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Encyclopedia > Playoff

A playoff in sports (North American professional sports in particular) is a game or series of games played after the regular season is over with the goal of determining a league champion, or a similar accolade. World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Professional sports are sports in which the participants receive payment for playing, as opposed to amateur sports where they are not. ...


Play-offs originated as a way to determine a champion only when the season could not, like the similarly named run-off does in elections. They have since become so popular with fans (and thus lucrative for clubs) that more sports use them every season, and include more and more teams.


In the U.S., the vast distances and consequent burdens on cross-country travel have led to regional groupings of teams, usually called divisions. Generally, during the regular season, teams play more games against opponents that are within their own grouping than those outside it. Since every team hasn't had a chance to prove itself against every other team, a playoff is necessary every season. Any team that wins its grouping is eligible to participate in the playoffs. As playoffs became more popular, they were expanded to allow teams that finished second or even lower in the grouping to participate. If a team has to be the best of all the lower-ranked teams, these teams are known as wild card teams, such as in the Major League Baseball system. In North American professional sports leagues, the term wild card refers to a team that qualifies for the championship playoffs without winning their specific subdivision (usually called a conference or division) outright. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Contents

Playoffs in the National Basketball Association

The present organization known as the National Basketball Association, then called the BAA (Basketball Association of America), had its inaugural season in 1946-1947. “NBA” redirects here. ...


In the current system, eight clubs from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the playoffs, with separate playoff brackets for each conference. In the 2002-03 season, the first-round series were expanded from best-of-5 to best-of-7; all other series have always been best-of-7. In all series, home games alternate between the two teams in a 2-2-1-1-1 format, except for the NBA Finals, in which the format is 2-3-2.


The 2-3-2 finals format was adopted for the 1985 finals, copying the format that was then in effect in the National Hockey League. Prior to 1985, almost all finals were played in the 2-2-1-1-1 format (although the 1971 finals between Milwaukee and Baltimore were on an alternate-home basis, some 1950s finals used the 2-3-2 format, and the 1975 Golden State-Washington and 1978 and 1979 Seattle-Washington finals were on a 1-2-2-1-1 basis). Also, prior to the 1980s, East and West playoffs were on an alternate-home basis except for those series when distance made the 2-2-1-1-1 format more practical.


Teams are seeded according to their regular-season record. The three division champions and best division runner-up receive the top four seeds, with their ranking based on regular-season record. The remaining teams are seeded strictly by regular-season record.


However, the NBA system differs from other sports playoffs in the fact that division champions are not guaranteed home-court advantage at any time in the playoffs, as home-court advantage is decided strictly on regular-season record, without regard to seeding.


See NBA Playoffs and 2007 NBA Playoffs for more information and the current NBA postseason. Current NBA Playoff logo. ... 2007 NBA Playoffs logo The 2007 NBA Playoffs is the postseason of the National Basketball Associations 2006-2007 season. ... “NBA” redirects here. ...


Playoffs in the National Football League

The National Football League divided its teams into divisions in 1933 and began holding a single playoff championship game between division winners. In 1950 the NFL absorbed three teams from the rival All-America Football Conference, and the former "Divisions" were now called "Conferences", echoing the college use of that term. In 1967, the NFL expanded and created four divisions under the two conferences, which led to the institution of a larger playoff tournament. After the merger with the American Football League, the NFL began to use a single wild card team in each conference in its playoffs, in order to produce eight contenders out of six divisions; this was later expanded so that more wild card teams could participate. The National Football League (NFL) is the largest and most prestigious professional American football league, consisting of thirty-two teams from American cities and regions. ... The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was a professional American football league that challenged the established National Football League (NFL) from 1946 to 1949. ... The American Football League (AFL) was a professional league of American football that operated from 1960 to 1969. ...


Major league baseball, recognizing the great success of the NFL's post-season system, also created divisions in each league when it expanded at the end of that decade, leading to its first use of regular post-season playoffs to determine league champions. Further expansion by baseball led to its own adoption of the concept of wild card teams.


In 2002 the NFL added its 32nd team, the Houston Texans, and significantly reshuffled its divisional alignment. The league went from 6 division winners and 6 wild card spots to 8 division winners and only 4 wild card qualifiers. City Houston, Texas Team colors Deep Steel Blue, Battle Red, and Liberty White Head Coach Gary Kubiak Owner Robert C. McNair General manager Rick Smith Mascot Toro League/Conference affiliations National Football League (2002–present) American Football Conference (2002-present) AFC South (2002-present) Team history Houston Texans (2002–present...


The winners of each division automatically earn a playoff spot, and the two top non-division winners from each conference will also make the playoffs as wild-card teams. The top two teams with the best records in the regular season get a first round bye, and the bottom two division winners each play one of the wild-card teams. The winners of the wild-card games then play one of the two bye teams. The winners of these two games go to the conference championships, and the winner of that game will face each other conference champion in the Super Bowl. The winning Super Bowl team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy. ...


See NFL playoffs for more information on history and current format of the playoffs. The National Football League (NFL) playoffs is a single-elimination tournament held at the end of the 16-game regular season to determine the NFL champion. ...


Playoffs in Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball is the oldest of the major professional sports, dating back to the 1870s. As such, it is steeped in tradition. The final series to determine its champion has been called the "World Series" (originally "World's Championship Series" and then "World's Series") as far back as the National League's contests with the American Association during the 1880s. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For other events named World Series, see World Series (disambiguation). ... The American Association (AA) was a baseball major league from 1882 to 1891. ...


