We're having a friendly debate, and can't come to a conclusion on whether or not the final game of a series (game 7 world series, game 7 NBA championship...etc) is ever referred to as a "double-elimination game".

Group A says

A "double-elimination" is not a "game", but a point in a series where you'd have to lose twice to be eliminated. Or a term for a tournament where you must lose twice to be eliminated...etc. Basically that there's no such thing as a double elimination "GAME".

Group B says

A "double-elimination game" can also refer to the fact that either team can be eliminated (2 teams = "double") and is sometimes used to refer to the last game in a series, as mentioned above.

On one hand, Group A asked a sports writer Alyson Footer about it:


Which certainly points to Group A being correct.

But Group B found this article:

Under which scenarios are using the term "double-elimination game" appropriate, especially as it pertains to the final game of a playoff series? Can anyone clarify or give a definitive answer or explain when it's used different ways, or any clarification?

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    Voting to close as opinion based: there is no authority which regulates the definition of sports terms. – Philip Kendall Jun 4 '16 at 6:07
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    @PhilipKendall - really? If a well-formed and documented question like this doesn't fit in the "Sports" exchange, you're going to have a really hard time growing the group. Also, I don't believe it's opinion based in any way. That's like saying that this question doesn't have a valid answer: "If you swing and miss in baseball, is that a foul ball?" According to your comment, "there is no authority which regulates the definition of the sports terms", so I guess it very well could be a foul ball, since it's just opinion based. /endrant – Dave Jun 4 '16 at 6:31
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    "Is a swing and a miss a foul ball?" can be given a definitive answer, at least under a specific ruleset. If it varies between rulesets, which can clarify to which specific ruleset the poster is interested in. Which authority are you suggesting is the right source to use for the definitive answer to this question? – Philip Kendall Jun 4 '16 at 6:42
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    Sorry, I'm with @PhilipKendall on this one. If the term is defined in any form of media released by the NBA, then yes - it's answerable. Put it this way - if the question asked was "what is a double-elimination game", then it is likely that both of the definitions you have provided would be given in a good answer. – Reinstate Monica 2331977 Jun 6 '16 at 12:49
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    In relation to the "Good luck growing your group with such a narrow view." question, quality over quantity is the expectation on all Stack Exchange sites. Questions should be able to generate good answers that rely on a balanced blend of facts, statistics, opinion and experience. As posed, this question can only generate opinion-based answers, hence why it was closed. – Reinstate Monica 2331977 Jun 6 '16 at 23:52

Looking at the google search results for the term "double-elimination game", you and the cited article seem to be the only ones using the term. As the first people to use a term, it is upon you to define it (you could argue that the article is the first known instance of the term, so it gets to define it).

However, the related term double-elimination tournament is well-defined across multiple sports. If you look at a number of the google search results, you'll find that almost every mentioning of double-elimination game is actually referring to a game in a double-elimination tournament. You can also refer to google ngram, which lists word usage over years, and see that "double-elimination game" is not even listed in that dictionary, but "double-elimination tournament" is widely used since about 1950.

In a double-elimination tournament, there is a top/winners and a bottom/losers bracket.

  • Winners in the top bracket remain in the top bracket.
  • Losers in the top bracket drop down to the bottom bracket.
  • Winners in the bottom bracket remain in the bottom bracket.
  • Losers in the bottom bracket drop out.

In the final game of a double-elimination tournament, the last remaining team of the top bracket plays against the last remaining team in the bottom bracket. Double-elimination tournaments require at the very least 4 teams, so you cannot meaningfully extend the term to a tournament with 2 teams.

Therefore, it would be very confusing and misleading to use the term double-elimination game; the correct term for what you have in mind is the final game of a double-elimination tournament, or simply [tournament] finals.

  • You have attempted to salvage this question, which is laudable. However, this does not answer the question that was originally posed. – Reinstate Monica 2331977 Jun 6 '16 at 23:53

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