Failed Sports Leagues

World Hockey Association

The rise and fall of the World Hockey Association (1972-1979) is well documented. The WHA set out to bring hockey to secondary Canadian and major American markets that didn’t already have teams. They also poached talent from the NHL, offering more money to persuade talent to jump ship.

Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, and Frank Mahovlich were among those that opted to join the new league. A few of the teams in the WHA included the Edmonton Oilers, the New England Whalers, and the Quebec Nordiques, among others. Unfortunately, stability was never attained and the WHA was forced to merge with the NHL in 1979.

Xtreme Soccer League

The XSL was an indoor soccer league that began in 2008, lasted only one 20-game season, and folded in 2009. Its inception closely followed the collapse of the Major Indoor Soccer League, and consisted of just four teams. It was billed as the next phase in the evolution of indoor soccer. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

Unfortunately, the Xtreme Soccer League wasn’t prepared for the Xtreme Recession of 2008 and mercifully, they closed their doors.

Image via ATL Soccer

Slamball

Have you ever watched a game of professional basketball and thought, “This sport could really use some trampolines!” Well, you’re not alone.

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Back in 2002, Slamball dunked on the entire world with its unique, high-octane alternative to basketball. It aired on Spike TV for two seasons, had a stint with NBC in 2008, and then pivoted to The Cartoon Network that same year.

Today, Slamball still exists. Though it’s no longer televised, people do still play it, and the league is still operational. But they’re on this list because of the metaphorical air-ball on their TV presence.

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