Bye (sports)
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A bye in sports (and certain other competitions) refers to organizers scheduling a competitor not to participate in a given round of competition, due to one of several circumstances. In
knockout (elimination) tournaments
knockout (elimination) tournaments
they can be granted either to reward the highest ranked participant(s) or assigned randomly - to make a working
bracket A bracket is either of two tall fore- or back-facing punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding ...
if the number of participants is not a
power of two Visualization of powers of two from 1 to 1024 (20 to 210) A power of two is a number of the form where is an integer An integer (from the Latin wikt:integer#Latin, ''integer'' meaning "whole") is colloquially defined as a number that can b ...
(e.g. 16 or 32). In round-robin tournaments, usually one competitor gets a bye in each round when there are an odd number of competitors, as it is impossible for all competitors to play in the same round. However, over the whole tournament, each plays the same number of games as well as sitting out for the same number of rounds. The "Berger Tables" used by
FIDE The International Chess Federation or World Chess Federation, commonly referred to by its French acronym An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase, usually using individual initial letters, as ...
for chess tournaments, provide pairings for even numbered pools and simply state that "Where there is an odd number of players, the highest number counts as a bye." Similar to the round-robin context, in league sports with weekly regular-season play such as
gridiron football Gridiron football,"Gridiron football"
''Encyclopædia Britannica''. Retrie ...
or
rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
, a team not scheduled to play on a given week or fixture (competition period) can be said to be on its "bye week". Byes are necessary if there is an odd number of teams, but may be used even with an even number of teams, to provide rest breaks, as has been done in the
NFL The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven player ...
.


Elimination tournaments

In a standard
single-elimination tournament upright=1.3, The tournament has been completed until the semifinals, the winner of Lisa-Ernie match and Andrew-Robert match will play in the final. A single-elimination, knockout, or sudden death tournament is a type of elimination tournament wh ...
, each round has half the number of teams as the preceding round. Thus the finals will have two, the semi-finals will have four, the quarter finals will have eight, etc. Thus tournaments with competitors numbering a power of two can have a standard bracket in which all teams are paired up with the loser of each match eliminated and the winner moving on to the next round until only one champion remains. However, if the number of teams is not a power of two, a simple elimination tournament would eventually produce a round with an odd number of teams (if the number is not odd to start with). For example, a tournament of nine teams could only have four matches in the first round, while a simple tournament of ten teams would produce a second round with five teams, meaning only two matches could occur. Thus, if the number of participants is not a power of two (e.g. 16 or 32), to make a working
bracket A bracket is either of two tall fore- or back-facing punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding ...
byes are provided to automatically move certain participants into a later round without requiring them to compete in an earlier one. When participants are ranked, participants with the highest ranking going into the tournament are given a bye to the second round, as it is generally seen as an advantage to be assured entry into a later round. In the
NFL playoffs The National Football League (NFL) playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held after the regular season to determine the NFL champion. Currently, seven teams from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the playoffs. A tie-break ...
, for example, as of , the division-leader with the best record in each conference is given a bye to the second round. The
Canadian Football League The Canadian Football League (CFL; french: Ligue canadienne de football, LCF, links=no) is a professional sports league in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten pr ...
(CFL) also grants a bye to its two division winners, directly to the division finals as four other teams compete in a semi-final week. In other tournaments where teams are unranked, random draw may be used to determine the byes. The number of teams offered a bye is generally designed to ensure that the next round consists of a power-of-two number of teams so the tournament can proceed as a simple single-elimination tournament from that round onward. If the byes are all single first-round byes into the second round of a tournament, the number of byes required is the difference between the number of teams and the next-highest power of two. For example, a 12-team tournament will require four byes (16−12) to ensure that instead of six teams in the second round, eight advance (as the four byes avoid two of the four teams being eliminated).


