Definitions

draw curtain on

Tie (draw)

To tie or draw is to finish a competition with identical or inconclusive results. The word "tie" is usually used in North America for sports such as American football, Baseball and Basketball. "Draw" is usually used in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations (except in Canada) and it is usually used for sports such as Football (soccer) and Australian rules football.

In some sports and games, ties/draws are possible, while in others they are impossible.

Notation

Tied results are typically depicted as the rank of the highest, followed by an equals sign.

Resolving tied or drawn matches

In general, there are several methods of determining a winner which are commonly used across various sports:

  • Some other measure may be used, such as aggregate point difference.
  • A game may continue on in extra time. In order to ensure a quick result, some form of sudden death rule may apply.
  • In some sports, a penalty shootout or bowl-out may occur.
  • A rematch may occur at a later date, especially if a winner must occur (in a final).
  • The result might be decided by chance (e.g. a toss of a coin) when no objective method of determining a result remains.

The rules governing the resolution of drawn matches are rarely uniform across an entire sport, and are usually specified by the rules of the competition.

Examples

  • American Football: Tie games, which were commonplace through the 1960s, have become exceedingly rare with the introduction of sudden death overtime. The most recent tie was in an NFL preseason game on August 31, 2006, when the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings played to a 10-10 draw. The most recent regular season tie happened on November 10, 2002, when the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons tied, 34-34.
    • In the National Football League, an additional period is played, and the game ends when one side scores by any method. In the regular season, if the score remains even at the end of one extra period, the game is declared a tie; in the playoffs, the game continues until a winner is determined.
    • Ties were once common in college football; however, beginning with the bowls following the 1995 season and continuing with the entire 1996 season, overtime was introduced to break regulation-length ties.
    • The unpopularity of ties in American sports is reflected in the saying, "A tie is like kissing your sister." The earliest known use of the phrase was by Navy football coach Eddie Erdelatz after a scoreless tie against Duke in 1953.
    • October 6, 1990: Kansas and Iowa State end their game in a 34-34 tie, giving KU the all-time NCAA Division I-A record for number of tie games with 57. Since then, NCAA football games have a tie-breaking rule, so only a rule change would allow this record to be broken. The only exception would be if teams agree to a draw because of severe weather conditions (if a non-conference game is tied, and severe weather strikes before overtime (lightning), the teams may agree to a draw for the safety of the players, as NCAA rules are stringent on lightning delays).
  • Association Football: If both sides have scored an equal number of goals within regulation time (usually 90 minutes), the game is usually counted as a draw. In elimination games, where a winner must be determined to progress to the next stage of the tournament, two periods of extra time are played. If the score remains even after this time, the match technically remains a draw; however, a penalty shootout (officially called "kicks from the penalty mark") is used to determine which team is to progress to the next stage of the tournament.

In two-legged matches in which a winner must be determined, extra time is not necessarily employed. If the match is level on aggregate (total) goals at the end of the second leg, some governing bodies apply the away goals rule to determine a winner. Extra time is only played if away goals do not produce a winner. All UEFA (European) club competitions use away goals; by contrast, CONMEBOL (South America) competitions did not use this rule until 2005.

