A closed league is a type of league where the number and the identity of the teams taking part in its activities do not change from year to year according to the performance of the member teams of that league and of other. They are the opposite of the promotion and relegation systems.


Closed leagues typically originate from North America. In Canada and in the United States, the promotion and relegation system has never quite been much popular, unlike in Europe; closed leagues have always been preferred. Outside of expansion periods, where one or several new teams can be added to a closed league according to criteria left to each league's discretion, closed leagues will tend to have a constant number of teams from season to season, and the teams participating in the league's activities tend to remain the same year after year if external factors such as financial hardships or changes in ownership do not force them to fold, relocate or become dormant.

Closed leagues often, but not always, come with a draft system allowing teams to lay hands on new young talents.

Some examples of closed leaguesEdit

In North America

In Europe

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