Examples from Gaelic football

In the Provincial Championships of
Gaelic football Gaelic football ( Irish: ''Peil Ghaelach''; short name ''Peil'' or '' Caid''), commonly referred to as football Football is a family of team sport A team is a 2012_Connacht_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_a_quarter-final_was_not_played_by_ 2012_Connacht_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_a_quarter-final_was_not_played_by_Mayo_GAA">Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_
2012_Connacht_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_a_quarter-final_was_not_played_by_Mayo_GAA">Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_ Leitrim_and_London_GAA.html"__"title="Leitrim_GAA.html"_;"title="Mayo_GAA.html"_;"title="Connacht_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Connacht_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_a_quarter-final_was_not_played_by_Mayo_GAA">Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_Leitrim_GAA">Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship.html" ;"title="Leitrim_GAA">Leitrim_and_
2012_Connacht_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_a_quarter-final_was_not_played_by_Mayo_GAA">Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_Leitrim_GAA">Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_five_teams_were_given_first_round_byes._Three_teams_(
2012_Connacht_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_a_quarter-final_was_not_played_by_Mayo_GAA">Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_Leitrim_GAA">Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_five_teams_were_given_first_round_byes._Three_teams_(Carlow_GAA">Carlow Carlow_(_;_)_is_the_county_town_of_County_Carlow,_in_the_south-east_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland,__from_Dublin._At_the_2016_census,_it_had_a_combined_urban_and_rural_population_of_24,272. The_River_Barrow_flows_through_the_town,_and_forms__...
,_
2012_Connacht_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_a_quarter-final_was_not_played_by_Mayo_GAA">Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_Leitrim_GAA">Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_five_teams_were_given_first_round_byes._Three_teams_(Carlow_GAA">Carlow Carlow_(_;_)_is_the_county_town_of_County_Carlow,_in_the_south-east_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland,__from_Dublin._At_the_2016_census,_it_had_a_combined_urban_and_rural_population_of_24,272. The_River_Barrow_flows_through_the_town,_and_forms__...
,_Dublin_GAA">Dublin Dublin_(;_,__or_)_is_the_capital_and_largest_city_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Situated_on_a_bay_on_the_east_coast,_at_the_mouth_of_the_River_Liffey,_it_lies_within_the_Provinces_of_Ireland,_province_of_Leinster._It_is_bordered_on_the_sou_...
_and_ 2012_Connacht_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_a_quarter-final_was_not_played_by_Mayo_GAA">Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_Leitrim_GAA">Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_five_teams_were_given_first_round_byes._Three_teams_(Carlow_GAA">Carlow Carlow_(_;_)_is_the_county_town_of_County_Carlow,_in_the_south-east_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland,__from_Dublin._At_the_2016_census,_it_had_a_combined_urban_and_rural_population_of_24,272. The_River_Barrow_flows_through_the_town,_and_forms__...
,_Dublin_GAA">Dublin Dublin_(;_,__or_)_is_the_capital_and_largest_city_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Situated_on_a_bay_on_the_east_coast,_at_the_mouth_of_the_River_Liffey,_it_lies_within_the_Provinces_of_Ireland,_province_of_Leinster._It_is_bordered_on_the_sou_...
_and_Wexford_GAA">Wexford Wexford_()_is_the_county_town_of_County_Wexford,_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Wexford_lies_on_the_south_side_of_Wexford_Harbour,_the_estuary_of_the_River_Slaney_near_the_southeastern_corner_of_the_Ireland,_island_of_Ireland._The_town_is_linked_t_...
)_played_winners_of_the_three_preliminary_matches,_while_the_other_two_played_each_other_in_the_quarter-finals_without_playing_a_game_in_the_preliminary_round. Six_teams_contested_the_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship.html" ;"title="Wexford_GAA.html" "title="Dublin_GAA.html" "title="Carlow_GAA.html" "title="London_GAA.html" "title="Leitrim_GAA.html" ;"title="Mayo_GAA.html" ;"title="Connacht Senior Football Championship#2012 Championship">2012 Connacht Senior Football Championship, so a quarter-final was not played by
Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_Leitrim_GAA">Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_five_teams_were_given_first_round_byes._Three_teams_(Carlow_GAA">Carlow Carlow_(_;_)_is_the_county_town_of_County_Carlow,_in_the_south-east_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland,__from_Dublin._At_the_2016_census,_it_had_a_combined_urban_and_rural_population_of_24,272. The_River_Barrow_flows_through_the_town,_and_forms__...
,_Dublin_GAA">Dublin Dublin_(;_,__or_)_is_the_capital_and_largest_city_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Situated_on_a_bay_on_the_east_coast,_at_the_mouth_of_the_River_Liffey,_it_lies_within_the_Provinces_of_Ireland,_province_of_Leinster._It_is_bordered_on_the_sou_...
_and_Wexford_GAA">Wexford Wexford_()_is_the_county_town_of_County_Wexford,_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Wexford_lies_on_the_south_side_of_Wexford_Harbour,_the_estuary_of_the_River_Slaney_near_the_southeastern_corner_of_the_Ireland,_island_of_Ireland._The_town_is_linked_t_...
)_played_winners_of_the_three_preliminary_matches,_while_the_other_two_played_each_other_in_the_quarter-finals_without_playing_a_game_in_the_preliminary_round. Six_teams_contested_the_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_two_teams_(
Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_Leitrim_GAA">Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_five_teams_were_given_first_round_byes._Three_teams_(Carlow_GAA">Carlow Carlow_(_;_)_is_the_county_town_of_County_Carlow,_in_the_south-east_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland,__from_Dublin._At_the_2016_census,_it_had_a_combined_urban_and_rural_population_of_24,272. The_River_Barrow_flows_through_the_town,_and_forms__...
,_Dublin_GAA">Dublin Dublin_(;_,__or_)_is_the_capital_and_largest_city_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Situated_on_a_bay_on_the_east_coast,_at_the_mouth_of_the_River_Liffey,_it_lies_within_the_Provinces_of_Ireland,_province_of_Leinster._It_is_bordered_on_the_sou_...
_and_Wexford_GAA">Wexford Wexford_()_is_the_county_town_of_County_Wexford,_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Wexford_lies_on_the_south_side_of_Wexford_Harbour,_the_estuary_of_the_River_Slaney_near_the_southeastern_corner_of_the_Ireland,_island_of_Ireland._The_town_is_linked_t_...
)_played_winners_of_the_three_preliminary_matches,_while_the_other_two_played_each_other_in_the_quarter-finals_without_playing_a_game_in_the_preliminary_round. Six_teams_contested_the_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_two_teams_(Clare_GAA">ClareClare_may_refer_to: _Places_Antarctica *_Clare_Range,_a_mountain_range_in_Victoria_Land _Australia *_Clare,_South_Australia,_a_town_in_the_Clare_Valley *_Clare_Valley,_South_Australia _Canada *_Clare_(electoral_district),_an_electoral_district *_Cla_...
_and_ Mayo._Mayo_therefore_advanced_directly_to_the_semi-final_to_await_the_winner_of_the_game_between_Leitrim_GAA">Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_five_teams_were_given_first_round_byes._Three_teams_(Carlow_GAA">Carlow Carlow_(_;_)_is_the_county_town_of_County_Carlow,_in_the_south-east_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland,__from_Dublin._At_the_2016_census,_it_had_a_combined_urban_and_rural_population_of_24,272. The_River_Barrow_flows_through_the_town,_and_forms__...
,_Dublin_GAA">Dublin Dublin_(;_,__or_)_is_the_capital_and_largest_city_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Situated_on_a_bay_on_the_east_coast,_at_the_mouth_of_the_River_Liffey,_it_lies_within_the_Provinces_of_Ireland,_province_of_Leinster._It_is_bordered_on_the_sou_...
_and_Wexford_GAA">Wexford Wexford_()_is_the_county_town_of_County_Wexford,_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Wexford_lies_on_the_south_side_of_Wexford_Harbour,_the_estuary_of_the_River_Slaney_near_the_southeastern_corner_of_the_Ireland,_island_of_Ireland._The_town_is_linked_t_...