  • Australian Rules Football: Draws in Australian rules football occur at an average of twice every season. If a draw occurs during the standard time of the season, the game is over and is added to the "draw" column on the ladder. If a draw occurs during the finals (excluding the Grand Final) or pre-season knockout matches, two 5-minute periods of extra time are played to determine a result. In the Grand Final however, a drawn match will result in a Grand Final Replay between the two teams one week later.
  • Baseball: Ties are relatively rare in baseball, since the practice dating back to the earliest days of the game is to play extra innings until one side has the lead after an equal number of innings played, except in spring training in which a game is called a tie after 10 innings.
    • In college baseball, a conference will declare a game may be tied in extenuating circumstances, usually in the final game of a series only:
      • The game reaches curfew time, to allow the visiting team to travel home for classes the next day. Often, the curfew time will be early, forcing the game to be started early. In these cases, the umpires will inform both head coaches.
      • If an extra inning begins, and the visiting team has scored enough runs to take the lead, but the home team has not finished its turn to bat in the extra inning, the entire inning can be wiped off and the game declared a tie.
    • In North American Major League Baseball, a game may end in a tie only due to weather or darkness (although darkness is virtually impossible now that all Major League parks have floodlights; darkness also means reaching the curfew prohibiting innings from starting after 1 AM local time). Before 2007, Tie games ended by weather were replayed from the start, but since 2007, the games are continued from where they left off. A tie game may also be declared if a game is tied, the two teams are not scheduled to play again for the remainder of the year, and the game does not affect playoff implications.
      • The 2002 All-star Game (see Major League Baseball, All-star game) was declared a tie after eleven innings, due to a lack of pitchers.
    • In Japan, a game tied after nine innings may continue for up to six extra innings or be played to four hours, after which the game is called a tie if the score is still even. Ties do not count against a team, however, and are "discarded" for purposes of winning percentage.
  • Basketball: Ties are somewhat rare in basketball due to the high-scoring nature of the game: if the score is tied at the end of regulation, the rules provide that as many extra periods as necessary will be played until one side has a higher score. However, on rare occasions time or other circumstances have not allowed a game to be completed to a decision, and a tie has been declared. If a game is non-competitive (such as an exhibition game), a draw may be declared if the scores are tied at the end of regulation.
  • Boxing: When a match ends with completion of the specified maximum number of rounds, and the judges of the match have awarded an equal amount of points to both contestants, or if there are three judges (as is the custom) and one judge awards the fight to one fighter, another awards the fight to the opposing fighter, and the third scores it a draw, the match is declared a draw. The contest would be scored a draw even if two of three judges score it a draw and the third does not. Draws are relatively rare in boxing: certain scoring systems make it impossible for a judge to award equal points for a match. If a championship bout ends in a draw, the champion usually retains the title.
  • Chess: Main article: draw (chess)
    A stalemate is one game situation by which a game can end in a draw; draws can also be the result of an agreement between the players, the fifty move rule, threefold repetition, or neither player having sufficient material to checkmate (such as King versus King and one Bishop or Knight).
  • Cricket: Cricket makes a clear distinction between a tie and a draw, which are two different possible results of a game.
    • A tie is the identical result that occurs when each team has scored the same number of runs after their allotted innings. This is very rare in Test cricket and has happened only twice in its long history, but they are slightly more commonplace in limited-overs matches.
    • A draw is the inconclusive result that occurs when the allotted playing time for the game expires without the teams having completed their innings. This is relatively common, occurring in 20-30% of Test matches. Limited-overs matches cannot be drawn, although they can end with a no result if abandoned because of weather or other factors.
  • Horse Racing: A dead heat is a tie between two or, rarely, more horses in a race. The terminology originally came from when horses used to race in matches consisting of heats, rather than single races, and the first horse winning two heats was declared the winner of the match. When the judges could not determine the first horse over the finish line, the heat was declared "dead," and did not count. Usually, a photo finish can determine the winner, but at times it is too close to call. If there is a dead heat, wagers are paid on all winning horses, but against half the original stake (or one-third if there were three tied horses, and so on). See List of dead heat horse races.
  • Ice Hockey: If the score is even after three periods, the game may end in a tie, or overtime may be played. In the National Hockey League, the regular-season tie-breaker is five minutes long, with each side playing one man short. A goal wins the game in sudden death; otherwise, a shootout will occur, with three players participating for each side. If the score is still tied, the shootout will go into sudden death. In North American minor leagues, the same procedure is used except shootouts are five players. In each case, the loser of the overtime is deemed to be a tie in regulation, and receive credit for the drawn match (one point).
  • Tennis: In most professional tennis matches at present a tie rule applies in every set in order to avoid too long playing times, as it happens quite frequently if the traditional tennis rule for winning a set is followed. When players reach a score of 6-6 in a set, instead of continuing the set until one opponent wins with a two games difference, a special game is played to decide the winner of the set; the winner is the first to reach at least seven points with a difference of two over the opponent. This special game is called tiebreak or tiebreaker.
  • Tournament Poker: Ties rarely occur, since multiple simultaneous player eliminations will rank the eliminated players by chip counts. However, if two or more players are eliminated in one hand, and both players started the hand with identical chip counts, the players will be tied in official rankings. It is impossible for poker tournaments to end in a tie (since one player must end up with all the chips), though multiple players may be tied for second place.
  • Rugby union: Draws are uncommon in rugby union due to the variety of different ways to score and different values for each type of score. Draws are allowed to stand in league play. In the knockout stages of the Rugby Union World Cup, two 10 minute periods of extra time are played. If there is still no winner, a 10 minute period of sudden death is played where any score wins the game. Should the result still be tied a drop goal competition is held where 5 players from each side take one drop kick each from different spots on the 22 metre line. No match has ever proceeded past the 20 minute period of overtime. In certain knockout competitions, if the scores are drawn after 80 minutes, the teams that have scored the most tries are considered the victors. However, if the number of tries scored are equal, the teams proceed to play overtime.
  • Rugby league: In the premier Australian rugby league competition, the National Rugby League, draws are possible but first are subject to golden point overtime. Golden point also applies to State of Origin and Rugby League Tri-Nations finals. In rugby league in the United Kingdom, draws can also occur, as in league games, if the score of both teams remain level by the end of 80 minutes play, the game ends a draw, and each team is awarded one point in the league rather than two for a win.
  • NASCAR: Ties in NASCAR almost never occur. If a NASCAR race is too close to call to the naked eye, then NASCAR refers to the timing and scoring system, which can determine margin of victory down to the thousandths of a second. The 1974 Firecracker 400 is the only case in modern history where a tie has occurred in a position; Cale Yarborough and Buddy Baker tied for third after 160 laps.

Ties in tournament play

Other examples

After the election of the Doge of Venice by a committee of 40 was deadlocked in a tie, the number of electors was increased to 41.

References

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