Why is it called best out of x number of games?

  • Thread starter TSN79
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In competitions where it's "best out of x number of games", why can't they instead just say "first to x"? If it's best out of 33 you need to do a litte math to understand that it's first to 17, so why can't they say that from the get-go instead?
 

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andrewkirk
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Your suggestion would be the best way to say it in many cases. There are some cases where it would not fit.

(1) If draws or ties are possible, then 'best of (2n-1)' is not the same as 'first to n' because fewer game wins will be needed to win the series. For instance, if it's a series of five and there are two draws then the side that wins at least two games wins the series.

(2) In some series, the full set of games is played even if a series winner has been determined before the beginning of the last game. Examples are Test Cricket series and State of Origin series (Rugby League. nobody outside Australia is likely to know what that is). The series is called a 'dead rubber' for the games played after the series result has been determined. Using the term 'first to x' implies that the series stops as soon as a winner has been determined, as happens for instance in tennis matches.
 

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