A third place playoff, match/game for third place, bronze medal game or consolation game is a single match that is included in many sporting knockout tournaments to decide which competitor or team will be credited with finishing third and fourth. The teams that compete in the third place playoff game are usually the two losing semi-finalists in a particular knockout tournament.
Many tournaments use the third place playoff to determine who wins the bronze medal. In some tournaments, a third place playoff is necessary for seeding purposes if three or all four semi-finalists advance to another tournament.
In tournaments that do not award medals or have the third place finisher advance to something else, a third place playoff is a classification match that serves little more than as a consolation to the losing semi-finalists. A consolation game also allows teams to play more than one game after having invested time, effort and money in the quest for a championship. Third place playoffs held as such consolation games are subject to debate. Many sports tournaments do not have a third place playoff due to a lack of interest. It has been criticised by some who feel that the match serves little purpose, but others see this game as an occasion for the losing semi-finalists to salvage some pride. How seriously the competitors or teams take a third place playoff, may also be mixed: a heavily favoured team that lost in an upset in the semi-final round may not have as much incentive to win as would a "Cinderella" team who was not expected to advance that far.
Most sports using a knockout format in the Olympic Games have a third place game to determine who wins the bronze medal, with the exception being boxing which awards two bronze medals (judo, taekwondo, and wrestling, which also award two bronze medals, both feature two bronze medal matches, between the losing semi-finalists and the winners of the repechage). As the difference between a bronze medal and no medal is quite significant, competitors still take this game seriously.
The Rugby World Cup used to give automatic qualification to all teams in the top three of the ongoing tournament to the one that would follow it four years later thus making the third place playoff game important, but this was later scrapped after the 1999 edition of the tournament allowing teams outside the top three to automatically qualify depending on their IRB co-efficient in the rankings.
The 1980 edition was the last UEFA European Football Championship to have a third place match. That was one of the few third place football matches ever to be decided by a penalty shootout, where Czechoslovakia defeated hosts Italy 9-8.
The FIFA World Cup features a third place playoff, usually on the day before the final. It is often there to provide a spectacle as there is often a gap of a few days between the semi-finals and the final. The third place playoff is considered a lower-priority match to organizers, as it is frequently scheduled in one of the smaller stadia; the largest stadium (usually located in the host nation's capital city) is reserved for the final, while the semi-finals occupy the second and third-largest stadia. However, the third place match in the 1994 World Cup did use the Rose Bowl stadium, the same venue that would later host the tournament final, setting a record attendance of 91,500 for a third place playoff in FIFA World Cup history.
The UEFA Nations League will also have a third place playoff, this game will be played on the same day as the final.
The third-place match in the FIFA Women's World Cup has been somewhat more important to the organizers—the 1999, 2003, and 2007 matches were all held in the same stadium as the final. In fact, the 1999 and 2007 third-place matches were both held as the first half of a doubleheader that culminated in the final. The 2011 third-place match returned to the more traditional scheduling of the day before the final in a different stadium. Notably, the 1999 third-place match was the curtain-raiser to the most-attended women's sporting event in history, the 1999 final also held in the Rose Bowl.
The third place match is generally a high-scoring affair, as no men's match has seen fewer than two goals scored since Poland's 1-0 win over Brazil in 1974, while all bronze-medal games since 1994 (except for 1998, 2014 and 2018) have seen four goals or more. For tournament top scorers, the third place match's tendency of attacking football is a great opportunity to win the Golden Shoe, with players such as Salvatore Schillaci (1990), Davor Šuker (1998), and Thomas Müller (2010) getting the goal they needed to take sole possession of the lead. The FIFA Women's World Cup has had only seven editions to date, therefore creating less opportunity for a pattern to form. However, two of the third-place games in that competition have seen fewer than three goals. In 1995, the USA defeated China 2–0. In 1999, the third-place match between Brazil and Norway ended in a scoreless draw and penalty shootout (won by Brazil), as did the final between the USA and China (won by the USA). In 2015, the third place match between Germany and England was the first to go to extra time, and in the second period of extra time, England scored a single penalty kick goal and held on to the lead to upset Germany.