Retaining the sanctity of the World Series as a special event (despite the erosion of its specialness since the introduction of interleague play) rather than merely the "final round of playoffs", the major leagues themselves do not use the term "playoffs" for post-season action. MLB has stuck with "____ Series" for each level of its post-season tournament (another term MLB does not use). In the Majors the singular term "playoff" is reserved for the rare situation in which two teams find themselves tied at the end of the regular season and are forced to have a playoff game (or games) to determine which team will advance to the post-season. Thus, in the Majors, a "playoff" is actually part of the regular season and thus can be called a "Pennant playoff". However, the plural term "playoffs" is conventionally used by fans and media to refer to baseball's post-season tournament (and has always been used by Minor league baseball for its own post-season play), so this article will defer to that usage. A Pennant playoff is distinguished from the conventional use of the term Playoff which indicates a post-season tournament. ... A Class A California League game in San Jose, California (1994) Minor baseball leagues are North American professional baseball leagues that compete at a level below that of Major League Baseball. ...


Baseball has always been the least generous sport in allowing teams to enter its playoff tournament, and paradoxically so, given that it also has by far the lengthiest season in terms of games (currently 162, and it has been over 150 games every season since 1920, with the exception of 1972, 1981, 1994, and 1995). In 1903, the two modern Major League Baseball leagues began annual post-season play with a one-round system in which the American League team with the best record faced the National League team with the best record in a best-of-seven series (in 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921 it was best-of-9) called the World Series; however, there was no 1904 Series because the National League Champion, the New York Giants, refused to play. This single-tiered approach persisted through 1968, even with the expansions of 1961-1962 that made it necessary for two teams each year to finish their seasons in ignominious double-digits, as it were, in tenth place. There are several different playoff formats used in various levels of competition in sports and games. ... For other events named World Series, see World Series (disambiguation). ...


Adoption of two-round playoff system

In 1969, both leagues expanded to twelve teams and this made it harder to make the World Series because there were more teams competing for the AL and NL pennants. To remedy this, and imitating the other major sports' long-standing playoff traditions, Major League Baseball split each league into Eastern and Western divisions, creating four divisions (and playoff spots) overall and no worse than a sixth place finish for any team in any division. This created a new round of playoffs, which was dubbed the League Championship Series (LCS), a best-of-five series. In 1985 the LCS was expanded to a best-of-seven series. For other events named World Series, see World Series (disambiguation). ... The League Championship Series is the official name for a round of playoffs in Major League Baseball. ... There are several different playoff formats used in various levels of competition in sports and games. ...


Current playoff system

By 1994, further expansion was making it very hard to make the playoffs again. Major League baseball went through re-alignment again, adding three divisions (East, Central, West) in each league. Because only allowing divisional winners in the playoffs would make an odd number of playoff teams in each league, three, the league also added wild-cards to each league, again imitating the NFL approach. This system was in place for 1994, but the players' strike canceled the post-season. The system was realized on the field in 1995. The wild card team would be the team with the best record in each league of all the teams that did not win their division. This doubled the playoff contenders in each league from two to four, and from four to eight teams overall. The extra playoff teams meant another elimination round was needed. This new round would become the new first round of the playoffs, the best-of-five, Division Series. This term had first been used for the extra round required in 1981 due to the "split-season" scheduling anomaly following the mid-season players' strike. The three-tiered playoff tournament is the system in use as of 2006. The 1994 baseball strike resulted in the cancellation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years. ... In baseball, the Division Series is the official name for the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. ... The 1981 baseball strike was the fifth work stoppage since 1972. ...


Some baseball purists (such as Bob Costas) do not like the idea that teams that were not consistently good enough to win their division can still win the World Series. Purists also used a similar argument when LCS teams with lesser records advanced to the Series. However, the wild card approach has proven to be a great success with the "mass market", providing the potential for a good deal of extra drama during the final month of the season, although admittedly it has sometimes taken away from the normal "pennant race" drama when the two best teams in the league happen to be in the same division. The wild card qualifier (#4 seed) has actually won more World Series than any other seed since wildcards became eligible in 1995. They have won a total of four World Series, and won three years in a row from 2002-2004, with the 2002 World Series being between both wildcards. Robert Quinlan Costas (born March 22, 1952) is an American sportscaster, on the air for the NBC network since the early 1980s. ... The 2002 World Series was among the classic matchups in the history of the Series. ...


There has been talk[citation needed] that an extra wild card team should be added to each league, and if a best-of-three wild card playoff should be added before the Division Series, though as of the mid-2000s this does not have much traction. This would be the logical next step, if and when baseball expands its playoffs again. A downside to this idea is that, even with the three-tiered system, the World Series is stretching to Halloween or even into early November (in 2001). Adding yet another tier — even for three games — would likely push the warm-weather sport's season into November every year with the potential for snow delays in northern stadiums like Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, but this could possibly be remedied by starting the season the last week of March instead of the first week of April. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in an interview on FSN, said that although he is not opposed to an extra wildcard team in each league, he doesn't want to change the playoffs yet because "the current system is working so well." Coors Field, located in Denver, Colorado is the home field of the National Leagues Colorado Rockies. ... Nickname: Location of Denver in Colorado Location of Colorado in the United States Coordinates: Country United States State Colorado City-County Denver (coextensive) Founded [1] November 22, 1858 Incorporated November 7, 1861 Government  - Type Strong Mayor/Weak Council  - Mayor John Hickenlooper (D) Area [1]  - City & County  154. ... Bud Selig Allan Huber Bud Selig, Jr. ... Fox Sports Net headquarters in Los Angeles. ...


Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, for his part, has called for each league's postseason tournament to be seeded strictly by regular-season record without regard to whether a team has won its division.[1] No major North American sports league currently uses this system in its purest form, though the NBA comes very close to doing so by treating the highest non-division team as a division winner (allowing it a higher seeding than some division winners) and awarding homecourt advantage based on record. Had Beane's proposal been in place in 2006, both leagues would have seen Division Series matchups between a division champion and a wild-card team from its division — impossible under present rules, which forbid intradivisional matchups in the first round. If it had been in place in 2004, the wild-card Boston Red Sox, with the second-best record in the American League, would have had home-field advantage in the Division Series over a division champion, which is also impossible under present rules. Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) West Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 9, 27, 34, 42, 43, (As) Name Oakland Athletics (1968–present) Kansas City Athletics (1955-1967) Philadelphia Athletics (1901-1954) (Referred to as As) Ballpark McAfee Coliseum (1968–present) a. ... William Lamar Billy Beane (born March 29, 1962 in Orlando, Florida) is a former Major League Baseball player and the current general manager of the Oakland Athletics. ... “NBA” redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In 2006, the Major League Baseball season ended with the National Leagues St. ... In baseball, the Division Series is the official name for the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. ... The 2004 MLB season was the 101st season of Major League Baseball. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 4, 8, 9, 27, 42 Name Boston Red Sox (1908–present) Boston Americans (1901-1907) Ballpark Fenway Park (1912–present) Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds (1901-1911) Major league titles World Series titles (6) 2004... American League The American League (or formally the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs) is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States of America and Canada. ... In Major League Baseball, the American League Division Series (ALDS) determines which two teams from the American League will advance to the American League Championship Series. ...


Home-field advantage

The World Series used several different formats in its early years. Initially it generally followed an alternating home-and-home pattern, except that if a 7th game was possible, its site was determined by coin toss prior the 6th game. In 1924 the Series began using a 2-3-2 format, presumably to save on travel costs, a pattern which has continued to this day with the exception of a couple of the World War II years when wartime travel restrictions compelled a 3-4 format. From the start of the 2-3-2 format through the 2002 season, home field advantage generally alternated between leagues each year. That changed starting in 2003. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


The 2002 All Star Game had ended in a tie, much to the displeasure of both fans and sportswriters who complained about a lack of intensity and competitiveness on the part of the players. This hit especially close to home for Commissioner Bud Selig, as the game had been played in his home city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In response, to give some real meaning to the game, in 2003 MLB began assigning home field advantage in the World Series to the winner of that year's All-Star Game, which is typically held in mid-July. The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also popularly known as the Midsummer Classic, is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by fan vote for the starting position players and by the manager (the managers from the previous years... Bud Selig Allan Huber Bud Selig, Jr. ... Nickname: Location of Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Coordinates: , County Milwaukee Government  - Mayor Tom Barrett Area  - City  97 sq mi (251. ...


Coupled with the American League's scheduled home field advantage in the 2002 Series, this has given the American League the home edge for five years in a row as of this writing. It did not help the Yankees in 2003 or Tigers in 2006, but arguably it gave a jump start to the Red Sox in 2004 and the White Sox in 2005, both of whom ended up sweeping their opponents in the World Series. American League The American League (or formally the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs) is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States of America and Canada. ...


League Championship Series

Until 1998, the LCS alternated home-field advantage with a 2-3 format in the best of five era (1969-84) and a 2-3-2 format when it went to best of seven (1985-present). Now home-field advantage goes to the team with the best record unless it is a wild card qualifier.


Division Series

Until 1998 the Division Series rotated which of the three division champions would not have home field advantage, with the wild card never having it. Now the two division winners with the best records in each league have home field, with the least-winning divisional winner and the wild card not having home field. The DS used a 2-3 format until 1998 and now uses a 2-2-1 format. This is seen as a much fairer distribution of home field advantage because previously under the 2-3 format, the team hosting the first two games had absoultely no chance of winning the series at home. With the current 2-2-1 format however, both teams have the home field advantage in a way. While one team gets to host three games (including the critical first and last game), the other team does get two chances out of three (games 3 and 4) of winning the series on its home field.


Playoffs in the National Hockey League

The National Hockey League has always used a playoff tournament to determine its champion, generally opening up its playoff games to a much larger number of teams, including those with a losing regular season record in some years. Because of the grueling nature of the sport, the Stanley Cup playoffs is considered to be one of the hardest championships in all of professional sports to win. “NHL” redirects here. ... The Stanley Cup The Stanley Cup (French: ) is the championship trophy of the National Hockey League (NHL), the major professional ice hockey league in Canada and the United States. ...


From the NHL's inception to 1920, when ownership of the Stanley Cup was shared between the NHL and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association the regular season was divided into two halves, with the top team from each half moving on to the league finals, which was a two-game total goals series in 1918 and a best-of-seven series in 1919. In 1920, the Ottawa Senators were automatically declared the league champion when the team had won both halves of the regular season. The two halves format was abandoned the next year, and the top two teams faced off for the NHL championship in a two-game total goals series. The Pacific Coast Hockey Association was a professional ice hockey league in western Canada, operating from 1911 to 1924 when it merged with the Western Canada Hockey League. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... This article is about the original Ottawa Senators. ...


At the time, the NHL champion would later face the winners of the PCHA and, from 1921, the Western Canada Hockey League in further rounds in order to determine the Stanley Cup champion. During this time, as the rules of the NHL and those of the western leagues differ (the main difference being that NHL rules allowed five skaters while the western leagues allowed six), the rules for each game in the Stanley Cup Final alternated between those of the NHL and the western leagues. Before the WCHL competed for the Stanley Cup, the Stanley Cup Finals was a best-of-five series. Following the involvement of the WCHL, one league champion was given a bye straight to the finals (a best-of-three affair starting in 1922), while the other two competed in a best-of-three semifinal. As travel expenses were high during these times, it was often the case that the NHL champions were sent west to compete. In a dispute between the leagues in 1923 about whether to send one or both western league champions east, the winner of the PCHA/WCHL series would proceed to the Stanley Cup Finals while the loser of the series would face the NHL champions, both series being best-of-three. The Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL), founded in 1921, was a major professional ice hockey league originally based in the prairies of Canada. ... Year 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar). ...


In 1924 the NHL playoffs expanded from two to three teams (with the top team getting a bye to the two-game total goal NHL finals), but because the first-place Hamilton Tigers refused to play under this format, the second and third place teams played for the NHL championship in a two-game total goals affair. The Stanley Cup Finals was returned to the best-of-five format the same year. The Hamilton Tigers were a National Hockey League (NHL) team that was originally based in Quebec City, Quebec and called the Quebec Bulldogs (1888-1920). ...


