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American Michael Phelps won an Olympic record eight gold medals.

Sports in the United States are an important part of the United States' culture. However, the sporting culture of the U.S. is different from that of many other countries. Compared to any other nation, Americans prefer a unique set of sports. For example, soccer, the most popular sport in the world, is not as popular in the U.S. compared to the four most popular team sports — namely baseball, American football, basketball, and ice hockey. The major leagues of each of these sports enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. The preeminence of the major leagues is partially attributed to their strong financial power and huge domestic market.

In addition to the difference of popular sports, sports are also organized differently in the United States. There is no system of promotion and relegation like sports in Europe and major sports leagues operate as associations of franchises. Moreover, all major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. Also, unlike many other countries, schools and colleges and universities sports competitions play an important role in the American sporting culture. Competition between national teams is far less important than in the sporting culture of the rest of the world.[citation needed]

Baseball is the oldest of the major American teamsports. Professional baseball dates from 1869 and had no close rivals in popularity until the 1960s; though baseball is no longer the most popular sport it is still referred to as the "national pastime." Also unlike the professional levels of the other popular spectator sports in the U.S., Major League Baseball teams play almost every day from April to October. Football now attracts more television viewers than baseball; however, National Football League teams play only 16 regular-season games each year, so baseball is the runaway leader in ticket sales. Basketball, invented in Massachusetts by the Canadian-born James Naismith, is another popular sport, represented professionally by the National Basketball Association. Most Americans recognize a fourth major sport—ice hockey. Always a mainstay of Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and New England-area culture, the sport gained tenuous footholds in regions like the American South in recent years, as the National Hockey League pursued a policy of expansion.

The top tier of stock car auto racing, NASCAR, has grown from a Southern sport to one with a following nationwide. It has largely outgrown a previously provincial image; though still much less popular outside the southern United States, it is now avidly followed by fans in all socioeconomic groups and NASCAR sponsorships in the premier Sprint Cup division are highly sought after by hundreds of the U.S.'s largest corporations.

"Soccer", known in most of the rest of the world as football, is another popular team sport played in the United States. It is the number one youth participation sport in the U.S. today, more popular even than (American) football, baseball, basketball, or hockey, up to about the age of 13. Dramatic growth in youth participation has fueled the men's national team's steady rise in caliber of play since 1990, with the US participating in every World Cup since that time. Almost as many girls as boys play youth soccer in the U.S., contributing to the women's national team becoming one of the world's premier women's sides. MLS (Major League Soccer) and USSF Division 2 are the men's first and second tier professional leagues in the U.S., respectively, and WPS (Women's Professional Soccer) is the top tier of American women's football. The designation of "tier" is mandated by FIFA in each case.

The extent in America to which sports are associated with secondary and tertiary education is unique among nations. In basketball and football, high school and particularly college sports are followed with a fervor equaling or exceeding that felt for professional sports; college football games can draw six-digit crowds, many prominent high school football teams have stadiums that seat tens of thousands of spectators, and the college basketball championship tournament played in March, known as March Madness, draws enormous attention. Sports are a significant source of revenue for schools competing in Division I (D-I), the highest level of collegiate athletics. This has created controversy as collegiate athletes are considered amateurs and thus may not receive a salary, although many athletes are granted scholarships to attend a school and compete in a sport. Further, among the most popular sports such as basketball and football, coaching success is revered to the point that D-I schools may extend multi-million dollar contracts to the most proven coaches; several coaches of D-I football programs and a few D-I basketball coaches are claimed as the highest-paid public employees in their respective states.

Contents

Team sports

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American football

Football, also known as gridiron or American football outside the U.S. and Canada, attracts more television viewers[1] than baseball, due to football's significantly shorter schedule (although baseball attracts significantly more ticket sales due it's much longer schedule) and is considered the most popular sport in the United States by most.

