Why don't any USA professional leagues use promotion/relegation?


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In sports leagues, promotion and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between two divisions based on their performance for the completed season. The best-ranked team(s) in the lower division are promoted to the higher division for the next season, and the worst-ranked team(s) in the higher division are relegated to the lower division for the next season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are also used to determine rankings. This process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, and so on. During the season, teams that are high enough in the league table that they would qualify for promotion are sometimes said to be in the promotion zone, and those at the bottom are in the relegation zone (or, colloquially, the drop zone or facing the drop).[1][2]

An alternate system of league organisation which is used primarily in the US, Canada and Australia is a closed...

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Why don’t we run USA soccer like the rest of the world? I make the case that promotion/relegation in USA soccer will both increase competition and quality on the field and open up new opportunities for many young players in America. My name is Ben Fast. Let’s move American soccer forward!

Why USA Soccer Needs Promotion & Relegation

Why USA Soccer Needs Promotion & Relegation

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bwfast
Twitter hashtag: http://twitter.com/#ProRelforUSA

Why USA Soccer Needs Promotion & Relegation

Send me your comments and feedback!

Why USA Soccer Needs Promotion & Relegation

Why USA Soccer Needs Promotion & Relegation
Why USA Soccer Needs Promotion & Relegation
Why USA Soccer Needs Promotion &...

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European Atlantic League - with promotion/relegation to national systems & Euro places for each nation

This edit works with 10.2 ONLY

This league is made up of four XML files which all must be loaded in order to work. There are 16 teams from four nations (four from each of Scotland, Portugal, Belgium & Holland) competing in the Atlantic League. The four from each nation chosen are the top 4 from last years divisions.

Upon conclusion of the atlantic league (based in holland) there are regional tournaments in which the four lowest teams (one from each nation) are relegated to the national system and the national winners are promoted to the Atlantic League.

There is also an Atlantic Cup which takes the 16 Atlantic League teams in addition to all the top tier teams in the four nations in a straight knock-out cup tournament.


The four XML files are zipped. Unzipped they are 247kb so therefore they load in the game very fast!


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You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who disagreed with the notion that competition is the lifeblood of sport. Monopolies asphyxiate. Consider European football over the last 25 years, where "financial doping" has arguably created unsurpassed aesthetic spectacles through the concentration of megastar talent but - Leicester City's miracle notwithstanding - has largely killed surprises, and thus restricted true competition to a smattering of clubs in each league.

Competition can mean many things, of course. It can be the competition for places within an organisation, which pushes people to raise their standards, while competition between teams has the same standard-raising effect. Yet - and here, seemingly, lies a paradox - the competitive drive, such as seen in the previous example of European football, doesn't necessarily contribute to the overall competitiveness of a sporting culture, or "ecosystem".

In other words, competitiveness - at least not in all its...

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Learn more about Promotion and relegation

In many sports leagues around the world (with North American and Australian professional leagues being the most important exception), relegation (or demotion) means the mandated transfer of the least successful team(s) of a higher division into a lower division at the end of the season. Usually an equal number of most successful team(s) from the lower division enjoy the opposite procedure, promotion, but the number of teams relegated and promoted may differ. For example in 1995 the English FA Premier League reduced its numbers by two, relegating four teams while only allowing two promotions.

The system is seen as the defining characteristic of the 'European' form of professional sports league organization. Promotion and relegation have the effect of regularly rearranging the leagues according to the teams' playing strength. At the same time, they maintain the importance of games played by many low-ranked teams near the end of...

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Before the 2015 Major League Soccer season begins, SoccerGods is taking a one-time look at the promotion-relegation trope – the interminable debate about whether the United States and Canada should fall in line with much of the soccer world and move to a multi-tiered league system.

What does that mean? Why does it matter? Should we give in and love it forever, or blow it up and walk away, like the Joker? Steve Davis may not be able to answer all of those questions, but here, in the final part of our series, he explains why none of those questions are likely to matter. Promotion-relegation’s not coming to our shores anytime soon.