With the merger of the PCHA and WCHL in 1925 and its collapse in 1926, the NHL took sole control of the Stanley Cup, and from this point the NHL playoffs and the Stanley Cup playoffs are considered synonymous. The NHL was subsequently divided into the Canadian and American divisions until the 1937-38 season. For 1927, six teams qualified for the playoffs, three from each division, with the division semifinals and finals being a two-game total goals affair and the Stanley Cup Final a best-of-five affair. In 1928, the playoff format was changed so that the two teams with identical division ranking would face each other (ie. the first place teams would play each other, the second place teams play each other, and likewise for the third place teams). The first place series was a best-of-five affair, with the winner proceeding to the best-of-three Stanley Cup Finals, while the others was a two-game total goals series. The winner of the second and third place series would play each other in a best-of-three series, with the winner earning the other berth to the Stanley Cup Finals. This format had a slight modification the following year, where the semifinal series became a two-game total goals affair and the Stanley Cup Finals became a best-of-five series. The two-game total goals format was abolished in 1937, with those series being changed to best-of-three affairs. Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar). ...


The 1938-39 season saw the reduction of teams from 10 to 7, and with it an end to the Canadian and American divisions. The Stanley Cup playoffs saw the first and second place teams play against each other in a best-of-seven series for one berth in the Stanley Cup Finals, while the third to sixth place teams battled in a series of best-of-three matches for the other berth (with the third place team battling the fourth place team, and the fifth place team against the sixth place team). The playoff format introduced in the 1938-39 season had a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final, which still stands today.


The 1942-43 season saw the removal of the New York Americans, and thus the six remaining teams formed the Original Six. During this era, the playoff format went unchanged, with the first and third place teams battling in one best-of-seven semifinal, while the second and fourth place teams battled in the other best-of-seven semifinal. During this time, Detroit Red Wings fans often threw an octopus onto the ice as a good luck charm, as eight wins were required to win the Stanley Cup. The New York Americans were a NHL hockey team, the third expansion team in league history and the second to play in the United States. ... The Original Six is the term used by fans of ice hockey to refer to the six teams that made up the National Hockey League from the 1942-43 season to the leagues expansion of 1967. ... The Detroit Red Wings are a professional ice hockey team based in Detroit, Michigan. ...


The Modern Era expansion saw the number of teams double from six to twelve in the 1967-68 season, and with it the creation of the Western and Eastern Conferences. The playoff format remained largely the same, with all series remaining best-of-seven, and the Western and Eastern Conference champions battling for the Stanley Cup. The 1970-71 season, because of fan demand, brought forth the first interconference playoff matchup outside of the Stanley Cup Final since the pre-war expansion, which had the winner of the 2 vs 4 matchup in one conference take on the winner of the 1 vs 3 matchup in the other conference for a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals. The following year had one minor change to its playoff format: a stronger team would face a weaker opponent. Thus, instead of a 1 vs 3 and 2 vs 4 matchup in the first round, the first round had a 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 matchup. This practice of having stronger teams facing weaker opposition would continue to the present day.


The 1974-75 seasons saw another change to its playoff system to accommodate the league of now 18 teams, 12 of which qualified for postseason berth. The top team from each conference would earn byes to the Stanley Cup quarterfinals, while the second and third place teams from each division started their playoff run from a preliminary round. In each round of the playoffs, the teams remaining were seeded regardless of divisional or conference alignment, with the preliminary-round series being a best-of-three affair while the remainder of the series remained best-of-seven. The 1977-78 season had one minor change in its playoff format: although the second place finishers from each division would qualify for the preliminary round, the four playoff spots reserved for the third-place teams were replaced by four wild-card spots - spots for the four teams with the highest regular-season point total but which did not finish first or second in their divisions.


With the absorption of four teams from the World Hockey Association in the 1979-1980 season, a new playoff system was introduced where 16 of the league's 21 teams would qualify for postseason play. The four division winners would qualify for the playoffs while twelve wildcard positions rounded out the sixteen teams. At the beginning of each round the teams were seeded based on their regular season point totals, with the preliminary round being a best-of-five series while all other playoff series were best-of-seven. World Hockey Association logo The World Hockey Association (French: Association Mondiale de Hockey) was a professional ice hockey league that operated in North America from 1972 to 1979. ...


The 1981-1982 season brought forth the return of divisional matchups, with the top four teams from each division qualifying for the postseason play. Division champions would be determined, followed by the Conference champions, who would meet in the Stanley Cup finals. The division semifinals was a best-of-five affair until the 1986-87 season, when it became a best-of-seven series, while all other series remained best-of seven.


The 1993-94 season brought forth the change in the playoff format that would result in the format being used today. The division winners would occupy the first and second seeds while six wildcard berths completed the conference playoff draws, with all series being best-of-seven. One quirk that was abolished with division realignment in the 1998-99 season was that the higher-ranked teams in Western Conference interdivisional matchups had the option of having home ice rotate on a 2-2-1-1-1 basis or a 2-3-2 basis, and if the latter was chosen having the bulk of their games at home or on the road. The 1998-99 season also brought forth a re-seeding of conference playoff matchups after the first round, as well as a third division in each conference.


Playoffs in football (soccer)

As a rule, international football (soccer) has only had championship playoffs when a league is divided into several equal divisions/conferences/groups (MLS, Primera División de México) and/or when the season is split in two periods (many leagues in Latin America). In leagues with a single table done only once a year, as in most of Europe, playoff systems are used as outlined in the examples below. Football (soccer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... La Primera División del Futbol Mexicano is the premier football championship established by the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación in the Mexican League System. ... In recent times, many Latin American football leagues are divided in two sections per season, Apertura and Clausura, each with its own champion. ...