The National Football League (NFL) is the preeminent professional league in the United States. Through expansion teams and the landmark merger with the American Football League in 1970, the NFL has reached its current mark of 32 franchises divided into two conferences. After a 16-game regular season, each conference sends six teams to the playoffs, which eventually culminate in the league's championship game, the Super Bowl. Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest annual sporting event held in the United States. The Super Bowl itself is always among the highest-rated programs annually in the Nielsen ratings and worldwide. Some notable former players include Jim Brown, Roger Staubach, Dick Butkus, Terry Bradshaw, Otto Graham, Emmitt Smith, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas and Lawrence Taylor. Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Matt Hasselbeck ,Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning, Terrell Owens, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and LaDanian Tomlinson are a few of the most famous current NFL players.

Additional millions also watch college football throughout the autumn months, and some communities, particularly in rural areas, place great emphasis on their local high school team. The popularity of college and high school football in areas such as the Southern United States and the Great Plains stems largely from the fact that these areas generally do not possess markets large enough for a professional team. Nonetheless, college football has a rich history in the United States, predating even the NFL, and fans and alumni are generally very passionate about their teams.

Arena football, a form of football played in indoor arenas, had its own professional league, the Arena Football League, which operated from 1987 to 2008 and has indefinitely suspended operations. Several semi-professional leagues, mostly regional in nature, still exist, and some of the AFL's former teams have committed to a new league, also known as the Arena Football League, set to launch in 2010.

Baseball

Opening Day at Yankee Stadium home of the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball, reigning and 27-Time World Series Champions

The most popular baseball league in the U.S. is Major League Baseball. Due to its 162-game schedule, it attracts more ticket sales than any other sport in the United States, and is considered the second most popular professional sport. Teams play almost every day from April to October. The World Series is the championship series of Major League Baseball, the culmination of the sport's postseason each October. It is played between the winner of each of the two leagues, the American League and the National League and the winner is determined through a best-of-seven playoff. Notable American baseball players in history include Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Sandy Koufax, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Nolan Ryan, Mike Schmidt and Jackie Robinson, who was instrumental in dissolving the color line and allowing African-Americans and Latin Americans into the white major leagues. Today, some of the notable American players include Derek Jeter, Ken Griffey, Jr., Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Mauer, David Wright and Randy Johnson.

Fenway Park in Boston is the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball.

Major League Baseball Baseball and the variant, softball, are also popular participatory sports in the U.S. However, unlike American football, baseball is also popular in many other countries, notably Japan, South Korea and Latin American countries such as the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Venezuela. These countries are represented well in Major League Baseball today by players such as Hideki Matsui, Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Ivan Rodriguez and Johan Santana. Canada, where baseball developed in tandem with the U.S., is also well represented in MLB with players such as Jason Bay, Russell Martin, and Justin Morneau.

Basketball

Basketball was invented in 1891 by Canadian-born physical education teacher James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. Of those Americans citing their favorite sport, basketball is ranked second (counting amateur levels) behind football. However, in regards to professional sports, basketball, or the NBA, is ranked third.[1] The National Basketball Association, more popularly known as the NBA, is the world's premier men's professional basketball league and one of the major professional sports leagues of North America. It contains 29 teams in the U.S. and 1 in Canada that play an 82-game season from November to April. After the regular season, eight teams from each conference compete in the playoffs for the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. The American Basketball Association, active from 1967 until 1976, when it merged with the NBA, was the last major competitor of the NBA. Notable NBA players in history include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Bob Cousy, Pete Maravich, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, John Stockton, and Jerry West, whose silhouette is featured on the NBA's logo. Notable players in the NBA today include Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James,Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol,Amare Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Shaquille O'Neal, .

In the past decade, an increasing number of players born outside the United States have signed with NBA teams, sparking league interest in different parts of the world. Among the notable foreign-born players in the NBA today are two-time MVP Steve Nash (a South Africa-born Canadian), Peja Stojakovic (Serbia), Andrei Kirilenko (Russia), Andrea Bargnani (Italy), Žydrūnas Ilgauskas (Lithuania), Yao Ming (China), 2007 Finals MVP Tony Parker (France), Gasol brothers Pau and Marc (Spain), Manu Ginóbili (Argentina), and Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), who was the first European player to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Notable retired foreign-born players include Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria), who has won an MVP award, two Defensive Player of the Year awards, and two Finals MVP awards, and Dikembe Mutumbo (DR Congo), who has won four Defensive Player of the Year awards.

