I can't remember the last time I saw a playoff series in the NBA, NHL or MLB use the 2-2-1-1-1 format (as opposed to the 2-3-2).

I understand the motivation. Usually the travel distances are so great, even with LA currently playing the Houston Astros. But what if the Mets played the Yankees? Would they use 2-2-1-1-1? I miss it. It also feels like that is a more fair approach.

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    It may be more fair but the travel will be much harder on the players if they are traveling up to 4 times during the series rather then twice. – Joe W Oct 29 '17 at 20:14
  • I have been following MLB for over 40 years, and my recollection is that they've always used 2-3-2 for 7 game series. They have switched from 2-3 to 2-2-1 for 5 game series. I'm not a huge hockey fan, but I don't recall anything but a 2-2-1-1-1 format. As noted below, the NBA has switched back and forth. – GreenMatt Oct 30 '17 at 22:58

I believe the NHL still uses the 2-2-1-1-1 format. Three of the series in the most recent playoffs went to seven games and followed that format (PIT vs WAS in Eastern Semi Finals, ANA vs EDM in Western Semi Finals and OTT vs PIT in the Eastern Finals)


NBA used to be 2-3-2, but has moved back to 2-2-1-1-1 since 2014.

Note that the leagues using it (NHL/NBA) don't normally schedule back-to-back games during the playoffs. So the impact of the travel day is reduced.

Baseball tends to prefer several games in a row. 4 travel days between 7 games would be an unusual pace.

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