English League promotion playoffs

The championship of every division in English football is determined solely by the standings in the league. A championship playoff would only be held if two teams were tied for points, goal difference and goals scored; however, this has never happened.


In the earliest years of the Second Division, "test matches" decided promotion and relegation between the top teams of the Second Division and the bottom teams in the First Division. This system was abandoned by the beginning of the 20th century. A test match in football is a match played at the end of a season between a team that has done badly in a higher league and one that has done well in a lower league of the same football league system. ... In many sports leagues around the world (with North American and Australian professional leagues being the most notable exceptions), relegation (or demotion) means the mandated transfer of the least successful team(s) of a higher division into a lower division at the end of the season. ...


The use of playoffs to decide promotion issues returned to the League in 1986 with the desire to reduce the number of mid-table clubs with nothing to play for at the end of the season. The Nationwide Conference introduced playoffs in 2002 after the Football League agreed to a two-club exchange with the Conference. The Football Conference is a football league at the top of the National League System of so-called non-league football in England. ...


The top two teams in the Football League Championship and in Football League One are automatically promoted to the division above and thus do not compete in the playoffs. The top three teams in Football League Two and the champion of Conference National are also automatically promoted. In each of these divisions the four clubs finishing below the automatic promotion places compete in two-legged semi-finals with the higher-placed club enjoying home advantage in the second leg. The away goals rule does not apply for the semi-finals, which has led to some games swinging the way of a team that otherwise would have been beaten by the rule. The Football League playoff finals were originally played in two legs, at both teams' home grounds, but were later changed to one-off affairs, which are played at the Wembley Stadium in London. The Conference playoff final is also played at Wembley. The Football League Championship (often referred to as The Championship for short, the Coca-Cola Football League Championship for sponsorship reasons) is the highest division of The Football League and second-highest division overall in the English football league system after the Premier League. ... Football League One (often referred to as League One for short or Coca-Cola Football League 1 for sponsorship reasons) is the second-highest division of The Football League and third-highest division overall in the English football league system. ... Football League Two (often referred to as League Two for short or Coca-Cola Football League 2 for sponsorship reasons) is the third-highest division of The Football League and fourth-highest division overall in the English football league system. ... Conference National (currently billed as the Nationwide Conference for sponsorship reasons) is the top division of the Football Conference. ... The away goals rule is a method of breaking ties in football and other sports when teams play each other twice, once at each teams home ground. ... Wembley Stadium is a football stadium in Wembley, London, England. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... The Football Conference is a football league at the top of the National League System of non-League football in England. ...


In 2003 Gillingham F.C. proposed replacing the current playoff system with one involving six clubs from each division and replacing the two-legged ties with one-off matches. If adopted, the two higher-placed clubs in the playoffs would have enjoyed first-round byes and home advantage in the semi-finals. It was a controversial proposal — some people did not believe a club finishing eighth in the League could compete in the Premiership while others found the system too American for their liking. Although League chairmen initially voted in favour of the proposal, it was blocked by The FA and soon abandoned. For the team based in Dorset, see Gillingham Town F.C. Gillingham Football Club is an English professional football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent, currently playing in the Football League One. ... For the Scottish equivalent see Scottish Premier League The FA Premier League (often referred to as the Barclays Premiership in England and the Barclays English Premier League or just simply The EPL internationally) is a league competition for football clubs located at the top of the English football league system... The Football Association (The FA) is the governing body of football in England and the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. ...


Italian Serie B

In 2004-05, Italy's professional league introduced a promotion playoff to its second tier of football, Serie B. It operates almost identically to the system currently used in England. The top two clubs in Serie B earn automatic promotion to Serie A with the next four clubs entering a playoff to determine who wins the third promotion place, as long as fewer than 10 points separate the third and fourth-placed teams (which often occurs). Serie B is the name of the second highest football league in Italy. ... This article is about the Italian football (soccer) league. ...


Comparison between Italian and English systems

  • Like the English playoffs, the Italian playoffs employ two-legged semifinals, with the higher finisher in the league table earning home advantage in the second leg. If the teams are level on aggregate after full time of the second leg, away goals are not used, but extra time is used. If the tie is still level after extra time, the team that finished higher in the league qualifies.
  • Unlike England, the Italian playoff final is two-legged, again with the higher finisher earning home advantage in the second leg. Again, in case the tie is level after extra time of the second leg, the higher classified team qualifies.

Dutch league

In The Netherlands, a playoff was introduced in season 2005-2006. It is used to determine which teams from the Eredivisie qualify for European football. The playoff system has been criticized by clubs, players and fans as the number of matches will increase. The runner-up may not therefore end up playing in Europe. Motto: Je Maintiendrai (Dutch: Ik zal handhaven, English: I Shall Uphold) Anthem: Wilhelmus van Nassouwe Capital Amsterdam1 Largest city Amsterdam Official language(s) Dutch2 Government Parliamentary democracy Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Beatrix  - Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende Independence Eighty Years War   - Declared July 26, 1581   - Recognised January 30, 1648 (by Spain... The Eredivisie (English: Honorary Division) is the highest football league in the Netherlands. ...


Playoffs are also used for relegation to the Eerste Divisie, the Dutch second football league. The Eerste Divisie is an division for clubs who are relegated from the Eredivisie,but the champion of the Eerste Divisie promotes to the Eredivisie,and the clubs who ended position 2-7 play Nacompetitie,and the number 1 of the group also promotes to the Eredivisie. ...