Since the 1992 Summer Olympics, NBA players have represented the United States in international competition and won several important tournaments. The Dream Team was the unofficial nickname of the United States men's basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics.

Like American football, basketball at both the college and high school levels is quite popular throughout the country. Every March, a 65-team, six-round, single-elimination tournament determines the national champions of college basketball.

Most U.S. states also crown state champions among their high schools. Also like American football, many high school basketball teams have intense local followings, especially in the Midwest and Upper South. In states like Indiana and Kentucky, it is not uncommon for local high school basketball teams to play in gyms that seat more than 5,000 spectators, even in the more rural areas.[2]

More Americans play basketball than any other team sport, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

Netball, a derivative of basketball invented in the United States and usually played by women, is popular in Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and the West Indies.

Ice hockey

Ice hockey is another popular sport in the United States. Exported to the U.S. from Canada, the sport is commonly referred to simply as "hockey." In the U.S. the game is most popular in regions of the country with a cold winter climate, namely New England and the Midwest, including the states of Alaska, Illinois,Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. However, in recent years hockey has become increasingly popular in the Sun Belt due in large part to the expansion of the National Hockey League to cities like Tampa, Florida; Dallas, Texas; and Phoenix, Arizona.

The NHL is the major professional hockey league in North America, with 24 U.S.-based teams and six Canadian-based teams competing for the Stanley Cup. Other professional leagues in the U.S. include the American Hockey League and the ECHL. Additionally, nine U.S.-based teams compete in the three member leagues of the Canadian Hockey League.

USA Hockey is the official governing body for amateur hockey in the U.S. The United States Hockey Hall of Fame is located in Eveleth, Minnesota.

Although hockey does not enjoy the same popularity as football, baseball and basketball in the U.S., one of the nation's greatest ever sporting moments came during the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics when the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviet Union 4-3 in the first game of the medal round before going on to beat Finland to claim the gold medal. The game has since been called the "Miracle on Ice".

Historically, the vast majority of NHL players had come from Canada, with a small handful of Americans; only one European-trained player made his NHL debut during the 1942–67 Original Six era. After the NHL doubled in size in 1967, this began to change. During the 1970s and 1980s, the number of American-trained players dramatically increased, and the first major wave of European players entered the league, mostly from Sweden and Finland with a number of defectors from the then-Communist states of Eastern Europe. After the fall of communism in Europe, many players from the former Soviet bloc flocked to the NHL, primarily from the Czech Republic, Russia, and Slovakia. Today, a slight majority of NHL players are Canadian, slightly more than 20% are Americans, and virtually all of the remainder are European-trained. (For a more complete discussion, see Origin of NHL players.) Notable NHL players in history include Wayne Gretzky, Eddie Shore, Stan Mikita, Guy Lafleur, Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Orr. Famous NHL players today include Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Martin Brodeur, Jarome Iginla, Joe Thornton, Chris Pronger, and Patrick Kane.

Soccer

Confetti streams down in The Home Depot Center following a goal scored by the home team, the LA Galaxy.

Soccer, typically known outside the U.S. and Canada as football (see names for association football), is much less popular than the traditional major sports, although it has gained an increasing following in recent years, and is extremely popular as a children's sport. The United States men's and women's senior national teams, as well as an under-23 men's team and under-20 and under-17 teams for both sexes, represent the United States in international football competition and are controlled by United States Soccer Federation.

Major League Soccer is the premier soccer league in the United States. MLS fields 15 clubs (with expansion clubs joining nearly every year), in a 30-game schedule that runs from April to October, with playoffs and the championship in November. Other professional football leagues in the U.S. include USSF Division 2, a temporary league created for 2010 only due to a conflict between the United Soccer Leagues and a new incarnation of the North American Soccer League; lower divisions of the USL; WPS (Women's Professional Soccer); and an indoor soccer league, MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League).

