Failed Sports Leagues
Colored Hockey League
The Colored Hockey League was founded in 1895 and remains the first (and only) all-black hockey league to ever exist. It provided African-Canadian ice hockey players the opportunity to compete across the country. At the time, it was considered progressive to allow black people to play hockey.
Though the league didn’t last long enough to see the 1930s, it’s credited with a few major ice hockey innovations. It was the first league to allow a goalie to leave his feet when covering the puck. And, Eddie Martin of the Colored Hockey League’s Halifax Eureka is credited as the first person to ever use a slapshot.
American Basketball Association
Much like the aforementioned World Hockey Association, the American Basketball Association had its sights set on professional sport domination. The ABA was founded in 1967, and set out to challenge the relatively new and small NBA.
They instituted a 30 second shot clock (which would soon change), they co-opted a previous league’s 3-point rule, and built their league on a foundation of flashy, high paced play. But did it fail? Sort of. The ABA would merge with the NBA in 1976, bringing with them the 3-point rule.
The United States Football League
Americans sure do love their football. The USFL, or the United States Football League, was the brain child of New Orleans businessman David Dixon. He drafted a game plan back in 1967 to build a spring/summer football league to fill the void left by the NCAA and NFL off-seasons. And, in 1983, investors took Dixon’s plan and made it a reality.
Funny story. Donald Trump is actually credited with destroying the league in 1985. It’s a complex story that you can dive into here. But the gist of it is, a 37-year-old Trump pushed to move the league’s season to the fall, sued the NFL, won the lawsuit (sort of) and quickly folded.