Three points for a win

Three points for a win is a standard used in many sports leagues and group tournaments, especially in association football, in which three (rather than two) points are awarded to the team winning a match, with no points awarded to the losing team. If the game is drawn, each team receives one point. The system places additional value on wins compared to draws such that teams with a higher number of wins may rank higher in tables than teams with a lower number of wins but more draws.[1]

Many leagues and competitions originally awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw, before switching to the three points for a win system. The change is significant in league tables, where teams typically play 30–40 games per season.


"Three points for a win" is supposed to encourage more attacking play than "two points for a win", as teams will not settle for a draw if the prospect of gaining two extra points (by playing for a late winning goal) outweighs the prospect of losing one point by conceding a late goal to lose the match. A second rationale is that it may prevent collusion amongst teams needing only a draw to advance in a tournament or avoid relegation. A commentator has stated that it has resulted in more "positive, attacking play".[2] However, critics suggest teams with a one-goal lead late in a match become more negative to defend lead.[3][4] The average number of goals per match in Turkey's top football division has risen significantly since the change to three points for a win.[5]

The three-point system in ice hockey – in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Sweden – had no effect on the number of goals scored. The same conclusion can be made for relative number of ties. [6]


The system was proposed for the English Football League (then known as The Football League) by Jimmy Hill.[7] It was introduced in England in 1981,[3] but did not attract much use elsewhere until it was used in the 1994 World Cup finals. In 1995, FIFA formally adopted the system,[3] and it subsequently became standard in international tournaments, as well as most national football leagues.

Year of adoption of 3-points-for-a-win

This lists association football leagues where the standard is three points for a win in regulation time, one point for a draw, zero for a defeat. The year given is when the relevant season started.

Major League Soccer, based in the United States and also featuring teams from Canada, has awarded three points for a win since its first season of 1996, but initially held a penalty shootout at the end of regulation draws, awarding 1 point to the winner of the shootout and none to the loser. Since 2000, it has allowed ties/draws to stand in the regular season, and follows the international standard of awarding 1 point for a draw.[18]


Some leagues have used shootout tiebreakers after drawn matches. Major League Soccer (1996–2000) used three points for a win, one point for a shootout win, no points for a shootout loss, none for a loss.[18] The Norwegian First Division (in 1987) and the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and its lower divisions (in 1988) used three points for a win, two points for a shootout win, one point for a shootout loss, none for a loss.[19][20] The same system is adopted in the group stages of the 2016–17 EFL Trophy and 2016–17 Scottish League Cup onward (in both cases, no extra time will be played). The Iraqi Premier League has used two different variants of this system. The first was in the 1988–89 season, where three points were awarded for a win by two or more goals (after normal or extra time), two points were awarded for a one-goal win (after normal or extra time), one point was awarded for a penalty shootout win and zero points were awarded for penalty shootout defeats or defeats after normal or extra time.[21] The second variant was used in the 1994–95 season, where three points were awarded for a one-goal or two-goal win, but four points were awarded for a win by three or more goals.[22]

In the National Hockey League in North America, a system described as "the three point win" was proposed in 2004, with three points for a win in regulation time, two for a win in overtime, and one for a tie. This proposal was put on hold by the 2004–05 NHL lockout and subsequently rejected by team owners in February 2007.[23] Instead the NHL awards two points for a win in regulation or overtime/shootout, one point for an overtime loss, and none for a regulation loss.

International competitions run by the International Ice Hockey Federation award three points for a win in regulation time and zero points for a loss. Games in IIHF competitions are not allowed to end in ties; if a game is tied after regulation each team is awarded one point and a sudden-death overtime followed by a shootout (if necessary) is played, with the winner awarded an extra point (for a total of two points).[24]

In 2009, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association adopted a system of three points for a regulation or overtime win, two for a shootout win, one for a shootout loss, and none for a regulation or overtime loss.[25] The IIHF uses a similar system for its competitions, awarding three points for a win in regulation, two points for a win in overtime or shootout, one point for a loss in overtime or shootout, and no points for a loss in regulation.

In all French women's football leagues, a victory gives four points, a draw equals two points and a defeat equals one point. The origins of this system is unclear.