How seriously the competing teams take this match is subject to debate. Certain teams, especially ones which had been expected to reach the final, will rest some of their starters to allow some of their reserve team players to participate in a World Cup game. For instance French team captain Michel Platini did not play in either the 1982 or 1986 third place matches, while German goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt received his only competitive international appearance in a third place playoff, and Michel Vorm came on during injury time of the 3–0 third place play-off win against Brazil in Brasília thus ensuring that all 23 Dutch squad members played at the tournament. By contrast, teams that are not expected to get this far usually take this match seriously, as third place can be a historical achievement. In the 1994 World Cup, the Sweden national team branded the game as "the bronze match" and after victory they landed at Arlanda with a fighter escort and were then paraded through the streets of Stockholm to millions live on national TV. Another example of a high-profile third place match was in 1998, when the recently established Croatian football team upset the Netherlands.
If the host nation is involved in the third place match, the team generally uses the match to thank the support of their fans (such as the South Korean football team in 2002, and the German football team in 2006). German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who had been a reserve to Jens Lehmann during the 2006 tournament, was allowed to retire in the third place playoff by then manager Jürgen Klinsmann. Germany and Portugal fielded strong lineups in that match, after both were narrowly eliminated in their respective semi-finals (Germany and Italy nearly went to a penalty shootout, while Portugal was defeated by the lower-ranked France). For Brazil, the dismal 3–0 loss to the Netherlands in the 2014 third place match, along with the 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany, led to coach Luiz Felipe Scolari being dismissed. For the Dutch, this was their first bronze medal in the FIFA World Cup.
Germany currently holds the most third-place finishes in the (men's) World Cup, with four, their most recent in 2010. The U.S. has the most third-place finishes in the Women's World Cup, with three; they have never finished outside the top three.
For most of its history, the Little League World Series has featured either a consolation bracket, or consolation games. Currently, the tournament features a single consolation game between the United States runner-up and the International runner-up. Like the championship, the game allows an American team to compete against an International team. All other games are played within their respective American or International pool of eight teams each, except two exhibition games which match the United States teams and International teams which went 0-2 in their respective brackets.
Third place games (and consolation games for lower placings) are common in early season college basketball tournaments, as it gives each team an opportunity to play more games before the conference games start in earnest. It also provides the tournament venue with additional games.
Many sports tournaments do not have a third place playoff, mostly due to a lack of interest from the competitors and also from the fans. Two of the most celebrated knockout tournaments — the FA Cup Third-fourth place matches (1970–1974) and the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship (1946–1981) — did feature the third place game for a period of time, but later abandoned it. For most of its years, the NCAA consolation game held interest because it usually featured two nationally ranked teams in which only a few teams qualified for the tournament. However, as the field expanded beyond 32 teams, the game lost significance. In addition, eliminating the game allowed the losing teams to return home rather than remaining in the Final Four city for an additional two days to play a game many believed was irrelevant. Relevancy aside, others supported the game for competitive reasons because it typically featured a match between two of the best college teams in the nation; and, it allowed each of those teams to be honored as a Final Four team for the entire weekend.
The National Football League had a consolation game, the Playoff Bowl, from 1960 to 1969, which pitted the second-place team in each of the two conferences (based on regular season record from 1960 to 1966) against each other in Miami, Florida. Through the 1966 season, the only scheduled NFL playoff game was the Championship Game (with unscheduled conference tie-breaker games as necessary; only in 1965 during the 1960s). In 1967, the NFL playoff field expanded to four (division champions), and its first round losers went to the Playoff Bowl, increasingly unpopular with the participating players. With interest declining for a third-place game and an eight-team playoff field arriving with the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, the Playoff Bowl was abandoned with little objection.
Third place playoffs are especially controversial when they are used in tournaments that use a Page playoff system since there is only one "semi-final" game in this format. Critics argue that in such a formula, the loser of the semi-final should simply be awarded third place. Proponents of the third place game argue that without it, the importance of the medal round is cheapened since the top two teams heading into the Page playoff would otherwise be "guaranteed" a medal - this argument carries less weight in tournaments where medals are not awarded or where they are considered of relatively minor importance in comparison to winning the tournament.
The 1965 World Women's Handball Championship took place in West Germany in 1965.1994 Pacific Cup
The 1994 Pacific Cup was the seventh staging of the Pacific Cup, a rugby league tournament held between Pacific teams. The tournament was hosted by Fiji and eventually won by Tonga, who defeated the hosts 34 - 11 in the final.1998 PBA Centennial Cup
The 1998 PBA Centennial Cup was a special tournament held by the PBA during the season. The event was a reference to the Philippines celebration in the Centennial year of the country's independence.
