5 Leagues And Tournaments Fostering Emerging Sports

As the sporting world plays host to many new thrilling professional games and hybrid activities, governing bodies emerge to meet their organizational and officiating needs. From virtual players to high-contact athletes, participants rely on these organizations to offer direction and oversight. In no particular order, here are some associations providing competitive structure for novel sports.

Starting off at #1, the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour is a global tournament series for the popular fighting game developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Enthusiasts can view the action through the organizers' streaming videos, or actively participate in over a dozen events around the world. The series runs for eight to nine months and includes both Tenkaichi and Saga events.

Tenkaichi events are regional meets that allow players to develop strategies and hone skills, while gaining points that count towards the worldwide ranking. Meanwhile, Saga events give participants a chance to compete against the strongest players across the globe to win a spot at the Finals, as well as a shot at the title of Grand Champion. Finally, the Last Chance Qualifier tournament, which occurs at Finals, leads into a 16-person double elimination bracket to determine the last spot in the championships lineup.

Next at #2, United States Futsal Federation governs the sport of Five-a-Side Soccer. Officially known as Futsal, the sport is the international form of indoor soccer and is approved by the Federation Internationale de Football Association. It is played in over 100 countries, and has amassed a membership of 12 million players worldwide. USFF maintains a schedule of yearly clinics, including instructional programs for players at the youth and senior levels, as well as educational courses for coaches and referees.

Participating teams range from youth clubs for players under twelve, to senior level play for both men and women. A National Futsal Championship is held each year to determine the best clubs in the country at various age levels. Additionally, U.S. Futsal manages player selection for the National Seniors Team for participation in the Pacific Rim Cup, World Cup, and other international matches.

Entering the list at #3 is the Drone Racing League. As the global property for professional drone racing pilots, DRL showcases a blend of innovative technology, immersive environments, and intense races on prominent networks around the world, including NBC Sports, Sky Sports, ProSieben, and Weibo. Using custom-built, remote-controlled flyers that can travel 90 miles per hour, pilots race through intricate courses across virtual and physical competitions.

DRL helps organize several events nationwide and around the world, including races in Miami, Boston, and Atlanta, as well as Munich. Pilots may also participate in freestyle and stunt events, like pitting drones against drift cars, or performing aeronautical maneuvers over an active volcano. Meanwhile, enthusiasts can play the DRL Simulator, available on Xbox, to test their piloting skills through virtual realms or by competing with friends in multiplayer mode.

Coming in at #4, the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association was founded by a group of enthusiastic players and leaders in an effort to introduce the local video game and esports scene to a global audience. According to the Association, more than a million people have participated in its gaming events since 2008. SCOGA runs three initiatives to support its mission: the Esports Academy, Campus Game Fest, and Campus Legends.

Through the Esports Academy, SCOGA gives youth a pathway toward becoming athletes, coaches, managers, and professionals in the gaming medium. Likewise, the Association's Campus Legends program is a competitive event that engages and educates young players in aspects of the sport that lead to careers in the wider industry. Individuals face off against each other while gaining skills like discipline, teamwork, communication, and resilience. Finally, Campus Game Fest provides a venue for several interactive digital lifestyle activities in arts, gaming, and entertainment.

Lastly, at #5, is the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. As the international governing body of women's flat track roller derby, the organization represents more than 450 member leagues around the world. W.F.T.D.A. sets the international standards for rankings, rules, and competition each year, and provides guidance and resources for the sport. The group also serves as a hub for leagues to network and collaborate.

A fast-paced, contact team sport, flat track roller derby requires speed, strategy, and athleticism. W.F.T.D.A. offers opportunities for women, women-identifying, and gender expansive community members to lead within the sport. The Association sanctions several tournaments a year and provides oversight for meets, like Continental Cups, playoffs, and championships. In addition, W.F.T.D.A. offers several educational resources, including skater training and officiating courses.