In 1994, when the U.S. hosted the FIFA World Cup, it had the highest attendance of any single-sport event in U.S. history.

Many notable international football players have played in American leagues, including past greats Pelé, Hristo Stoichkov, George Best, Carlos Valderrama, Johan Cruyff, Lothar Matthäus, and Franz Beckenbauer and current stars David Beckham, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, and Freddie Ljungberg. Notable American players of the past and the present include Clint Dempsey, Bert Patenaude, Eric Wynalda, Brad Friedel, Brian McBride, Cobi Jones, Kasey Keller, Landon Donovan, Claudio Reyna, Tim Howard, and Alexi Lalas.

Other team sports

  • Rugby union, common in other English-speaking nations, is not as well known in the United States. Rugby is played recreationally, professionally and in colleges, though it is not governed by the NCAA (see College rugby). There are an estimated 63,000 registered players,[3] with more than a quarter being women. The semi-professional Rugby Super League is the premier domestic competition. The sport's worldwide governing body, the International Rugby Board (IRB), has created two international competitions as part of an attempt to grow the sport in North America. The first, the North America 4, included two American teams. It was superseded in 2009 by the Americas Rugby Championship, in which a "USA Select XV", effectively the second-level national side, competes. More recently the national side has been competing at the Rugby World Cup, and the country's national team in the sevens variation of the sport has been elevated to one of the 12 "core teams" in the annual IRB Sevens World Series.
  • Australian rules football is governed by US Footy in the U.S. and, though little-known in the country, it is also a developing sport with regular international competition against Canada.
  • Curling is popular in northern states, possibly because of climate, proximity to Canada, or Scandinavian heritage.
  • Volleyball is also a notable sport in the United States, especially at the college and university levels. Unlike most Olympic sports which are sponsored widely at the collegiate level for both sexes, the support for college volleyball is dramatically skewed in favor of the women's game. Over 300 schools in NCAA Division I alone (the highest of three NCAA tiers) sponsor women's volleyball at the varsity level,[4] while only 82 schools in all three NCAA divisions combined sponsor varsity men's volleyball, with only 22 of them in Division I.[5][6][7]
  • Inline hockey was invented by Americans as a way to play the sport in all climates. The PIHA is the league with the largest number of professional teams in the nation. Street hockey is a non-standard version of inline hockey played by amateurs in informal games.
  • Ultimate (aka Ultimate Frisbee) was initially popular with high school and college students, and many now continue to play in adult recreational leagues.
  • Cricket, another common sport in Commonwealth countries, is not a popular sport in the U.S. Many amateur cricket leagues have been formed by Indian, Pakistani, Australian, South African, English and Caribbean (more specifically - West Indian) immigrants, and as a result, the sport has made limited inroads into the mainstream sports community because of a large influx of migrants from cricketing countries who make up almost 16 million of the American population. Cricket used to be the most popular sport in America during the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s till it suffered a rapid decline. In fact the first intercollegiate tournament in America was a cricket tournament. The first annual Canada vs. USA cricket match, played since the 1840s, was attended by 10,000 spectators at Bloomingdale Park in New York. The USA vs. Canada cricket match is the oldest international sporting event in the modern world, predating even today's Olympic Games by nearly 50 years. USA participated in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy where they were comprehensively beaten in matches against Australia and New Zealand.
  • Team handball, a common sport in European countries, is not a popular sport in the U.S. The sport is mostly played in the country amateurly. Handball is not a NCAA sport, but is played in the Summer Olympics. The sport's governing body is USA Team Handball.
  • Roller derby is a fast-growing contact sport played on roller skates. As of September 2009, there were 350 women's, men's, and junior leagues in the U.S.A.[8] The sport is also played in Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. The sport's national governing body is USA Roller Sports, with the Women's Flat Track Derby Association being the largest association of U.S./Canadian leagues. There are roller derby leagues in most metropolitan areas in the U.S. The vast majority of these are flat track roller derby leagues, with a handful of banked track derby leagues as well. Women's leagues make up the lion's share of them, there were 28 men's and co-ed leagues and 16 junior leagues as of September 2009. Popularized by the 2009 film Whip It.
  • Dodgeball is played recreationally by children and adults alike. Was popularized by the 2004 film comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.

