Three points for a win is a standard used in many sports leagues and group tournaments, especially in association football, in which three (rather than two) points are awarded to the team winning a match, with no points awarded to the losing team. If the game is drawn, each team receives one point. The system places additional value on wins compared to draws such that teams with a higher number of wins may rank higher in tables than teams with a lower number of wins but more draws.[1]

Many leagues and competitions originally awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw, before switching to the three points for a win system. The change is significant in league tables, where teams typically play 30–40 games per season.

Rationale[edit | edit source]

"Three points for a win" is supposed to encourage more attacking play than "two points for a win", as teams will not settle for a draw if the prospect of gaining two extra points (by playing for a late winning goal) outweighs the prospect of losing one point by conceding a late goal to lose the match. A second rationale is that it may prevent collusion amongst teams needing only a draw to advance in a tournament or avoid relegation. A commentator has stated that it has resulted in more "positive, attacking play".[2] However, critics suggest teams with a one-goal lead late in a match become more defensive in order to defend a lead.[3][4] The average number of goals per match in Turkey's top football division has risen significantly since the change to three points for a win.[5]

The three-point system in ice hockey – in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Sweden – had no effect on the number of goals scored. The same conclusion can be made for relative number of ties.[6]

History[edit | edit source]

In the National Hockey League in North America, a system described as "the three point win" was proposed in 2004, with three points for a win in regulation time, two for a win in overtime, and one for a tie. This proposal was put on hold by the 2004–05 NHL lockout and subsequently rejected by team owners in February 2007.[7] Instead the NHL awards two points for a win in regulation or overtime/shootout, one point for an overtime loss, and none for a regulation loss.

International competitions run by the International Ice Hockey Federation award three points for a win in regulation time and zero points for a loss. Games in IIHF competitions are not allowed to end in ties; if a game is tied after regulation each team is awarded one point and a sudden-death overtime followed by a shootout (if necessary) is played, with the winner awarded an extra point (for a total of two points).[8]

In 2009, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association adopted a system of three points for a regulation or overtime win, two for a shootout win, one for a shootout loss, and none for a regulation or overtime loss.[9] The IIHF uses a similar system for its competitions, awarding three points for a win in regulation, two points for a win in overtime or shootout, one point for a loss in overtime or shootout, and no points for a loss in regulation.[citation needed]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Enrico Franceschini (October 4, 2009). No more draws in Premier Attack and risk is better (italian).
  2. Wilson, Paul. "Mawhinney's big idea has as much appeal as American cheese", The Observer, 2007-03-18. Retrieved on 2008-02-13. “[...] three points for a win and one for a draw is the best football has yet come up with and has already produced a dramatic increase in positive, attacking play.” 
  3. Leapman, Ben (2005-09-15). How three points for a win has fouled up football. The Evening Standard. Retrieved on 2018-06-18.
  4. "DRAWS, DRAWS, DRAWS", The Guardian ("The Knowledge"), 2001-02-21. Retrieved on 2008-02-13. 
  5. Alper Duruk. Average number of goals per match in Turkish League. Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved on 2009-04-01.
  6. Marek, Patrice (2017). "Effects of Rule Changes and Three-point System in NHL". Aplimat proceedings: 1001–1013. 
  7. NHL general managers give universal thumbs down to three-point wins. Canadian Press (February 21, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-03-02. [dead link]
  8. 2015 IIHF Sport Regulations. Retrieved on 2016-12-12.
  9. CCHA Teams to Receive Three Points for a Win This Season. Ohio State Buckeyes (2009-09-28). Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved on 2009-10-11.

External links[edit | edit source]

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