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Barnstorming in athletics refers to sports teams or individuals that travel to various locations, usually small towns, to stage exhibition matches.

Some barnstorming teams lack any home arena whatsoever, while other teams have been known to go on "barnstorming tours" in the off-season. Teams in baseball's Negro Leagues often barnstormed before, during and after their league's "regular season". While barnstorming is no longer as popular as it was in the early twentieth century, some teams such as basketball's Harlem Globetrotters, softball's King and His Court and ice hockey's Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team carry on the tradition to this day. In the 1990s the Colorado Silver Bullets women's baseball team resurrected barnstorming as there was no women's league in which to compete.

It was very common in the early days of professional football; for instance, the Los Angeles Wildcats of the first American Football League of 1926 played the regular season as a traveling team, then went on a post-season barnstorming tour of Texas and California, with Red Grange and the New York Yankees as the designated opponent for most of these games. NFL teams were also known to barnstorm in small towns against local teams all the way up through World War II.

Barnstorming teams differ from traveling teams in that barnstorming teams operate outside the framework of an established athletic league, while traveling teams (also known as "road teams") are designated by a league, formally or informally, to be a designated visiting team for all, or almost all, of its league games.

Numerous auto racers, most notably Barney Oldfield, staged exhibitions around the United States in the early twentieth century. Oldfield barnstormed against the aviator Lincoln Beachey at least 35 times in 1914.

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