Belgian league

In the Belgian Jupiler League, the 17th team (out of 18) in the final standings has to join a playoff pool together with three teams from the Belgian Second Division after each season, to determine which of these teams gets to play in the Jupiler League the oncoming season. Originally, these playoffs were introduced in 1974 and were part of the Belgian Second Division, to determine which team was allowed to promote to the highest level together with the division champions. But from the 2005-06 season on, only one team got demoted directly from the Jupiler League, with the 17th team taking part in the playoff. As a result, this playoff is still called the Belgian Second Division Final Round, although one team from the Jupiler League now takes part each year. The Belgian First Division, also known as Jupiler League (for sponsorship reasons), is the top competition in Belgian football (soccer). ... The Belgian Second Division is the second-highest division in Belgian football. ... The Belgian First Division, also known as Jupiler League (for sponsorship reasons), is the top competition in Belgian football (soccer). ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... The 2005/06 season of the Belgian Jupiler League began on August 5, 2005 and is expected to end on May 8, 2006. ... The Belgian Second Division Final Round is the name of the playoff part of the Belgian Second Division. ...


Scottish league

The Scottish Premier League experimented briefly with playoffs in the mid-1990s, with only one team - Dundee United - achieiving promotion through it (Partick Thistle were relegated at their expense). Currently, the bottom team is relegated to the First Division of the Scottish Football League, and the top team from there is promoted. In the First/Second and Second/Third Division, while the champions are automatically promoted and the bottom team relegated, there are playoffs of the second-bottom teams against the second, third and fourth placed teams from the league below. Home and away ties decide semi-finals and a final, and the overall winner plays in the higher league the following season, with the loser in the lower league. The Scottish Premier League (SPL) is the top division within the current structure of football in Scotland. ... Dundee United Football Club is a Scottish professional football club located in the city of Dundee. ... Partick Thistle Football Club is a Scottish professional football club from the city of Glasgow. ... The Scottish Football League is a league of football teams in Scotland. ...


Major League Soccer

In Major League Soccer in the U.S., at the end of the regular season, the top four teams in each Conference advance to the Conference Semifinals, the first round of the postseason knockout tournament. The winner of each conference will play for the MLS Cup, the league championship. Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league with teams in the United States and Canada. ... For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ... The regular season is a term used, primarily, in North American sports. ... A playoff in sports (North American professional sports in particular) is a game or series of games played after the regular season is over with the goal of determining a league champion. ... The Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy The MLS Cup is the final game of the Major League Soccer postseason, officially recognized as the championship of the league. ...


Conference Semifinal series are conducted under a home-and-away, aggregate-goal format, with single-game Conference Championships determining the MLS Cup Finalists. For each Conference, the 1st seed plays the 4th seed, and the 2nd seed faces the 3rd seed in the Conference Semifinal series, with the lower seeded team hosting the first game.


The team that scores the most goals in the home-and-away series advances to the single elimination Conference Championship. If the teams are tied after 180 minutes in the Conference Semifinal series, a 30-minute extra time period (divided into two 15-minute periods) would be played followed by a penalty-kick shootout, if necessary. The team with the higher seed between the two Conference finalists will host the Conference Championship game.


In the case of ties after regulation in the Eastern and Western Conference Championship games and MLS Cup, 30 minutes of extra time (divided into two 15-minute periods) would be played followed by a penalty-kick shootout, if necessary, to determine the winners.


International playoffs

In international football, playoffs were a feature of the 1954 and 1958 FIFA World Cup final tournaments. They are still a feature of the qualification tournaments for the FIFA World Cup and the European Football Championship. Football (soccer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Qualifying countries The 1954 Football World Cup was held in Switzerland. ... Qualifying countries The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from June 8 to June 28. ... The FIFA World Cup Trophy, which has been awarded to the world champions since 1974. ... The UEFA European Championship is the main football competition of the mens national football teams governed by the UEFA. Held every four years since 1960, in the even-numbered year between World Cup tournaments, it was originally called the European Nations Cup, changing to the name European Football Championship...


In the qualification playoffs for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, for example: In the qualification process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, 197 teams from the six FIFA confederations were allocated a share of the 31 spots available on the basis of the strength of their teams. ... Qualifying countries The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th staging of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international association football world championship tournament. ...

The Football World Cup 2006 - European Qualification Playoffs are a set of home-and-away playoffs to decide the final three places granted to national football teams from European nations (more precisely, UEFA members) for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. ... Listed below are the dates and results for the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds for Oceania. ... The Football World Cup 2006 - Oceania - South America Qualification Playoff was a home and away playoff between the following teams: The winners of the Oceania qualifying tournament, Australia The fifth placed team from the South American qualifying tournament, Uruguay. ... Listed below are the dates and results for the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds for South America. ... Listed below are the dates and results for the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds for Asia. ... The Football World Cup 2006 - Asia-CONCACAF Qualification Playoff was a home-and-away playoff between the following teams: The fifth-place team of the Asia qualifying tournament, Bahrain. ... Listed below are the dates and results for the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds for North, Central America and Caribbean. ...

Knockout competitions

In addition to their league competitions, most European footballing nations also have knockout cup competitions - English football, for example, has the FA Cup and the League Cup. These competitions are open to many teams—92 clubs compete for the League Cup, and hundreds compete for the FA Cup. These competitions run concurrently with the "regular season" league competitions and are not regarded as playoffs. Example of a single-elimination tournament bracket A single-elimination tournament, also called a knockout or sudden death tournament, is a type of tournament where the loser of each match is immediately eliminated from winning the championship or first prize in the event. ... Note: for the full results of all FA Cup finals, see FA Cup Final The FA Cup — this is the fourth trophy, in use since 1992, and identical in design to the third trophy introduced in 1911. ... The Football League Cup, commonly known as the League Cup, is an English football competition. ...


Playoffs in Australian rules football and Australian rugby league

Playoffs are used in both the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL), where they are known as finals (in rugby league, also as semi finals or semis) - although unlike North American leagues, participating teams only come from within a single division, and also consist of single matches rather than series. The term playoff was used in the NSWRL competition to describe sudden death matches used as tie breakers for finals qualification. This article is about the national league in Australian rules football. ... The National Rugby League (NRL) is the top league of professional rugby league football clubs in Australasia. ... The old NSWRL Logo The New South Wales Rugby League premiership was a major rugby league competition run mostly in New South Wales, but later in other parts of the country between 1908 and 1994. ...


