder teams to sign non-EU players and then naturalize them in an EU country, to overcome visa regulations.


Traditionally, the NBA did not have a formal farm league. It mainly relies on the elite NCAA to produce NBA players, and thus the latter was often known as the "feeders". Since 2001, the NBA directly owns an entire farm league: the National Basketball Association Development League
NBA Development League
The NBA Development League, or NBA D-League, is the National Basketball Association's official minor league basketball organization. Known until summer 2005 as the National Basketball Development League , the NBA D-League started with eight teams in the fall of 2001...

. The NBA D-League started with eight teams in the fall of 2001. In March 2005, NBA commissioner David Stern
David Stern
David Joel Stern is the commissioner of the National Basketball Association. He started with the Association in 1966 as an outside counsel, joined the NBA in 1978 as General Counsel, and became the league's Executive Vice President in 1980. He became Commissioner in 1984 succeeding Larry O'Brien...

 announced a plan to expand the NBA D-League to fifteen teams and develop it into a true minor league farm system, with each NBA D-League team affiliated with one or more NBA teams. Although the system has been run for a few years, most of the rookies in NBA are still drafted out from NCAA. At the conclusion of the 2008-09 NBA season, 20 percent of NBA players had spent time in the NBA D-League.

American Football

The National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

, as of 2010, is the only one of the four major professional sports in the USA that does not have a farm system.

In the 1930s, the Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 and New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 owned teams in the American Association
American Association (football)
The American Association was a professional American football league based in New York City. Founded in 1936 as a minor league with teams in New York and New Jersey, the AA extended its reach to Providence, Rhode Island prior to the onset of World War II...

, which became the first true minor league in professional football. In the 1960s, several NFL teams had agreements with the Atlantic Coast Football League
Atlantic Coast Football League
The Atlantic Coast Football League was a minor football league that operated from 1962 to 1973. Until 1969, many of its franchises had working agreements with NFL and AFL teams to serve as farm clubs. The league paid a base salary of $100 per game and had 36 players on each active roster.For the...

 to use their teams as farm teams, though they were not owned by the NFL owners. The most recent official minor league, NFL Europe
NFL Europe
NFL Europe was an American football league which operated in Europe from 1991 until 2007. Backed by the National Football League , the largest professional American football league in the United States, it was founded as the World League of American Football to serve as a type of spring league...

, was different from most other farm teams in that all prospects were pooled and dispersed among the six European teams, instead of having teams assigned to each other.

Many players in the Canadian Football League
Canadian Football League
The Canadian Football League or CFL is a professional sports league located in Canada. The CFL is the highest level of competition in Canadian football, a form of gridiron football closely related to American football....

 and Arena Football League
Arena Football League
The Arena Football League is the highest level of professional indoor American football in the United States. It is currently the second longest running professional football league in the United States, after the National Football League. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster...

 later advance to the NFL, but no farming contracts exist among any teams officially. During the mid-2000s, several NFL owners at least partially owned arena football teams, such as Jerry Jones
Jerry Jones
Jerral "Jerry" Wayne Jones is the owner and general manager of the NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys.-Early life:Jones was born in Los Angeles, California. His family moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas when he was an infant. Jones was a star running back at North Little Rock High School...

 (Dallas), Arthur Blank
Arthur Blank
Arthur M. Blank is an American businessman and a co-founder of The Home Depot. Today he is known for his philanthropy and his ownership of the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League.-Early life:...

 (Atlanta), Bud Adams
Bud Adams
Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams, Jr. is the owner of the Tennessee Titans' National Football League franchise. He was instrumental in the founding and establishment of the former American Football League. Adams became a charter AFL owner with the establishment of the Titans franchise, which was...

 (Tennessee), Tom Benson
Tom Benson
See also Tom Benson and Tom Benson for the Northern Ireland Unionist.Tom Benson is the owner of the New Orleans Saints. He is currently the owner of several automobile dealerships in the Greater New Orleans and San Antonio areas...

 (New Orleans), and Pat Bowlen
Pat Bowlen
Patrick Dennis Bowlen is the Majority Owner, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Broncos. The Bowlen Family, including his two brothers and sister, purchased the team from Edgar Kaiser in 1984 and saved the team from possible bankruptcy.-Biography:Pat's father, Paul D...

