The Four Major Sports Leagues Have Very Different Ideas On Geography

Major League Baseball and the National Football League are similar in that both leagues have two major conferences that span from one coast to the other (NL/AL in MLB, AFC/NFC in NFL). But when it comes to dividing the teams, the two leagues have very different ideas on geography.

With the Houston Astros moving to the American League West, MLB’s 30 teams now form three natural clusters based on how their divisions are defined (East, Central, West)…

Major League Baseball Map

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

On the other hand, the NFL chose to divide their 32 teams into four geographic groups (East, North, South, West) which are much less clearly defined. And one of the contributing factors is the feeling that the NFL must maintain rivalries (e.g. Dallas and Miami in the East)…

NFL teams map

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Things are a lot different in the NBA and the NHL where each has two major conferences which are roughly divided into East and West. And then each of those conferences are then divided further into three geographic divisions. Of the four major North American sports leagues, the NBA probably does the best job of defining regions…

NBA teams map

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The NHL’s map will be much cleaner once the league figures out what to do with the Winnipeg Jets, who are still in the Southeast division after moving from Atlanta…

NHL Teams Map

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.