From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
|It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Single-elimination tournament#Byes. (Discuss) Proposed since January 2013.|
A bye in sports and other competitive activities can have two different meanings. First, in leagues where almost all teams play on the same days, the team (or teams) that does not play on that day is said to be on bye. (In sports that play weekly, especially gridiron football, a team that does not play at all during the week is said to be on its "bye week," but if they play on another day of the week, e.g. Monday or Thursday, they are not), which is really a corruption of the older sense of the term "bye" in the context of tournament play.
In the traditional and more common usage, a bye is the practice of allowing a player or team to advance to the next round of a single-elimination tournament (or the winners bracket of a double-elimination tournament) without playing. It is always necessary to grant byes when the number of entrants in the competition is not a power of two (i.e., not 2, 4, 8, 16, etc.); any such tournament without a power of two in a given round must grant the number of byes indicated by the difference in order to complete the field. In a seeded tournament, the byes are granted to the top seeds, whereas in an unseeded tournament the byes are usually awarded by random draw. For instance, the NCAA Basketball Tournament must grant 63 byes for its "play-in" round, since it has 65 participants (128-65) and had to grant 16 first-round byes when it had 48 participants (64-48). Each of the NFL conferences playoff first rounds must grant two, since there are six teams each (8-6), which only confuses matters since they also use the term "bye weeks" to refer to what really should be called "scheduled off weeks" during the regular season. Both of the NCAA tournament and the NFL post-season (not the regular season) are seeded, single-elimination tournaments, so the highest-seeded participants are granted the necessary (single-elimination tournament) byes.
In round-robin tournament competitions where there are an odd number of competitors each round, usually one gets a bye; there is never a round where all teams play. However, by the completion of the tournament each team plays the same number of games as well as sitting out for the same number of rounds during the tournament. In a Swiss-system tournament with an odd number of players, one gets a bye each round, but not all players will get a bye. However, as with the case of NFL "bye weeks", these "byes" do not confer any advantage, or in the case of a seeded tournament, that any player/team receiving one is perceived as any better than one that does not, as all of the participants receive one, whereas the awarding of a bye in a single-elimination tournament most definitely does, in both cases.
In Australia's National Rugby League (NRL), each team has two byes each season. During the representative period of the season (such as the 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 (or following) 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.
The Australian Football League, which comprises an even number of teams, gives each team one bye week near mid-season.
In both leagues, and under many other professional and amateur sports leagues in Australia, higher placed teams earn byes during finals, to earn an easier passage to the Grand Final as reward for finishing higher on the ladder.
In the Provincial Championships, a team may receive a bye. This is due to the irregular number of teams competing in each Championship. Thus the method used differs in each Provincial Championship.
For example, below is an assessment of the 2012 Provincial Championships, and their use of the "bye".
In the 2012 Connacht Senior Football Championship, 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 and London.
In the 2012 Ulster Senior Football Championship, all teams except Cavan and Donegal were permitted to advance to the quarter-finals without playing a game in the preliminary round. Cavan and Donegal played each other to determine which would join the other seven teams in the quarter-finals.
Connacht and Munster did not make use of a preliminary round, while Leinster and Ulster did.