 (Denver), but very rarely did they ever promote or demote any players between the AFL and NFL, due in part to significant differences in the playing schedules and the style of play between outdoor and indoor football. All of the NFL owners backed out of the league when it went bankrupt, was sold off and reorganized.

Independent teams

Some sports allow the operation of independent feeder teams. In professional cycling
Road bicycle racing
Road bicycle racing is a bicycle racing sport held on roads, using racing bicycles. The term "road racing" is usually applied to events where competing riders start simultaneously with the winner being the first to the line at the end of the course .Historically, the most...

, for example, feeder teams such as Vendée U and Trek Livestrong, act as a feeders for Bouygues Télécom and Team RadioShack
Team RadioShack
Team RadioShack is a professional road bicycle racing team, with RadioShack as the title sponsor, the creation of which was announced on July 23, 2009. Lance Armstrong co-owns and leads the team, which plans to race in the Grand Tours and the UCI ProTour, as well as running and triathlon events...

 respectively, and compete at levels below the UCI ProTour
UCI ProTour
The UCI ProTour was a series of road bicycle races in Europe, Australia and Canada organised by the UCI . Created by Hein Verbruggen, former president of the UCI, it comprises a number of 'ProTour' cycling teams, each of whom are required to compete in every round of the series...

. Most pro-cycling teams use this format.

Such agreements may be less formal; in English football
Football in England
Association football is a national sport in England, where the first modern set of rules for the code were established in 1863, which were a major influence on the development of the modern Laws of the Game...

, for example, the operation of an external feeder team is prohibited. However, casual relationships may exist between teams to allow a sharing larger clubs' resources with smaller clubs, in return for the smaller teams taking young players on loan
Loan (football)
In sports, a loan involves a particular player being allowed to temporarily play for a club other than the one he is currently contracted to. Loan deals may last from a few weeks to all season-long....

. This allows both clubs to maintain separate identities, and to exit from the arrangement if necessary. Such an agreement exists between Preston North End and Holker Old Boys
Holker Old Boys F.C.
Holker Old Boys are an English football team based in Hawcoat in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Their home ground is at Rakesmoor Lane, just across the road from Barrow Golf Club on the outskirts of the town....

, for example Alternatively, clubs may use teams playing abroad, particularly if they want to follow the progress of players who they cannot sign due to work permit
Work permit
Work permit is a generic term for a legal authorization which allows a person to take employment.It is most often used in reference to instances where a person is given permission to work in a country where one does not hold citizenship, but is also used in reference to minors, who in some...

 regulations. Please see List of feeder teams in football for a comprehensive list.

Since the debut of the United Football League in 2009, the UFL has acted as an unofficial feeder league to the NFL, benefiting from the fact that the UFL ends its season a month (two months beginning in 2011) before the end of the NFL
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 regular season.

Professional wrestling

Professional wrestling
Professional wrestling
Professional wrestling is a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance.Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling", Mythologies, 1957 It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport...

 utilizes a farm system that allows wrestlers to learn the craft and gain experience in smaller, often regional, promotions
Professional wrestling promotion
A professional wrestling promotion is a company or business that regularly performs shows involving professional wrestling. Promotion also describes a role which entails management, advertising and logistics of running a wrestling event...

 before they are "called up" to perform on a national stage. Generally called farm leagues or developmental territories, some of the more notable ones for WWE include Heartland Wrestling Association
Heartland Wrestling Association
The Heartland Wrestling Association is a Midwestern independent professional wrestling promotion based in Cincinnati, Ohio. A former developmental territory for both World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation during the 1990s, it was listed as one of the top independent...

 (late 1990s) - which was also a developmental territory for World Championship Wrestling
World Championship Wrestling
World Championship Wrestling, Inc. was an American professional wrestling promotion which existed from 1988 to 2001. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, it began as a regional promotion affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance , named Jim Crockett Promotions until November 1988, when Ted Turner and...

, International Wrestling Association
International Wrestling Association
The International Wrestling Association is a wrestling promotion in Puerto Rico, started in Japan in 1994 by promoter Victor Quiñones. The Hispanic division was created in 1999. The company was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance until 2001, but again became a member in 2007...