)_played_winners_of_the_three_preliminary_matches,_while_the_other_two_played_each_other_in_the_quarter-finals_without_playing_a_game_in_the_preliminary_round. Six_teams_contested_the_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_two_teams_(Clare_GAA">ClareClare_may_refer_to: _Places_Antarctica *_Clare_Range,_a_mountain_range_in_Victoria_Land _Australia *_Clare,_South_Australia,_a_town_in_the_Clare_Valley *_Clare_Valley,_South_Australia _Canada *_Clare_(electoral_district),_an_electoral_district *_Cla_...
_and_Cork_GAA">Cork Cork_or_CORK_may_refer_to: _Materials *_Cork_(material),_an_impermeable_buoyant_plant_product **_Cork_(plug),_a_cylindrical_or_conical_object_used_to_seal_a_container _Places_Ireland *_Cork_(city) **_Metropolitan_Cork,_also_known_as_Greater_Cork **_...
)_were_permitted_to_advance_to_the_semi-finals_without_playing_a_game_in_the_quarter-finals. Nine_teams_contested_the_Ulster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship.html" ;"title="Cork_GAA.html" "title="Clare_GAA.html" "title="Mayo GAA">Mayo. Mayo therefore advanced directly to the semi-final to await the winner of the game between
Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_five_teams_were_given_first_round_byes._Three_teams_(Carlow_GAA">Carlow Carlow_(_;_)_is_the_county_town_of_County_Carlow,_in_the_south-east_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland,__from_Dublin._At_the_2016_census,_it_had_a_combined_urban_and_rural_population_of_24,272. The_River_Barrow_flows_through_the_town,_and_forms__...
,_Dublin_GAA">Dublin Dublin_(;_,__or_)_is_the_capital_and_largest_city_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Situated_on_a_bay_on_the_east_coast,_at_the_mouth_of_the_River_Liffey,_it_lies_within_the_Provinces_of_Ireland,_province_of_Leinster._It_is_bordered_on_the_sou_...
_and_Wexford_GAA">Wexford Wexford_()_is_the_county_town_of_County_Wexford,_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Wexford_lies_on_the_south_side_of_Wexford_Harbour,_the_estuary_of_the_River_Slaney_near_the_southeastern_corner_of_the_Ireland,_island_of_Ireland._The_town_is_linked_t_...
)_played_winners_of_the_three_preliminary_matches,_while_the_other_two_played_each_other_in_the_quarter-finals_without_playing_a_game_in_the_preliminary_round. Six_teams_contested_the_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_two_teams_(Clare_GAA">ClareClare_may_refer_to: _Places_Antarctica *_Clare_Range,_a_mountain_range_in_Victoria_Land _Australia *_Clare,_South_Australia,_a_town_in_the_Clare_Valley *_Clare_Valley,_South_Australia _Canada *_Clare_(electoral_district),_an_electoral_district *_Cla_...
_and_Cork_GAA">Cork Cork_or_CORK_may_refer_to: _Materials *_Cork_(material),_an_impermeable_buoyant_plant_product **_Cork_(plug),_a_cylindrical_or_conical_object_used_to_seal_a_container _Places_Ireland *_Cork_(city) **_Metropolitan_Cork,_also_known_as_Greater_Cork **_...
)_were_permitted_to_advance_to_the_semi-finals_without_playing_a_game_in_the_quarter-finals. Nine_teams_contested_the_Ulster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Ulster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_only_
Leitrim_and_London_GAA">London London_is_the_capital_city,_capital_and_List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom,_largest_city_of_England_and_the_United_Kingdom._The_city_stands_on_the_River_Thames_in_the_south-east_of_England,_at_the_head_of_its__estuary_leading_to_the_Nor_...
. Eleven_teams_contested_the_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Leinster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_five_teams_were_given_first_round_byes._Three_teams_(Carlow_GAA">Carlow Carlow_(_;_)_is_the_county_town_of_County_Carlow,_in_the_south-east_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland,__from_Dublin._At_the_2016_census,_it_had_a_combined_urban_and_rural_population_of_24,272. The_River_Barrow_flows_through_the_town,_and_forms__...
,_Dublin_GAA">Dublin Dublin_(;_,__or_)_is_the_capital_and_largest_city_of_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Situated_on_a_bay_on_the_east_coast,_at_the_mouth_of_the_River_Liffey,_it_lies_within_the_Provinces_of_Ireland,_province_of_Leinster._It_is_bordered_on_the_sou_...
_and_Wexford_GAA">Wexford Wexford_()_is_the_county_town_of_County_Wexford,_Republic_of_Ireland,_Ireland._Wexford_lies_on_the_south_side_of_Wexford_Harbour,_the_estuary_of_the_River_Slaney_near_the_southeastern_corner_of_the_Ireland,_island_of_Ireland._The_town_is_linked_t_...