As much fun as another noisy spin of the promotion-relegation debate wheel might be, there is a hard truth at work here: Yes, the system is a traditional staple in other lands, but it is highly unlikely to ever happen in North America.

Remember the movie where the geeky high school boys tried to create a woman out of sciency stuff and...

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Oman are one step closer to replicating Afghanistan's dramatic rise up the WCL ladder from 2008-09 after they stormed past Malaysia by 131 runs at Lugogo Stadium to top the WCL Division Three table. The result helped them secure their third consecutive promotion.

Naseem Khushi was the latest player to make hay with the short boundaries at Lugogo, smashing four fours and eight sixes in an unbeaten 77 off 30 balls in a late surge that took Oman to 293 for 7, after they had been sent in. It was the third fifty of the innings and the quickest after 61 off 76 balls from Aqib Ilyas and 51 off 69 balls from captain Sultan Ahmed.

Malaysia went pedal to the medal early in their chase in a desperate attempt to both win and do it fast enough to take their net run rate above Uganda and USA in order to avoid relegation. They reached 94 for 3 in 10.4 overs on the back of opener Anwar Arudin's 33-ball fifty. His innings, however, ended when slingy fast bowler Munis Ansari had him...

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- "Relegation" is a word that is laced with horror for many football fans in European and Asian nations -- yet for others it remains a complete mystery.

West Bromwich-Albion fans show their support as the club was relegated from the Premier League on Sunday

The latest victim of the relegation sword is English Premier League team West Bromwich-Albion. After a 2-0 loss to Liverpool on Sunday, West Brom faces a drop to the division below.

Promotion/relegation systems similar to the English Premier League's model work in many football leagues around the world, and have allowed dreams to come true for many aspirants, while they have also crushed the hopes and futures of others on the decline.

While these systems have been long-running in Europe; in the U.S. -- the home of the meritocracy -- there is still no promotion or relegation to or from the top-flight Major League Soccer (MLS) competition. This is the case for the many sports...

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CONCACAF came out with a strong response early Friday morning to French Guiana’s decision to break the rules and play Florent Malouda Tuesday evening in the Gold Cup.

The CONCACAF disciplinary committee announced that the match between French Guiana and Honduras, which finished as a scoreless draw on the night, would be forfeited by French Guiana, awarding Honduras a 3-0 result.

In addition, French Guiana was fined an undisclosed amount and the 37-year-old Malouda was assessed a two-match stadium ban.

[ MORE: Read PST’s Gold Cup latest ]

“As a consequence of fielding Florent Malouda, who was confirmed by the Disciplinary Committee to be ineligible to play in the Gold Cup 2017 according to the applicable regulations, the Disciplinary Committee has levied sanctions and fines against the French Guiana Football League (LGF) and has suspended the player ruled ineligible,” CONCACAF said in a statement.

Malouda of course earned 80 caps for the French...

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Football is the biggest participation team sport with 420,000 regular outdoor players, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Recent Roy Morgan findings suggest that the participation rate is more than four times larger across all age groups.

That only 73 professional footballers eligible for the Australian national team started in the A-League last weekend is a major concern for the game. It's a conversion rate that worries footballing powerbrokers and is the biggest argument in favour of A-League expansion.

At a time when there is unprecedented investment in the development of young, talented footballers, there are few opportunities for the rising stars to fulfil their dreams. With only nine professional Australian football clubs, the growth of our national teams will be stunted. Socceroos' coach Ange Postecoglou describes the current narrow pyramid as a "bottleneck" of football development.

"We've got more talented players looking for...

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Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sport

Any time a discussion about improving soccer in America is taking place, one of the most popular ideas thrown about is implementing a promotion and relegation system into Major League Soccer.

However, relegation is not a magic panacea for making America a world powerhouse in soccer and, in fact, would likely do far more harm than good.

Here's why.

The main argument behind the promotion/relegation system is that it motivates teams to put the best possible product on the field. But even a quick look at numerous examples throughout Europe prove that the rewards and punishments of such a system are not effective motivators.