In both leagues, the top eight teams at the end of the regular season qualify for the finals. Although the systems used in both leagues are slightly different, both involve two teams being eliminated in each round until only two teams remain (the participants in the Grand Final), and both are structured so that higher-ranked teams are given a more advantageous draw. A Grand Final is the culmination of a series of final matches played between a number of sporting teams to decide the premier team. ...


The system used by the AFL works as follows:


Week One

  • First-ranked team vs fourth-ranked team (1st Qualifying Final)
  • Second-ranked team vs third-ranked team (2nd Qualifying Final)
  • Fifth-ranked team vs eighth-ranked team (1st Elimination Final)
  • Sixth-ranked team vs seventh-ranked team (2nd Elimination Final)

The winners of the qualifying finals advance directly to week three, while the losers of the elimination finals are eliminated. The remaining four teams continue on to week two.


Week Two

  • Loser of 2nd qualifying final vs winner of 2nd elimination final (1st Semi-Final)
  • Loser of 1st qualifying final vs winner of 1st elimination final (2nd Semi-Final)

The two winners advance to week three while the losers are eliminated.


Week Three

  • Winner of 1st qualifying final vs winner of 1st semi-final (1st Preliminary Final)
  • Winner of 2nd qualifying final vs winner of 2nd semi-final (2nd Preliminary Final)

The two winners advance to the Grand Final, held in week four at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. “MCG” redirects here. ...


The McIntyre Final Eight System, used by the NRL but previously used by the AFL, works as follows: The McIntyre Final Eight System was devised by Ken McIntyre in addition to the McIntyre Four, Five and Six systems. ...


Week One

  • First-ranked team vs eighth-ranked team (4th Qualifying Final)
  • Second-ranked team vs seventh-ranked team (3rd Qualifying Final)
  • Third-ranked team vs sixth-ranked team (2nd Qualifying Final)
  • Fourth-ranked team vs fifth-ranked team (1st Qualifying Final)

After this round, the four winners are ranked in order of their positions at the end of the regular season, as are the four losers. The two highest ranked winners advance directly to week three, while the two lowest ranked losers are eliminated. The remaining four teams continue on to week two.


Week Two

  • Third highest-ranked winner vs highest-ranked loser (1st Semi Final)
  • Fourth highest-ranked winner vs second highest-ranked loser (2nd Semi Final)

The two winners advance to week three while the losers are eliminated.


Week Three

  • Highest-ranked winner from Week One vs winner of 1st semi-final (1st Preliminary Final)
  • Second highest-ranked winner from Week One vs winner of 2nd semi-final (2nd Preliminary Final)

The two winners advance to the Grand Final, held in week four at Telstra Stadium in Sydney. This page is for Telstra Stadium, Sydney. ... This is about the city of Sydney in Australia. ...


Playoffs in English rugby

In the Guinness Premiership the top four qualify for the playoffs, where they are not referred to by that name. Here, the team who finished first after the league stage plays the team who finished fourth, while the team who finished second plays the team who finished third in the Semi-Finals with the higher-ranked team having homefield advantage. The winners of these semi-finals qualify for the Premiership Final at Twickenham, where the winner will be champions of the league. The Guinness Premiership is a professional league competition for rugby union clubs in the top division of the English rugby system. ... Twickenham Stadium (usually known as just Twickenham or Twickers[1]) is a stadium located in Twickenham, a suburb of south-west London (in the historic county of Middlesex). ...


The system used in the rugby league Super League is more complex. Introduced in 1998 it originally featured the top five highest-ranked teams after the 28 regular league rounds but since 2000 the play-offs added an extra spot to allow the top six to qualify. The current format works like this: Rugby league football (often shortened to rugby league) is a full-contact team sport played with a prolate spheroid-shaped ball by two teams of thirteen on a rectangular grass field. ... Super League (Europe) began in March 1996 and is the only full-time professional rugby league competition operating in the northern hemisphere. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... A play-off structure involving the top five teams was used to determine the winners of the Super League competition in British rugby league until 1999. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A play-off structure involving the top six teams has been used to determine the winners of the Super League competition in British rugby league since 2000. ...


Week One

  • Elimination Semi-final A: 3rd vs 6th
  • Elimination Semi-final B: 4th vs 5th

Week Two

  • Elimination Final: Winners of Elimination Semi-final A vs Winners of Elimination Semi-final B
  • Qualification Match: 1st vs 2nd

Week Three

  • Final Qualifier: Winners of Elimination Final vs Losers of Qualification Match

Week Four

  • Grand Final: Winners of Qualification Match vs Winners of Final Qualifier at Old Trafford

This format is also used by the Rugby League National Leagues to determine which teams gets promoted. Old Trafford (given the nickname The Theatre of Dreams by Sir. ... The Rugby League National Leagues (currently known as the LHF Healthplan National Leagues as a result of sponsorship) form the basis for rugby league competition in Great Britain below Super League. ...


Playoffs in French rugby

The highest level of French rugby union, the Top 14, uses a playoff system identical to that used in the Guinness Premiership, with the top four teams after the double round-robin season qualifying. While the teams are seeded in the same manner as in the English playoffs, the semifinals in France are held at neutral sites. The winners of these semifinals qualify for the final at Stade de France, where the winner will be champions of the league and receive the Bouclier de Brennus. The Top 14 is a rugby union club competition which is played throughout France. ... The Stade de France and the district of La Plaine The Stade de France (the English translation Stadium of France is not used) is a stadium in an inner suburb of Paris, and the national stadium of France, built for the 1998 Football World Cup. ... Bouclier de Brennus The Bouclier de Brennus, or Brennus Shield in English, is a trophy awarded to the winners of the French rugby union domestic league. ...