)_played_winners_of_the_three_preliminary_matches,_while_the_other_two_played_each_other_in_the_quarter-finals_without_playing_a_game_in_the_preliminary_round. Six_teams_contested_the_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Munster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_two_teams_(Clare_GAA">ClareClare_may_refer_to: _Places_Antarctica *_Clare_Range,_a_mountain_range_in_Victoria_Land _Australia *_Clare,_South_Australia,_a_town_in_the_Clare_Valley *_Clare_Valley,_South_Australia _Canada *_Clare_(electoral_district),_an_electoral_district *_Cla_...
_and_Cork_GAA">Cork Cork_or_CORK_may_refer_to: _Materials *_Cork_(material),_an_impermeable_buoyant_plant_product **_Cork_(plug),_a_cylindrical_or_conical_object_used_to_seal_a_container _Places_Ireland *_Cork_(city) **_Metropolitan_Cork,_also_known_as_Greater_Cork **_...
)_were_permitted_to_advance_to_the_semi-finals_without_playing_a_game_in_the_quarter-finals. Nine_teams_contested_the_Ulster_Senior_Football_Championship#2012_Championship">2012_Ulster_Senior_Football_Championship,_so_only_Cavan_GAA">Cavan Cavan_(_;_)_is_the__county_town_of__County_Cavan_in_Ireland._The_town_lies_in_Ulster,_near_the_border_with_County_Fermanagh_in_Northern_Ireland._The_town_is_on_the_main_N3_road_(Ireland),_N3_road_that_links_Dublin_(to_the_south)_with_Enniskille_...
_and_Donegal_GAA.html" "title="Cavan_GAA.html" "title="Leitrim GAA">Leitrim and London GAA">London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its estuary leading to the Nor ...
. Eleven teams contested the Leinster Senior Football Championship#2012 Championship">2012 Leinster Senior Football Championship, so five teams were given first round byes. Three teams (Carlow GAA">Carlow Carlow ( ; ) is the county town of County Carlow, in the south-east of Republic of Ireland, Ireland, from Dublin. At the 2016 census, it had a combined urban and rural population of 24,272. The River Barrow flows through the town, and forms ...
, Dublin GAA">Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Situated on a bay on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it lies within the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster. It is bordered on the sou ...
and Wexford GAA">Wexford Wexford () is the county town of County Wexford, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Wexford lies on the south side of Wexford Harbour, the estuary of the River Slaney near the southeastern corner of the Ireland, island of Ireland. The town is linked t ...
) played winners of the three preliminary matches, while the other two played each other in the quarter-finals without playing a game in the preliminary round. Six teams contested the Munster Senior Football Championship#2012 Championship">2012 Munster Senior Football Championship, so two teams (Clare GAA">ClareClare may refer to: Places Antarctica * Clare Range, a mountain range in Victoria Land Australia * Clare, South Australia, a town in the Clare Valley * Clare Valley, South Australia Canada * Clare (electoral district), an electoral district * Cla ...
and Cork GAA">Cork Cork or CORK may refer to: Materials * Cork (material), an impermeable buoyant plant product ** Cork (plug), a cylindrical or conical object used to seal a container Places Ireland * Cork (city) ** Metropolitan Cork, also known as Greater Cork ** ...
) were permitted to advance to the semi-finals without playing a game in the quarter-finals. Nine teams contested the Ulster Senior Football Championship#2012 Championship">2012 Ulster Senior Football Championship, so only Cavan GAA">Cavan Cavan ( ; ) is the county town of County Cavan in Ireland. The town lies in Ulster, near the border with County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. The town is on the main N3 road (Ireland), N3 road that links Dublin (to the south) with Enniskille ...
and Donegal GAA">DonegalDonegal may refer to: County Donegal, Ireland * County Donegal, a county in the Republic of Ireland, part of the province of Ulster * Donegal Bay, an inlet in the northwest of Ireland bordering counties Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo * Donegal (town), ...
played in the preliminary round, while the other seven advanced via bye to the quarter-finals without playing a game in the preliminary round.


