, a professional league
of lower skill level
than the corresponding sport's major league
. Differences in skill levels themselves exist between minor leagues.
Sometimes, an affiliation agreement of some type may exist between a major league and minor league; for example, the National Football League allocates players to NFL Europe every spring, and baseball has an elaborate ladder system of farm teams leading to the majors. Other leagues may not have a formal alliance; several independent baseball minor leagues exist, as do several independent hockey minor leagues.
Minor league teams usually play in smaller cities or towns (or in entirely different areas, in the case of NFL Europe) than the major league, in smaller stadiums or arenas, and often are based in a particular region, allowing cheaper travel, often by bus.