See also


  1. ^ Enrico Franceschini (October 4, 2009). "No more draws in Premier Attack and risk is better". (in Italian).
  2. ^ Wilson, Paul (2007-03-18). "Mawhinney's big idea has as much appeal as American cheese". The Observer. Retrieved 2008-02-13. [...] three points for a win and one for a draw is the best football has yet come up with and has already produced a dramatic increase in positive, attacking play.
  3. ^ a b c Leapman, Ben (2005-09-15). "How three points for a win has fouled up football". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  4. ^ Murray, Scott; Ingle, Sean (2001-02-21). "DRAWS, DRAWS, DRAWS". The Guardian ("The Knowledge"). Retrieved 2008-02-13.
  5. ^ Alper Duruk. "Average number of goals per match in Turkish League". Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  6. ^ Marek, Patrice (2017). "Effects of Rule Changes and Three-point System in NHL". Aplimat proceedings: 1001–1013.
  7. ^ Kelly, Graham (2003-06-09). "FA should stand firm against proposed new rules on imports". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
  8. ^ "Israel - List of Final Tables". Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  9. ^ "New Zealand - Final Tables National Soccer League". 2000-09-19. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  10. ^ RSSSF - Norwegian First division 1988 Archived March 8, 2016, at the Wayback Machine "A 3-1-0 point scheme was used for the first time."
  11. ^ "1990–1996". (in Swedish). IFK Göteborg. Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  12. ^ "1991/92 Cypriot First Division". 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  13. ^ "Greece - Final Tables 1959-1999". 2003-08-07. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  14. ^ "Bulgaria Championship History 1924-1997". Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  15. ^ Previously applied experimentally in 1982-3, following the trial of a 4 away win, 3 home win, 2 away draw, 1 home draw system in 1981-2. See (Republic of) Ireland League Tables Archived February 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Croatia - Prva HNL". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  17. ^ "A Recap: Red Cards, TV Woes, Goodbye Dukla". Prague Post. 3 August 1994. Archived from the original on 4 April 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  18. ^ a b USA - Major League Soccer Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Scoring system:
    2000-present: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss.
    1996-1999: Three points for a win, 1 point for a shootout win, 0 points for a shootout loss, 0 for a loss.
  19. ^ RSSSF - Norwegian First division 1987 Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine "A 3-2-1-0 point scheme with drawn matches decided on penalties was used."
  20. ^ RSSSF - Brazilian First division 1988 Archived March 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine "The winner of the match earned 3 points, the winner of a penalties shootouts after a draw earned 2, and the loser of the penalties shootouts earned only 1 point."
  21. ^ 1988–89 Season - Archived July 19, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ 1994–95 Season - Archived July 19, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "NHL general managers give universal thumbs down to three-point wins". Canadian Press. February 21, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-02.
  24. ^ "2015 IIHF Sport Regulations" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  25. ^ "CCHA Teams to Receive Three Points for a Win This Season". Ohio State Buckeyes. 2009-09-28. Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2009-10-11.

External links

1889–90 Football League

The Football League 1889–90 was the second season of English league football, with Preston North End being crowned as the champions for the second successive season. The clubs competing were the 12 original clubs which were the founders of the league the previous year. Unlike the modern system, two points were awarded for a win, with one for a draw and no points for a loss; this system was carried on until the 1980s when teams were awarded three points for a win.

1973–74 Isthmian League

The 1973–74 season was the 59th in the history of the Isthmian League, an English football competition.

It was the first season in which the league was split into two divisions, with sixteen clubs joining a new Division Two. It was also the first season in which the Isthmian League used three points for a win.

Wycombe Wanderers won Division One, whilst Dagenham won Division Two.

1973–74 Yugoslav First League

1973–74 Yugoslav First League (Prva savezna liga Jugoslavije, Prvenstvo 1973/74) competition was the 46th top league season since 1923 in various incarnations of Yugoslavia. It was won by Hajduk Split by the tightest of margins over second placed Velež. The two teams were tied on points at the end of the season, so the goal difference decided the title.