"Double byes"

While less common, byes can be offered for multiple rounds (e.g. a "double bye" directly into the third round), or starting in a later round (e.g. the top-ranked team in the first round is given a bye straight to the third round). A bye granted in a later round of the tournament eliminates the need for two byes in the previous round. In the English
FA Cup The Football Association Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the FA Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competi ...

FA Cup
, the football clubs in the top two English football league system#The system, league divisions receive two-round byes and enter in the third round "proper" (of eight); the two next-highest divisions' teams will have entered in the first round. Another example is the
UEFA Europa League The UEFA Europa League (abbreviated as UEL) is an annual football Football is a family of team sport A team is a roup_(disambiguation),_group_of_individuals_(human_or_non-human)_working_together_to_achieve_their_goal. As_defined_by_P_...
. The_WNBA_also_grants_double_byes_to_the_league's_top_two_seeds,_while_the_next_two_seeds_get_first-round_byes_for_their_WNBA_Playoffs.html" "title="WNBA.html" ;"title="roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by P ...
. The WNBA">roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by P ...
. The WNBA also grants double byes to the league's top two seeds, while the next two seeds get first-round byes for their WNBA Playoffs">playoffs The playoffs, play-offs, postseason and/or finals of a sports league are a competition played after the regular season by the top competitors to determine the league champion or a similar accolade. Depending on the league, the playoffs may be ...
. In NCAA Division I basketball, the 2009 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament introduced "double byes", as the conference invited all 16 members to participate for the first time (previously only the top twelve were invited). To limit the number of games each round to four, the four highest seeded teams were advanced to the third round of competition, the 5th-8th seeded teams given byes to the second round, and the bottom eight competed the first day. Due to the realignment of major conferences, "double byes" were no longer needed by the Big East after 2013, but were added by the Southeast Conference in 2013, the Atlantic Coast and Atlantic 10 conferences in 2014, and the Big Ten in 2015 as each expanded beyond 12 teams.


Hidden byes (play-in games)

In certain tournaments, the byes are somewhat disguised. When more teams are given first-round byes than actually compete in the first round, these first games may be referred to as "play-in" games and might not be a formally labelled as a tournament round. Since 2012, the
Major League Baseball playoffs The Major League Baseball postseason is an single-elimination tournament, elimination tournament held after the conclusion of the Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season. Since 2012, the playoffs for each league—American League, American and ...
has included ten teams consisting of six division winners and four wildcard teams (the top-ranked non-division-winners). The first round of the playoffs consists two wild-card games: single-game matches in which the four wild-card teams are reduced to two. The winners move on to the Divisional series with the six division winners for an eight-team, three-round tournament. Although this is billed as adding two extra "one-game showdowns" to the post-season, it could also be viewed as adding a fourth round to the ten-team tournament with six byes for the division winners. The
FA Cup The Football Association Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the FA Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competi ...