The second level, Rugby Pro D2, uses a four-team playoff similar to that used in English football, but consisting of one-off knockout matches instead of two-legged ties, to determine the second of two teams promoted to the next season's Top 14 (the champions earn automatic promotion). Rugby Pro D2, also known as Pro D2 is the second level of domestic club rugby union in France, below the first division, Top 14. ...


Playoffs in New Zealand rugby

Both domestic competitions in New Zealand rugby — the fully professional Air New Zealand Cup and the nominally amateur Heartland Championship — use a playoff system to determine their champions, although the term "playoff" is also not used in New Zealand. The Air New Zealand Cup (also referred to by its previous name of the National Provincial Championship, its abbreviation of NPC, or for sponsorship reasons as the Air New Zealand NPC) is New Zealands professional domestic rugby union competition. ... The Heartland Championship, known for sponsorship reasons as the AA Rewards Heartland Championship,[1] is an amateur domestic rugby union competition in New Zealand. ...


Air New Zealand Cup

In the 2006 Air New Zealand Cup, the first season of the revamped domestic structure in that country, the top six teams after Round One of the competition automatically qualified for the playoffs, officially known as Round Three. Their relative seeding was determined by their standings at the end of the Top Six phase of Round Two. The teams that finish below the top six entered repechage pools in Round Two, with the winner of each pool taking up one of the final two playoff slots. The seventh seed was the repechage winner with the better record, and the eighth seed was the other repechage winner. The 2006 Air New Zealand Cup is a provincial rugby union competition involving 14 teams from New Zealand. ...


Starting in 2007, the former Rounds One and Two will be collapsed into a single pool phase of play in which all teams will participate, with the top eight teams advancing to the playoffs. The 2007 Air New Zealand Cup is a provincial rugby union competition involving 14 teams from New Zealand. ...


The playoff, both in 2006 and 2007, consists of a single-elimination tournament. The teams are bracketed in the normal fashion (1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5), with the higher seed receiving home-field advantage. After the quarterfinals, the playoff is rebracketed, with the highest surviving seed hosting the lowest surviving seed and the second-highest surviving seed hosting the third surviving seed. The winners of these semifinals qualify for the Air New Zealand Cup Final, held at the home ground of the higher surviving seed.


Heartland Championship

In this competition, teams play for two distinct trophies — the more prestigious Meads Cup and the Lochore Cup. The 12 Heartland Championship teams are divided into two pools for round-robin play in Round One, with the top three in each pool advancing to the Meads Cup and the bottom three dropping to the Lochore Cup.


Round Two in both the Meads and Lochore Cups is an abbreviated round-robin tournament, with each team playing only the teams it did not play in Round One. The top four teams in the Meads Cup pool at the end of Round Two advance to the Meads Cup semifinals; the same applies for the Lochore Cup contestants.


The semifinals of both cups are seeded 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3, with the higher seeds earning home field advantage. The semifinal winners advance to their respective cup final, hosted by the higher surviving seed.


Playoffs in the Canadian Football League

The playoffs begin in November. After the regular season, the top team from each division has an automatic home game berth in the Division Final, and a bye week during the Division Semifinal. The second-place team from each division hosts the third-place team in the Division Semifinal, unless the fourth-place team from the opposite division finishes with a better record (this provision is known as the crossover rule, and while it implies that it is possible for two teams in the same division to play for the Grey Cup, no crossover team has ever won the Semifinal game). The winners of each Division's Semifinal game then travel to play the first place teams in the Division Finals. Since 2005, the Division Semifinals and Division Finals have been sponsored by Scotiabank and are branded as the "Scotiabank East Championship" and "Scotiabank West Championship".[2] The two division champions then face each other in the Grey Cup game, which is held on the third or fourth Sunday of November. Then Prime Minister Joe Clark presents the 1979 Grey Cup to victorious Edmonton Eskimos Danny Kepley and Tom Wilkinson. ... Scotiabank (TSX: BNS NYSE: BNS), formally known as The Bank of Nova Scotia is one of Canadas Big Five banks. ...


The Edmonton Eskimos are notable for qualifing for the CFL playoffs every year from 1972 to 2005, a record in North American pro sports. The Edmonton Eskimos are a Canadian Football League team based in Edmonton, Alberta. ... The 1972 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 19th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 15th Canadian Football League season. ... The 2005 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 52nd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 48th Canadian Football League season. ...


Trivia

  • The relegation playoffs are called playouts in Italy.[citation needed]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Verducci, Tom (2006-10-06). Beane has his day. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved on 2006-10-11.
  2. ^ Partnership of champions. CFL.ca (2005-08-08). Retrieved on 2006-12-03.

The first issue of Sports Illustrated, August 16, 1954, showing Milwaukee Braves star Eddie Mathews at bat in Milwaukee County Stadium. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... October 11 is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... December 3 is the 337th (in leap years the 338th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Playoff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4388 words)
In the Majors the singular term "playoff" is reserved for the rare situation in which two teams find themselves tied at the end of the regular season and are forced to have a playoff game (or games) to determine which team will advance to the post-season.
In each round of the playoffs, the teams remaining were seeded regardless of divisional or conference alignment, with the preliminary-round series being a best-of-three affair while the remainder of the series remained best-of-seven.
Playoffs are also used for relegation to the Eerste Divisie, the Dutch second football league.
playoff - definition of playoff in Encyclopedia (3245 words)
This new round would become the new first round of the playoffs, the best-of 5, division series (this round was also used in 1981 due to a scheduling anamoly due to a strike).
In each round of the playoffs, the teams remaining were seeded regardless of divisional or conference alignment, with the preliminary-round series being a best-of-three affair while the remainer of the series remained best-of-seven.
The use of playoffs to decide promotion issues finally returned to the League in 1986 with the desire to reduce the number of mid-table clubs with nothing to play for at the end of the season.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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