• Aisha Omidiya

Sports Leagues That Deserve Your Attention

If you are reading this article, you are most likely a sports fan. You probably watch at least some of the big four North American Sports League, the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL. But watching those same leagues year in and year out, can get tiresome, and stale. You may want to start broadening what sports you watch. But there are so many sports, and leagues around the world it may be a daunting task for some to try and find what the next sport they should tune in for. But no need to worry, we here at Javelin Sports have gathered below the best and most entertaining leagues from around the World that we think you should give a chance and check out. Who knows maybe you will find your next big passion.

College Sports




If you are a fan of the leagues mentioned in our introduction, and want more sports to watch, we can not recommend college sports enough . College sports in the United States are some of the best and most entertaining sports in the world. The games, the rivalries and the history that surrounds the schools, are just as intense, if not more so, then that of the professional leagues. It is also an excellent way to get introduced to the young talents who will soon be playing in the professional leagues. The two biggest college sports, and the ones we recommend you to start off with are Football and Basketball.


College Football

College Football is an excellent starting point to expand your sports viewing. There is no shortage of talent every year, and the games almost always deliver. You get to watch as young players come in and develop their skills before going off to the NFL. The rivalries between the schools are intense, rivalling some of those that are in the NFL, and the fans of the game are as dedicated, if not more so than that of some professional teams.


College Basketball


The College Basketball season is always entertaining. But the marquee event is the March Madness tournament that is held annually. It is a 64 team tournament that is broken into four 16 team quadrants. It is filled with the top college teams across the United States facing off against each other for the chance to win one of the most challenging sports tournaments in the world. The tournament is filled with surprises and upsets that always have viewers on the edge of their seats. If you have not watched it before, we recommend you start this year.


Soccer


There are many soccer leagues around the world that you can watch and get invested in. But the best and most exciting leagues, the ones with the most elite players and teams, are the European Leagues. Below is a list of some of the top five leagues in Europe alone with some of the top teams in each, and some stars you should keep an eye on.


Premier League (English League)


Key Teams: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham


Key Players: Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne, Harry Kane, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane


La Liga (Spanish Professional League)


Key Teams: Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla Valencia


Key Players: Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, Lucas Ocampos, Jan Oblak



Fußball-Bundesliga (German Professional League)


Key Teams: Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Borthmund, FC Schalke


Key Players: Robot Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Jadon Sancho, Alphonso Davies, Marco Reus



Series A (Italian Professional League)


Key Teams: AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan, Atalanta, Napoli, Lazio, Roma


Key Players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Josip Ilicic, Ciro Immobile, Luis Alberto, Zlatan Ibrahimović


Ligue 1 (French Professional League)


Key Teams: Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) AS Monaco, Lille, Olympique Lyonnaise, Olympique de Marseille, Stade Rennais


Key Players: Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappé, Dimitri Payet, Angel Di Maria, Wissam Ben Yedder


Each of the leagues listed above operates in very similar ways. The bottom teams at the end of each season are regulated to the second-best league in the respective nations, and the best teams in the second best league are promoted to the top league. Also, there are 20 teams in each league and they play 38 matches, twice against every other team. (except for the Fußball-Bundesliga, which has 18 teams and 34 games). Each of these leagues operates on the same schedule, having their seasons go from August to May, with most games being played on Saturdays and Sundays.


UEFA Competitions


Each of the leagues in Europe operates on the same schedule because they all play under UEFA (Union of European Football Associations). The seeding in each of the different individual leagues determines what UEFA tournaments teams qualify for. The top seeds in each league play in the UEFA Champions League, while the teams just miss out on the Champions League qualify for the UEFA Europa League. These games are played on the same schedule as the national league’s, but all UFEA games are played on weekdays.


UEFA Champions League


The top-seeded teams in all the leagues listed above, plus teams from smaller European Leagues, compete in an annual competition to determine who is the best team in Europe for that year. Unlike the national leagues, Champions League games are played during weekdays. The Champions League pits the best European teams against each other, always providing exciting and entertaining games.


UEFA Europa League


The UEFA Europa League is made up of all the teams who just missed the cut to make it into the Champions League or lost in the Champions League tournament. These games are also played during the week and are just as entertaining as the rest of the soccer we have discussed. All the UEFA competitions are fun and exciting to watch because it pits the best teams from different leagues against each other And because all leagues that comprise the UEFA Leagues are the best in the world, it is always the best teams in the world competing for the different titles.


For a more detailed look into each league, check out this article. The information, mainly the player’s section, is dated, but it is still a useful guide for people just getting into the sport. Also you do not have to watch each league listed above but we listed them all for you to have a variety of choices to start your journey into the world of soccer.


Hockey





CHL (Canadian Hockey League)


The CHL or Canadian Hockey League is an amateur hockey organization for young players from ages 16-21, that is based out of Canada but has teams in the United States as well. The CHL is split up into 3 smaller leagues, the Western Hockey League (WHL) the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). These 3 leagues allow for young players to develop and showcase their skills. The CHL is the largest producer of draft picks for the NHL, so by following them, you are getting a first hand look at the future stars of the NHL. At the end of the year the winners of each of the smaller leagues play for the Memorial Cup to determine the winner of the CHL


KHL (Kontinental Hockey League)

For the hockey fans out there who want to watch more of the sport, should definitely check out the second largest hockey league in the world, the KHL. This league is based out of Russia, but has teams in Belarus, China, Finland, Latvia, and Kazakhstan. They have had several stars who have played in the NHL play in their league including Alexander Radulov, Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk to name a few.


Basketball





Euroleague


Basketball may be dominated by America on the international stage, but popularity of the sport is growing worldwide and many countries are starting to develop stars of their own. No other league is a better showcase of this than the Euroleague, a Professional Basketball league that has the top teams in Europe face off against each other. Often considered the best Basketball league outside of the NBA, if you are looking for more Basketball to watch, the Euroleague is definitely the league you should check out.


Combat Sports


If you are growing tired of team sports, or prefer individual sports over team sports, combat sports are the thing for you. The most entertaining individual sports out there are combat sports, including Boxing and MMA.





Boxing


Boxing, one of the oldest sports in the world, is also one of the most entertaining. With no one main boxing league, there are four main sanctioning bodies that host boxing matches. These are the World Boxing Association (WBA), the World Boxing Council (WBC) International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO), that each have their own champions and rankings.


MMA


The youngest sport on this list, it may also be the most entertaining. The world of MMA or mixed martial arts is a sport that pits fighters who are well versed in multiple fighting styles against one another. It is like boxing, so the athletes are separated into different weight classes. The best and largest Mixed Martial Arts company in the world, is the UFC. The host fight cards that are on cable TV almost every weekend, and Pay per view events about once a month. Other companies that you may want to check out are Beltator, and One Championship.


Conclusion


So there you have it, the Javelin Sports list of recommended sports for you to check out. We hope at least some of you can use this list to discover the next sport you become a fan of. There are a lot of options for you to choose from, and you can tackle all of, or some of the list, at your own pleasure. Our recommendation on how to start is to go with what interests you the most and then if you want or need to branch out to other leagues that spike your interest.


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