FA Cup
also has certain teams compete in up to 6 preliminary rounds to qualify for the first round "proper". Another example is the NCAA Basketball Tournament, which since 2011 has had 68 teams, effectively granting 60 byes, while eight teams compete in the "First Four" games for remaining four spots in the round of 64. From 2011 to 2015, the "First Four" was considered the first round, the round of 64 played on Thursday and Friday, was called the "second round"; the round of 32 was then called the "third round", consisting of games played on Saturday and Sunday. In 2016, the naming reverted to the round of 64 being the "first round" once again, and the round of 32 being the "second round", though the play-in round and all eight of those teams are officially part of the tournament.


Bye weeks in football leagues

Certain professional
rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
and gridiron football leagues use the term "bye week" for any week during the regular season in which a team does not play a game. (School teams may also have non-competing weeks, but these are scheduled by individual schools and more commonly termed "open dates".)


United States

Each
NFL The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven player ...
team has one "bye week" during a normal season; this is placed on the team's schedule, usually falling between Week 4 and Week 12 inclusive (note that whenever
Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in the United States, Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Simil ...
falls during Week 12, the
Dallas Cowboys The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Cowboys compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) NFC East, East ...
and
Detroit Lions The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit. The Lions compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference (NFC) NFC North, North division. The team plays its home games ...
may not have a bye during Week 12). During the 1960 and
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seasons, the league had an odd number of teams due to expansion. Each week during those seasons, one team had a bye, including one team each in the first and last week of the season. (Thus, because they had to play all their games with no break in the middle, those two teams effectively had ''no'' byes.) The
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a re ...
(at the time a completely separate league, but later became the
American Football Conference The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of the two Athletic conference, conferences of the National Football League (NFL), the highest professional level of American football in the United States. This conference currently contains 16 team ...
) also had an odd number of teams in 1966 and 1967 following the addition of the Miami Dolphins, leaving each team with two bye weeks. The NFL returned to the use of the bye week in 1990 so as to extend the 16-game regular season schedule to span 17 weeks to increase the number of viewable games for TV contracts. The
1993 1993 was designated as: * International Year for the World's Indigenous People The year 1993 in the Kwajalein Atoll Kwajalein Atoll (; Marshallese language, Marshallese: ) is part of the Marshall Islands, Republic of the Marshall Island ...
season spanned 18 weeks with each team having 2 bye weeks. Between the 1999 through
2001 2001 was designated as International Year of Volunteers. Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap y ...
seasons, the NFL had an odd number of teams, 31, as a result of the
Cleveland Browns The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American ...
re-entering the league. Each week during these three seasons featured at least one team with its bye week (the 2001 season also added an additional impromptu league-wide bye the weekend after the
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). The league returned to having an even number of teams (32) in the 2002 season with the addition of the
Houston Texans The Houston Texans are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
, and implemented the current bye week system. Sarcastically, the media may refer to a team having a "bye week" if that team is playing an especially bad team and is all but assured of a win. In the rare case of a game postponement that cannot be made up within the same week, the NFL may revise bye weeks assignments in order to reschedule the delayed game, making the postponement week those teams' new "bye week". * Due to
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Hurricane Ike
in 2008, the
Baltimore Ravens The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American f ...
' and the
Houston Texans The Houston Texans are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
' Week 2 matchup in Houston was postponed, which also impacted the
Cincinnati Bengals The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC North, North division. T ...

Cincinnati Bengals
' schedule. The Bengals–Texans game was moved to Week 8, which was the originally scheduled bye week for both of those teams. This allowed the Ravens–Texans game (and the Bengals' bye week) to be rescheduled in Week 10, the Ravens' original bye Week. * Due to
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Hurricane Irma
in 2017, the
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member team of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC East, East division. The ...