Individual sports

Motor sports

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is among the world's premier racing facilities.

Motor sports are also widely popular in the United States, but Americans generally ignore major international series, such as Formula One and MotoGP, in favor of home-grown racing series. Americans, like the rest of the world, initially began using public streets as a host of automobile races. As time progressed it was soon discovered that these venues were often unsafe to the public as they offered relatively little crowd control. Promoters and drivers in the United States discovered that horse racing tracks could provide better conditions for drivers and spectators than public streets. The result has been long standing popularity for oval track racing while road racing has waned.[9]

Historically, open wheel racing was the most popular nationwide, with the Indianapolis 500 being the most widely followed race. However, an acrimonious split in 1994 between the primary league, CART (later known as Champ Car), and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (the site of the Indy 500) led to the formation of the Indy Racing League, which launched the rival IndyCar Series in 1996. From that point, the popularity of open wheel racing in the U.S. declined dramatically.[10] The feud was settled in 2008 with an agreement to merge the two series under the IRL banner, but not until enormous damage had been done to the sport.[11]

The CART-IRL feud coincided with an enormous expansion of stock car racing, governed by NASCAR, from its past as a mostly regional circuit mainly followed in the southeastern U.S. to a truly national sport. NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series generally harnesses an 8 million person audience on television, as well as sold-out crowds at many tracks that can hold up to 170,000 spectators.

Another one of the most popular forms of motorsports in the United States is the indigenous sport of drag racing. The largest drag racing organization, the National Hot Rod Association, boasts 80,000 members, more than 35,000 licensed competitors and nationwide television coverage.[12]

There are Americans participating in international motorcycle racing. Currently, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden represent the United States in MotoGp. Ben Spies and John Hopkins participate in the Superbike World Championship. Seven different Americans have won a combined fifteen championships in MotoGp. Eddie Lawson has won four championships (more than any other American). Five American riders have won eight Superbike World Championships (more than any other nationality). There are two MotoGp events held in the U.S. These include the United States motorcycle Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. World Superbike holds one race in the U.S. at Miller Motorsports Park.

Outdoor sports

Hunting and fishing are very popular in the U.S., especially in rural areas. Other popular outdoors activities in the country include hiking, mountain climbing, paintball and kayaking. In winter, many Americans head to mountainous areas for skiing and snowboarding. Cycling and road bicycle racing have increased in popularity, fueled by the success of Texan cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Other popular individual sports

Boy's high school cross country running, Roy Griak Invitational, University of Minnesota

Organization of American sports

Amateur sports

Pre-game activities at University of Tennessee football game

The extent in the United States to which sports are associated with secondary and tertiary education is rare among nations. Millions of students participate in athletics programs operated by high schools and colleges. Student-athletes often receive scholarships to colleges in recognition of their athletic potential. Currently, the largest governing body of collegiate sports is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

High school and college sports fill the developmental role that in many other countries would be the place of youth teams associated with clubs. The major professional sports leagues operate drafts once a year, in which each league's teams selected eligible prospects. Eligibility differs from league to league. Baseball and ice hockey operate minor league systems for players who have finished education but are not ready or good enough for the major leagues.

Especially in basketball and football, high school and particularly college sports are followed with a fervor equaling or exceeding that felt for professional sports; college football games can draw six-digit crowds and, for upper-tier schools, sports are a significant source of revenue.

Professional sports

There is no system of promotion and relegation in American professional sports. Major sports leagues operate as associations of franchises. The same 30-32 teams play in the league each year unless they move to another city or the league chooses to expand with new franchises.