Tim Hales/Associated Press

One perfect example is English Premier League club Stoke City. For years, soccer purists bemoaned the style of Stoke, who relied heavily on a "park the bus" strategy under former manager...

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Pro/rel in any form in the USA is not viable today or any at any time in the future. There are too many legal, financial, and political realities that make the idea utterly impractical in the USA. I'll outline some of them here with a hypothetical.

Let's say that you're MLS commisioner in 2030. There are 40 top-tier franchises. Things are going really well, obviously, because you've gotten to 40 franchises and the league is stable financially, logistically, etc. All of this progress has come under a single-tier franchise system. If this system has brought you all of that success, why would you then blow it up for a foreign one with little promise of improving that success?

Pro/rel supporters want you to do just that - they see you have 40 teams now, and they want you to force pro/rel among them (20 teams in MLS1, 20 in MLS2). This isn't out of line with what the author suggests as viable in this article when he says that MLS can make pro/rel viable by seeking to "extend its...

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Leagues have never failed because of pro/rel. Several franchises have come and gone, such as Chivas, Tampa Bay, and Miami. Yet, the league survived. There is no league that ever went out of business because of pro/rel.

NASL went out of business not because of pro/rel: it went out of business because it grew too fast and America didn’t have a soccer infrastructure. AYSO ruled the roost and competitive soccer was in its infancy. We didn’t have soccer streaming on TV 24/7. No internet. Outside of Pele, we didn’t know anyone else. The only tournament we knew of was World Cup.

NASL was an idea before its time. That argument doesn’t work today. Soccer is well established.

The times have changed. We are “ready” in terms of infrastructure, depth of clubs, depth of working pyramid, interest, attracting investors, and popularity of the game.

The last thing we need to change is education about pro/rel.

There are about 10,000 clubs across USA. If Colorado, DC...

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Despite promotion and relegation being a staple in leagues across the world, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati offered his explanation for why it's not implemented in the United States–and isn't likely to be anytime soon–in a wide-ranging interview with SI's Grant Wahl on the Planet Futbol Podcast.

“There are a number of issues that come up with that particular format of competition, but the biggest one is it’s not the rules of the game that people bought into when they made investments, whether it’s in the USL, the NASL or MLS," Gulati said. "It’s not the rules that we set out when teams came in. And so whether that happens or not, is it possible? Sure. Is it going to happen in the next few years? I don’t think it is, but it’s not going to be that we dictate it should happen or shouldn’t happen. You’ve got investments that have been made. And so if the leagues get together and say we should look at this, are we willing to help facilitate that discussion? Sure, we’d be...

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I tried to put my responses in order of the points in your posts.

It's clear from some of your points and responses that you simply don't understand the way that the major sports leagues are set up in the US, which is fine, but which is also why none of the changes and points you're implying would work or are even comparable. Let's look at the five major sports in the US (Football (NFL), Basketball (NBA), Baseball (MLB), Hockey (NHL), Soccer (MLS)); I'll admit that I know the least about the MLS so some information pertaining to that one could be wrong.

1) There aren't multiple leagues for most of these sports, and in the cases where there are, most of the minor league is either owned wholly by the pro league or its teams are affiliated with pro league teams.

The NFL's 'farm league' is the NCAAF, which is college football. >99% of players who enter the NFL will have been drafted or signed undrafted after playing in college. The NFL does not have an official minor...
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In a more conventional soccer universe, Indy Eleven might be preparing for a 2017 season against the likes of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders. In only their third campaign, the team from Indianapolis finished second in the second-tier North American Soccer League: runners-up in the standings to the New York Cosmos, who also beat them on penalties in the championship playoff.

With average attendances of about 8,500, the club is hoping to get approval for an 18,500-seat stadium. In a couple of years it is not hard to imagine Indy boasting a major-league quality team in a major league-quality stadium, with only one thing missing: Major League Soccer. In American sport, improvement does not mean that the only way is up.

“We’ve always said we want to play at the highest level possible,” said Tom Dunmore, Indy’s senior vice-president of marketing and operations. “We want to have the best standard on and off the pitch. We’re obviously part of a system where you...