Miami Dolphins
and
Tampa Bay Buccaneers The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectang ...
Week 1 game was rescheduled to Week 11, the originally scheduled bye week for both teams. * Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, several postponements are expected during the 2020 season. The first one that saw the league move games during bye weeks involved the Week 4 matchup between the
Pittsburgh Steelers The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) AFC North, North division. Founded in , ...
and
Tennessee Titans The Tennessee Titans are a professional American football team based in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) AFC South, South division. Previou ...
, which also impacted the Baltimore Ravens schedule. The Steelers-Titans
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was moved to Week 7 (the Titans original bye week) due to a rash of COVID-19 cases among the Titans organization. The Steelers Ravens-Steelers rivalry, matchup with the Ravens (their original Week 7 opponent) was moved to Week 8 when they both had scheduled byes and would allow the Steelers and Titans to make up their matchup; the Ravens bye week was moved to Week 7. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, when asked about the schedule change, referenced the aforementioned changes with the Texans and Bengals in 2008 (his first year as Ravens head coach) and didn't expect the changes to affect his team's planning.


Canada

Traditionally, the Canadian Football League, CFL has had nine teams and required bye weeks. Beginning 2018, each team has three bye weeks and 18 games over a 21-week regular season. In most seasons, (from 2014 to 2017 and prior to 2007), each team has two bye weeks during the 20 week 18-game regular season. When the league had only 8 teams, the league usually had no bye weeks. However between 2007 and 2013, the league had one bye per team over in two weeks in August (4 teams would have a bye during week 6 and the other 4 teams would have a bye on week 7).


Australia

In Australia's National Rugby League (NRL), each team has one bye each season. During the representative period of the season (such as the Rugby League State of Origin, State of Origin), byes are generally scheduled to the clubs that are expected to have the most players involved in the representative match, in the round preceding the representative fixture, to allow those clubs to sufficiently rest those players and prevent them from fielding a weakened side. On the competition ladder, teams are awarded two points (equivalent to a win) during their bye week except for the Melbourne Storm in 2010, who were barred from receiving premiership points for the remainder of the season as a punishment for Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal, gross long-term breaches of the salary cap. The Australian Football League, which comprises an even number of clubs, gives each club a bye week in mid-season, as well as a bye the week before the AFL finals series, finals. In 1915 VFL season, 1915, 1919 VFL season, 1919 1924 VFL season, to 1924, 1942 VFL season, 1942 1943 VFL season, and 1943, 1991 AFL season, 1991 1994 AFL season, to 1994 and 2011 AFL season, 2011, when there were an odd number of clubs competing, each club was given two byes. In both leagues, and under many other professional and amateur sports leagues in Australia, higher placed teams don't earn byes during playoffs, finals, but instead the opportunity not to be eliminated by losing their first-round match (also called a double chance). This practice is common in Australia, but it is not used in most other countries, to earn an easier passage to the Grand Final as reward for finishing higher on the ladder. This is different from a double elimination format, in which a team has to lose both in the tournament and the repechage to be eliminated.


Gymnastics

In a variation of the round-robin case, at certain high-level competitions in artistic gymnastics, teams cycle through the apparatuses in an "Olympic Order" with scheduled byes in between. As an example, the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships has 36 teams with six teams apiece at six regional sites, with 12 advancing to two semifinal rounds of six that decide participants for the final "Super Six". In each of these nine sextets, each team competes during four of six "rotations" with the other two as byesscheduled before the uneven bars and the floor exercise. For example, Semifinal II of the 2018 championships operated as follows


Swiss system tournaments

In a Swiss-system tournament with an odd number of players, one player gets a bye in each round, but not all players will get a bye (as there are fewer rounds than there are players).
FIDE The International Chess Federation or World Chess Federation, commonly referred to by its French acronym An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase, usually using individual initial letters, as ...
specifies that "pairing-allocated" byes in their sanctioned chess tournaments may not be awarded multiple times to the same participant. Contrasting use in some single-elimination brackets, the byes are to be allocated to the lowest-rated eligible player in the pool.


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Bye (Sports) Sports terminology