 (1999–2001), Memphis Championship Wrestling
Memphis Championship Wrestling
Memphis Championship Wrestling was a professional wrestling promotion run by Terry Golden, based in Memphis, Tennessee. The promotion's first event was on February 20, 2000, and it remained active up until mid-2001...

 (2000–2001), Deep South Wrestling (2005–2007), Florida Championship Wrestling
Florida Championship Wrestling
Championship Wrestling from Florida was the corporate and brand name of the Tampa, Florida wrestling office existing from 1961, when Eddie Graham first bought into the promotion, until 1987, when it closed down. It is also referred to as Florida Championship Wrestling...

 (2007–present), Ohio Valley Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling is an American independent professional wrestling promotion based in Louisville, Kentucky. OVW is run by owner Danny Davis and was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance from 1997 until 2000...

 (2000–2008). In addition, smaller companies such as Ring of Honor
Ring of Honor
Ring of Honor ' is an American professional wrestling promotion, founded in 2002 by Rob Feinstein and Gabe Sapolsky. From 2004 to 2011, the promotion was under the ownership of Cary Silkin before being sold to the Sinclair Broadcast Group in May 2011...

, Combat Zone Wrestling
Combat Zone Wrestling
Combat Zone Wrestling is a independent wrestling promotion. In 1999, John Zandig and four of his students, Ric Blade, Lobo, Nick Gage and Justice Pain began to run backyard wrestling shows in New Jersey and Delaware, showcasing a brand of hardcore wrestling dubbed as "ultraviolence"...

, Chikara
Chikara may refer to:*力, , the Japanese word meaning power, capability, or influence* Chikara, a Shona word meaning "carnivore"* Chikara - A stringed instrument from India.*Chikara-mizu , a ritual at the beginning of a sumo match...

 or the now-defunct Extreme Championship Wrestling
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Extreme Championship Wrestling was a professional wrestling promotion that was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1992 by Tod Gordon and closed when his successor, Paul Heyman, declared bankruptcy in April 2001...

 can act as unofficial feeder leagues, seasoning wrestlers until a larger company offers them a contract.

Formula One

Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 teams often use the most promising drivers from divisions such as the GP2 Series
GP2 Series
The GP2 Series, GP2 for short, is a form of open wheel motor racing introduced in 2005 following the discontinuation of the long-term Formula One feeder series, Formula 3000. The format was conceived by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, while Ecclestone also has the rights to the name GP1...

, the former Formula 3000
Formula 3000
The Formula 3000 International Championship was a motor racing series created by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile in 1985 to become the final preparatory step for drivers hoping to enter the Formula One championship...

 championship and Formula Two
Formula Two
Formula Two, abbreviated to F2, is a type of open wheel formula racing. It was replaced by Formula 3000 in 1985, but the FIA announced in 2008 that Formula Two would return for 2009 in the form of the FIA Formula Two Championship...

, with all of GP2's Champions going on to F1. Ten drivers on the grid for 2011 have previously raced in GP2. Scuderia Toro Rosso
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Scuderia Toro Rosso , also known simply as Toro Rosso or by its abbreviation STR, is an Italian Formula One racing team...

 also serves as a sort of farm team for Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing is a Formula One racing team based in Milton Keynes, England which currently holds an Austrian licence. It is, along with Scuderia Toro Rosso, one of two teams owned by beverage company Red Bull GmbH. The team have won two Constructors' Championship titles, in and , becoming the...

. Both are owned by Austrian beverage company Red Bull
Red Bull GmbH
Red Bull GmbH is an Austrian company which sells the Red Bull energy drink. In 2010, more than 4.204 billion cans were sold in over 161 countries. 7,758 employees generated 3.78 billion euros in revenue...

, with Toro Rosso helping to develop cars and drivers for Red Bull Racing. Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is a German Formula One racing driver, currently driving for Red Bull Racing. He is the current World Champion, having won the championship in and ....

 drove for Toro Rosso from 2007–2008 and made the move to Red Bull in 2009, replacing the retiring David Coulthard
David Coulthard
David Marshall Coulthard, MBE, , sometimes known as DC, is a British former Formula One racing driver from Scotland.Coulthard, who was born in Dumfries and raised nearby in Twynholm, made his Formula One debut in 1994 and won 13 Grands Prix in a career spanning 15 seasons...



