A farm team ( engl. to farm = the soil order, till ) has the task to train young players in various sports. It offers them the opportunity to gain experience in a deeper league, to be used at a later date, if the player is far enough developed in a higher league.

In addition, farm teams serve to train already established players and, for example, after an injury to introduce back to the play mode.

Farm Teams are primarily in North America but also in Europe there are similar structures. In several team sports such as hockey, basketball or American football farm teams are now well established. In football there is a similar system.

American Football

In the National Football League, there was until 2007 a ​​separate farm league, NFL Europe. For NFL Europe mainly among teams in the German-speaking countries such as the Rhein Fire, Berlin Thunder or Frankfurt Galaxy, which, however, were full ownership of the NFL.


The farm teams of teams from the Major League Baseball ( MLB) play in the leagues of Minor League Baseball, which are divided into different classes and graded according to performance level of the players. These are (downward of the best young players ):

  • AAA (Triple- A)
  • AA (Double- A)
  • A ( Single A ) High -A
  • Low -A
  • Short -Season A
  • Advanced Rookie League
  • Rookie League


The NBA itself is the owner of a whole farm league, the NBA Development League.


North America

The farm teams in North America are mainly formally independent teams, playing in the Minor Leagues, such as the American Hockey League. The teams with a higher-class team, in the case of the AHL from the National Hockey League, entered into an agreement with them that young players " off " and be trained, as well as older players can play matches there. Though the players in the squad of the farm teams include their rights to the higher-class partner who may at any time recall their players from the farm team. The AHL teams have part in turn own farm teams that are mostly located in the ECHL and sometimes even cooperate to get away with an NHL team.

Some NHL teams even act as a team owner of a farm team. To include for example the Quad City Flames (now under the name of Abbotsford Heat ) the Calgary Flames, while the New Jersey Devils are the owner of the Lowell Devils.


In Germany teams from the DEL or the 2nd Bundesliga often go into cooperation with tiefklassigeren teams. However, these collaborations are generally limited to the sporting field, it is mainly to player exchange with the help of so-called production licenses.

With change in the German league system since the introduction of the DEL in 1994, but also developed closer, the North American farm teams similar collaborations. The best known example are the second division Heilbronner Falken, who entered into a cooperation with the DEL Team Adler Mannheim. Besides the exchange of junior and mining license players prevails between the two teams cooperate in the training area, the shared use of the North American scouting system by the second division, as well as originally thought creating a corporate identity according to the North American model, with similar team colors and logos.


In European football, there is a North American farm team system like structure. However, the professional teams maintain an amateur team that works much like farm teams that belonged to the same club as a rule. Young players can collect in the Second teams experience, recovered from injuries players get some match practice. The amateur teams take either the regular operation of the amateur classes or challenge, as in the English Premier Reserve League, in their own leagues. The U.S. Major League Soccer operates, however, for several years farm team.

2006, the English club Arsenal was suspected to have the Belgian club SK Beveren taken secretly and there built up a farm team with young talent. In fact, Arsenal had the financially troubled SK Beveren provides a cash injection, but an illegal takeover it had not come.


Formula 1

In Formula 1, there are both farm teams within the series ( for example, the Scuderia Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing) and in various other series. So many Formula 1 teams in the GP2 series (or their predecessors Formula 2 and Formula 3000) are represented by our own team. Many current Formula 1 drivers (including Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hülkenberg, Pastor Maldonado, Romain Grosjean ) drove up to their Formula 1 career in the GP2 series.


The current highest class of North American NASCAR series is the Sprint Cup. Most of the teams involved, there are also represented in at least two of the other NASCAR series. In addition to various U.S. series, there are a Canadian ( NASCAR Canadian Tire Series) and two Mexican series ( NASCAR Corona Series and NASCAR Mexico T4 Series).


In cycling there are farm teams, but not every team in the highest categories UCI ProTeam and UCI Professional Continental team also has a farm team.

For example, part of the ProTeam " Rabobank " the UCI Continental Team " Rabobank Continental ", which serves as the youth team. The same is true for the ProTeam " Bouygues Telecom ", which operates the amateur team " Vendée U", " Katyusha", which uses the "Katyusha Continental Team " and " Itera - Katusha " as a farm team, as well as the "Team Garmin - Cervélo " with his farm team " Chipotle Development Team ".

The former German ProTeam " Milram " maintained until 2009 with the " Continental Team Milram " also own farm team, which was registered as UCI Continental team in the UCI World Cycling Federation.