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Why do the rules for several sports dictate that a player has to score an odd number of points to win the game?

  • Table tennis: 11 points (previously 21)
  • Badminton: 21 points (previously 7, 11 or 15)
  • Squash: 11 points (previously 9)

I can understand that matches or sets have an odd number of games so that there is no possibility of ties in which each player wins the same number of games. This does not apply to points as the first player to reach the required number wins the game.

Google doesn't find me an answer, just rules of the sports. I wish to find out why the people who created the rules picked these numbers.

  • 1
    To my knowledge, at least for badminton, a game may end on an even number in the case of a deuce. As a deuce may not continue forever, any player to reach 30 points wins the game. The odd scoring system in racquet sports may simply be a tradition. – Sean Xie Oct 10 at 15:56

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