All American sports leagues use the same type of schedule. After the regular season, the 8-16 teams with the best records enter a playoff tournament leading to a championship series or game. American sports, except for soccer, have no equivalent to the cup competitions that run concurrently with leagues in European sports. Even in the case of soccer, the cup competition draws considerably less attention than the regular season. Also, major-league professional teams in the U.S. never play teams from other organizations in meaningful games, although NBA teams have played European teams in preseason exhibitions on a semi-regular basis, and recent MLS All-Star Games have pitted top players from the league against major European soccer teams, such as members of the Premier League.

International competition is not as important in American sports as it is in the sporting culture of most other countries, although Olympic ice-hockey and basketball tournaments do generate attention. The first international baseball tournament with top-level players, the World Baseball Classic, also generated some positive reviews after its inaugural tournament in 2006.

Government regulation

No American government agency is charged with overseeing sports. However, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (http://www.fitness.gov/about_overview.htm) advises the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about physical activity, fitness, and sports, and recommends programs to promote regular physical activity for the health of all Americans. The U.S. Congress has chartered the United States Olympic Committee to govern American participation in the Olympic Movement and promote amateur sports. Congress has also involved itself in several aspects of sports, notably gender equity in college athletics, illegal drugs in pro sports, sports broadcasting and the application of antitrust law to sports leagues.

Sports media in the United States

Sports have been a major part of American broadcasting since the early days of radio. Today, television networks pay millions of dollars for the rights to broadcast sporting events. Contracts between leagues and broadcasters stipulate how often games must be interrupted for commercials. Because of all of the advertisements, broadcasting contracts are very lucrative and account for the biggest chunk of pro teams' revenues. Broadcasters also covet the television contracts for the major sports leagues (especially in the case of the NFL) in order to amplify their ability to promote their programming to the audience, especially young and middle-aged adult males.

The advent of cable and satellite television has greatly expanded sports offerings on American TV. ESPN, the first all-sports cable network in the U.S., went on the air in 1979. It has been followed by several sister networks and competitors.

Many of the professional sports teams run their own cable networks. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner started the YES Network whcih broadcasts primarily Yankees games and television shows. His starting of his own network led to almost all teams having a station for their franchises.

Despite the size of the sports market in the U.S., the country does not have a national daily sports newspaper. This is because the contiguous 48 states spread across four time zones, and games on the West Coast may not end until early morning in the East. This makes it difficult to distribute a national newspaper with the scores of late games in time for morning delivery. However, there are many American sports magazines, the best-known being Sports Illustrated.

List of major sports leagues in the United States

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Harris Poll of top sports: 2006". http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PollYear=2007. 
  2. ^ http://indianahsbasketball.homestead.com/files/gyms.htm
  3. ^ "USA country profile". International Rugby Board. http://www.irb.com/unions/union=11000012/index.html. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  4. ^ "NCAA Sports Sponsorship: Division I Women's Volleyball". NCAA. http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec/sponsorship?sortOrder=0&division=1&sport=WVB. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  5. ^ "NCAA Sports Sponsorship: Division I Men's Volleyball". NCAA. http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec/sponsorship?sortOrder=0&division=1&sport=MVB. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  6. ^ "NCAA Sports Sponsorship: Division II Men's Volleyball". NCAA. http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec/sponsorship?sortOrder=0&division=2&sport=MVB. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  7. ^ "NCAA Sports Sponsorship: Division III Men's Volleyball". NCAA. http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec/sponsorship?sortOrder=0&division=3&sport=MVB. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  8. ^ Roller Derby Worldwide
  9. ^ SpeedTV.com My Take on Open Wheel Racing In America Accessed 2008-07-22
  10. ^ Oreovicz, John (2008-01-06). "American open-wheel racing held hostage: Year 13". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/columns/story?seriesId=1&columnist=oreovicz_john&id=3180918. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  11. ^ Associated Press (2008-02-22). "After 12 years of conflict, IRL and Champ Car merge". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/news/story?seriesId=1&id=3259364. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  12. ^ Inside the NHRA: NHRA: World's largest auto racing organization

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