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A league system is a hierarchy of leagues in a sport, usually with a system of promotion and relegation between consecutive levels of the hierarchy. They are often called pyramids due to their tendency to split into an increasing number of regional divisions the further down the pyramid one descends. League systems are used in a number of sports, especially association football, rugby league and rugby union.
In North America, a similar league system exists, but without promotion or relegation. Most professional sports are divided into major and minor leagues. While baseball and association football (known as soccer in North America) have well-defined pyramid shapes to their minor league hierarchies, ice hockey's professional minor league system is linear, with one league at each level. The systems for American football and basketball are far less organized due to the influence of college sports via the NCAA effectively acting as a second tier which is disallowed by amateurism rules from allowing a true league system from being formed.
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