The Mobiline Phone Pals won the tournament over Formula Shell in the one-game championship.2009 Euroleague Final Four
The 2009 Euroleague Final Four was the concluding Euroleague Final Four tournament of the 2008–09 Euroleague season. It was held on May, 2009. All of the games were held at the O2 World, in Berlin Germany. Panathinaikos won the title, which was their fifth at the time.2010 Singapore Cup
The 2010 Singapore Cup (known as the RHB Singapore Cup for sponsorship reasons) started on 24 May 2010. It was the 13th staging of the annual Singapore Cup soccer tournament.
12 S.League clubs and 4 invited foreign teams played in this edition. The cup was a single-elimination tournament, with all sixteen teams playing from the first round. The first round involved one-off matches. Subsequent rounds involved ties of two legs.
The first round kicked off between 24 to 31 May, with the quarter-finals played from 27 September to 15 October, and the semi-finals on 25 to 29 October. The final was played on 14 November. 2011 Euroleague Final Four
The 2011 Euroleague Final Four was the concluding EuroLeague Final Four tournament of the Euroleague 2010–11 season. It was held on May 6–8, 2011. All of the games were held at the Palau Sant Jordi, in Barcelona, Spain. Panathinaikos won its 6th EuroLeague championship. Dimitris Diamantidis was named the Final Four MVP.2013 CECAFA Cup
The 2013 CECAFA Cup (known as the GOtv CECAFA Challenge Cup for sponsorship reasons) was the 37th edition of the annual CECAFA Cup, an international football competition consisting of the national teams of member nations of the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA). The tournament was held in Kenya from 27 November to 12 December.
Contested by twelve national teams, the tournament had Zambia invited as a guest nation to fill in for Djibouti, who failed to participate for a second consecutive year. This followed the tournament's recent tradition of inviting other African nations to take part once a CECAFA nation pulled out; Malawi were invited to take part in the previous edition held in Uganda, while they and Zimbabwe took part in 2011 after Eritrea withdrew from the competition.Hosts Kenya ran out 2–0 winners in the final against three-time champions Sudan, with a brace from Allan Wanga securing the Harambee Stars their sixth title after losing to previous hosts Uganda at the same stage the previous year. The third place playoff was won by guests Zambia, who beat Tanzania 6–5 on penalties after playing out to a 1–1 draw after 90 minutes.2013 CECAFA Cup knockout stage
The knockout stage of the 2013 CECAFA Cup began on 7 December with the quarter-finals and ended on 12 December with the final. Matches were played at the Mombasa Municipal Stadium in Mombasa and the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi. The Moi Stadium in Kisumu was originally scheduled to host the semi-finals, but the matches were moved to the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos and the Mombasa Municipal Stadium to allow the stadium to be completely refurbished.2013 ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier
The 2013 ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier was an international cricket tournament held in Dublin, Ireland, from 23 July to 1 August 2013. The tournament was the inaugural edition of the Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier, with the top three teams advancing to the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
Eight teams played in the tournament. The host, Ireland, was joined by the two lowest-placed teams from the 2012 World Twenty20, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as five teams from regional qualifying tournaments. Pakistan and Sri Lanka both went on to be undefeated at the tournament, sharing the title after the final was interrupted by rain. Ireland defeated the Netherlands in the third-place playoff to also qualify for the World Twenty20.2013 Mongolian Premier League
The 2013 Mongolian Premier League also known as Niislel Lig or Capital League is the 46th edition of the tournament. The number of teams reduce to seven due to the withdrawal of Ulaanbaataryn Mazaalaynuud in the 2012 season. It started on 1 May and ended on 31 August 2013. Erchim won the tournament for the eighth time by beating Khangarid 4–1 in penalties. Erchim will also advance to the 2014 AFC President's Cup representing Mongolia.2013 Singapore Cup
The 2013 Singapore Cup was the 16th season of Singapore's annual premier club football tournament organised by Football Association of Singapore. Due to sponsorship reasons, the Singapore Cup is also known as the RHB Singapore Cup. Warriors FC, then known as Singapore Armed Forces FC, were the defending champions.The final was played at Jalan Besar Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Home United, who had finished as quarter-finalists last year, won by defeating S.League rival Tanjong Pagar United 4–1. This was Home's sixth Singapore Cup title, previously winning it in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2011. Together with 2013 S.League champions Tampines Rovers, Home United fills the 2014 AFC Cup spot.