The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

, the principal body for stock car racing
Stock car racing
Stock car racing is a form of automobile racing found mainly in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain, Brazil and Argentina. Traditionally, races are run on oval tracks measuring approximately in length...

 in North America, has an extensive system of developmental series, with the ultimate goal for drivers being a ride in the top-level Sprint Cup Series. Most Cup Series teams are involved in at least one of NASCAR's two other national series, either running vehicles in the junior series or affiliating with teams that run exclusively in those series:
  • The second-level Nationwide Series is the main proving ground for potential Cup drivers. Most races are run on the same weekends, and at the same tracks, as Cup Series races, and Nationwide cars are largely similar to Cup cars (though with some differences, most notably less powerful engines).
  • The third-level Camping World Truck Series is a pickup truck
    Pickup truck racing
    Pickup truck racing is a form of auto racing which involves modified versions of pickup trucks on racing circuits, mostly oval tracks. Race pickup trucks are mechanically similar to coupé-shaped stock cars, with the main difference being the more boxy shape of the cab, which does not give as good...

    -based series. Most races are held in conjunction with Nationwide Series races, with many also serving as support events for Sprint Cup races. Relatively few drivers jump directly from the Truck Series to the Cup Series; most spend at least some time in the Nationwide Series first.

Below the two national series are multiple regional series. Cup Series teams generally do not participate at these levels, but extensively scout them for future talent.
  • The K&N Pro Series East and K&N Pro Series West, which use stock cars with full fenders similar to those in the Cup and Nationwide Series.
  • The Whelen Modified Tour
    Whelen Modified Tour
    The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is a stock car racing series owned and operated by NASCAR in the Modified division. The Modified division is NASCAR's oldest division, and its one of two open-wheeled divisions...

    , operating mostly in the Northeast U.S.
    Northeastern United States
    The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

    , and Whelen Southern Modified Tour
    Whelen Southern Modified Tour
    The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is a stock car racing series owned by NASCAR and operated in the Southeastern United States as part of its Modified Division...

    , operating in the Southeast U.S.
    Southern United States
    The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

    , race open-wheeled cars with bodies similar to those of other NASCAR cars.
  • The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series
    NASCAR Canadian Tire Series
    The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series , commonly abbreviated as NCATS, is a national NASCAR racing series in Canada that is based from the old CASCAR Super Series which was founded in 1981.-History:...

     in Canada and NASCAR Corona Series
    NASCAR Corona Series
    -Cars:In the first season only General Motors, as Pontiac, and Dodge participated in the series. Ford made its debut in 2005 with Mustang, since 2006 Fusion is the car of Ford. In 2009 Toyota started its participation with Camry...

     in Mexico are national series in the respective countries, also using stock cars with full fenders. A few drivers from the Canadian Tire Series have moved to one of the U.S. national series.

The entry level of NASCAR-sanctioned racing is the Whelen All-American Series
Whelen All-American Series
The Whelen All-American Series is a points championship for NASCAR sanctioned local racetracks around the United States and Canada....

, a championship for drivers who compete in weekly races at small tracks, often dirt tracks, throughout the U.S. and Canada. Regional champions and an overall series champion are crowned.

Indoor Soccer

Premier Arena Soccer League
Premier Arena Soccer League
The Premier Arena Soccer League is an Indoor Soccer league with amateur and semi-professional teams. PASL-Premier currently has 38 teams in 6 divisions across the USA and Mexico. PASL-Premier is the official developmental league of the Professional Arena Soccer League .Teams play in regional...

 is a farm system for the Premier Arena Soccer League
Premier Arena Soccer League
The Premier Arena Soccer League is an Indoor Soccer league with amateur and semi-professional teams. PASL-Premier currently has 38 teams in 6 divisions across the USA and Mexico. PASL-Premier is the official developmental league of the Professional Arena Soccer League .Teams play in regional...

PRO League.
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