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Welcome. This is my interpretation of making America more attractive to play in.

All Leagues have been increased in Reputation from 140-90 respectively.

* Please Note For Up To Date Transfer's Please Use Pr0's database - This includes transfers such as Villa to NYCFC and Kaka to Orlando * Also On Loading click Do Not Add Key Staff to stop having managers that aren't real.

MLS - Contains all 19 teams as before, the top 4 in the league qualify for the North American Champions League, the bottom two teams are relegated to the Second Division, there are no conferences in this.

Second Division - Contains 10 teams, top 2 are promoted while the bottom 2 are relegated, after 2 rounds of games the league splits into top half and bottom half, playing each other a further 3 times in the mini league.

Third Division - Contains 14 teams, top 2 are promoted while bottom 2 are relegated to the UNL, as before the league splits after two rounds at...

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Good idea! I've seen some Premier League on NBC (local broadcast) and they occasionally describe it (relegation). Why I think relegation would HELP not hinder the NFL: 1. It SAVES the top tier talent, from college, to going to the bottom-feeders, year after year, ad nauseam every time. A relegated team 'drops down' to a demoted, D-League NFL team! 2. Relegate the BOTTOM-MOST team of each division. 3. Have the NFL offer some draft picks for the teams demoted, but these college picks who GO to a demoted/relegated team have a clause in their contract whereby if needed by an NFL team the next season (or 2), they can opt out FOR a trade! 4. Relegation would FORCE these inept teams (Oakland, Houston, Washington, etc) to work WITHIN administratively and managerially to improve! 5. Every season a relegated team from the season BEFORE, returns to the NFL, and likewise a NEW relegated team at the bottom-most portion of any division would be demoted/relegated. ...

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Promotion and relegation is a common practice in leagues around the world, but not in MLS. More and more people are asking why.

Landon Donovan has a lot of free time on his hands these days.

The retired American soccer legend has made a seamless transition from the playing field to the post-player life. He has dabbled in television work, and even some coaching, while he enjoys the comfort of retirement and awaits the birth of his first child.

Among Donovan's new hobbies is social media, and the former LA Galaxy star hasn't been afraid to engage followers in topics he considers interesting ones. Earlier this week on Twitter, he asked a group of American soccer journalists what they thought of the topic of promotion and relegation, and as is often the case with that volatile topic, a simple question stirred up a bit of a firestorm.

Should we have pro/rel in MLS? @SoccerInsider @EricWynalda @SteveDavis90 @JeffreyCarlisle @SoccerByIves ...

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BBC Pop Up's Benjamin Zand is exploring the state of the beautiful game in the US.

During his month in Pittsburgh he found lots of British ex-pats enjoying a taste of home alongside Americans who have become hardcore fans of the English Premier League.

And he also met the players at the city's only professional club, the Riverhounds, who play at a stadium with the stunning city skyline as a backdrop.

But even in the equivalent of the third division of US soccer it turns out that winning isn't everything. That's because the professional leagues don't have relegation or promotion.

Filmed, edited and produced by Benjamin Zand

Watch the rest of the BBC Pop Up soccer series here:

Stop 1: Boulder, Colorado - Brit searches for 'soccer' in the US

Stop 2: Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Soccer seen as 'sissyball' in Deep South

You can find out all about the aims of the Pop Up project and see all the videos from the first three months. Check...

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“Promotion-and-relegation” is a topic that a few American sports fans have begun to talk about. The term refers to a system that comes out of English football, in which a club that ends its season at the top of its division is promoted to the next level up for the following season, while a club that ends its season at the bottom of its division is relegated to the next level down. The system more familiar to Americans comes out of baseball,

I first became aware of promotion and relegation perhaps twenty years ago. I thought it fantastic – not in the “I love it!” sense of “fantastic,” but in the “this seems like fantasy” sense. When I described it to other Americans, the reaction was that I must either have misunderstood it, or was bullshitting them. We have gotten past that, and are now at the point where should you describe any ill of American sports – well, other than gross misconduct or debilitating injuries or such – someone in comments may well suggest promotion and...

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