The defending champions Warriors were eliminated in the preliminary round, thus becoming the first team to leave the competition as title holders at this stage.2014 Mongolian Premier League
The 2014 Mongolian Premier League also known as Niislel Lig or Capital League is the 47th edition of the tournament. Ulaanbaataryn Mazaalaynuud returned to the league after withdrawing from competition in the 2012 season, replacing Khasiin Khulguud to keep the number of teams at seven. The season started on 25 June and ended with the championship match on 30 August 2013. The top four teams in the standings advanced to the single elimination playoff stage.2018 FKF President's Cup
The 2018 FKF President's Cup, known as the 2018 FKF SportPesa Shield for sponsorship reasons, is the 2018 edition of the FKF President's Cup, the knockout football competition of Kenya.ABCS Tournament
The ABCS Tournament is an annual football tournament between the representative teams of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and Suriname.
Louis Giskus, the President of the Suriname Football Federation said that the competition was formed "to strengthen the relationship between the Dutch speaking countries in the Caribbean".If the scores are level after 90 minutes plus injury time, the game proceeds straight to penalty kicks. No extra time is allocated.Australia national under-20 rugby union team
The Junior Wallabies is the national under-20 team that represents Australia in rugby union. The team has been competing at the annual World Rugby U20 Championship since it began in 2008, replacing the previously held under-19 and under-21 championships. The team also competes at the Oceania U20 Championship as of 2015.Australian Football International Cup
The Australian Football International Cup (also known as the AFL International Cup) is an international sport competition in Australian rules football contested by amateur players only. It is currently co-ordinated by the Australian Football League's game development arm and has been run every three years since 2002.
The tournament is the largest international Australian rules football event and the only one that is open to worldwide senior competition, except Australia in the men's tournament, as since it is the only nation where the sport is played professionally, the difference in skill level between an Australian national team and the nearest competitor would currently be far too large for any contest to be competitive.
As such, the tournament is geared towards development of the sport outside Australia and expatriate Australians are ineligible to compete, with the exception of the women's OzIM team, which is composed of indigenous and multicultural Australians.
The inaugural tournament was the 2002 Australian Football International Cup run by the International Australian Football Council under the auspices of the Australian Football League, which then assumed full control with the winding up of the IAFC.
The Cup was originally for male participants only, but in 2011 a women's competition was established. After some suggestions the tournament would be run every 4 years, the AFL is currently maintaining the 3-year cycle.
The grand final of each men's tournament has been held as a curtain raiser to a home-and-away match of the AFL premiership season.
Currently there are efforts to help raise the event's profile by broadcasting the 2017 International Cup on SBS, an organisation devoted to multicultural, multi-lingual entertainment. Grant WilliamsUEFA Women's Euro 1991
The 1991 UEFA Women's Championship took place in Denmark. It was won by Germany in a final against Norway in a repeat of the previous edition's final. Eighteen teams entered qualifying, which was enough to make the competition the first fully official one, so the name was changed to the UEFA Women's Championship.The tournament served as the European qualifying round for the FIFA Women's World Cup 1991.UEFA Women's Euro 1993
The 1993 UEFA Women's Championship, also referred to as Women's Euro 1993 was a football tournament that happened between 1991 and 1993 (with the qualifying round). The final games was held in Italy. The UEFA Women's Championship is a regular tournament involving European national teams from countries affiliated to UEFA, the European governing body, who have qualified for the competition. The competition aims to determine which national women's team is the best in Europe.
Norway won the competition against Italy who played at home in the Final.Érd HC
Érd HC is a Hungarian women's handball club from Érd, that play in the Nemzeti Bajnokság I (NBI) after gained promotion in 2010.
In the 2011–12 season ÉRD finished fourth in the NBI after losing the third place playoff series 1–2 against Siófok KC. However, it gave them access to their first European Cup, the 2012–13 Women's EHF Cup. One year later the team won its first medal in the elite after a double victory over Váci NKSE in the third place playoff.