Had the current three-points-for-a-win system been in use instead of the standard two-points-for-a-win that was used at the time, Velež Mostar would have been champions with 64 points, while Hajduk would have been be second with 63.

This was Hajduk's 7th league title overall (their 5th after the World War II).

1981–82 Combined Counties Football League

The 1981–82 Combined Counties Football League season was the fourth in the history of the Combined Counties Football League, a football competition in England, which operates at levels 9–10 of the English football league system.

With the arrival of several new clubs, the league was split into two divisions – East and West. The Eastern Division was won by Malden Town, after they won the league the previous season. The Western Division was won by Ash United. There was a championship playoff, which was won 3–0 on aggregate by Ash United. There was no promotion or relegation, although some clubs left the league at the end of the season and it reverted to a single division.

The league switched to the system of three points for a win, instead of two.

1982–83 Liga Artzit

The 1982–83 Liga Artzit season saw Beitar Tel Aviv win the title and promotion to Liga Leumit. Hakoah Ramat Gan and Maccabi Ramat Amidar were also promoted.

Maccabi Shefa-'Amr, Hapoel Acre and Hapoel Tel Hanan were all relegated to Liga Alef.

It was also the first season that the Three points for a win system was introduced.

1982–83 Liga Leumit

The 1982–83 Liga Leumit season saw Maccabi Netanya win the title, with the club's Oded Machnes finishing as the league's top scorer with 22 goals. Hapoel Ramat Gan, Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Kfar Saba (who finished bottom of the league a year after winning the title) were relegated to Liga Artzit. It was also the first season that the Three points for a win system was introduced.

1993–94 Czech 2. Liga

The 1993–94 Czech 2. Liga was the inaugural season of the 2. česká fotbalová liga, the second tier of the Czech football league following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The league was played with 16 teams, although the following season the number was increased to 18 teams, so only one team was relegated at the end of the season, with three teams being promoted from the third tier. Two points were awarded for a win this season, although from the following season this was changed to three points for a win.

1994–95 Serie A

The 1994–95 Serie A was won by Juventus, who finished 10 points ahead of their nearest rivals Parma and Lazio.

Two pieces of silverware were seized by Juventus, who won the Coppa Italia against Parma but were beaten in the final of the UEFA Cup again by Parma.

Milan's fourth-place finish after three successive Serie A titles was joined with further disappointment in the UEFA Champions League, as they lost the final to Dutch champions Ajax.

The relegated Serie A sides this season were Genoa (after tie-breaker with Padova), Foggia, Reggiana and Brescia.

This was the first Serie A season to award three points for a win in the league table: Juventus’ coach Marcello Lippi used a very offensive 4-3-3 formation, which resulted in a record 7 losses for a champion team, but with only 4 draws the Bianconeri capitalized upon the new regulation.

1994–95 in Scottish football

The 1994–95 season was the 98th season of competitive football in Scotland. This season saw the introduction of a fourth tier of league football (the Scottish 3rd Division) and also three points for a win being awarded instead of just two.

1995 FIFA Women's World Cup

The 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup, the second edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, was held in Sweden and won by Norway. The tournament featured 12 women's national teams from six continental confederations. The 12 teams were drawn into three groups of four and each group played a round-robin tournament. At the end of the group stage, the top two teams and two best third-ranked teams advanced to the knockout stage, beginning with the quarter-finals and culminating with the final at Råsunda Stadium on 18 June 1995.

Sweden became the first country to host both men's and women's World Cup, having hosted the men's in 1958.

Australia, Canada, and England made their debuts in the competition. The tournament also hosted as qualification for the 1996 Olympic games, with the eight quarter-finalists being invited to the Olympics. In the second edition of the Women's World Cup, matches were lengthened to the standard 90 minutes, and three points were awarded for a win.

1995–96 Eerste Divisie

The Dutch Eerste Divisie in the 1995–1996 season was contested by 18 teams. AZ won the championship. This was the first year teams earned three points for a win instead of two.

1995–96 Primeira Divisão

The 1995–96 Primeira Divisão was the 62nd edition of top flight of Portuguese football. It started on 19 August 1995 with a match between União de Leiria and Marítimo, and ended on 12 May 1996. Starting from this season, Portugal implemented the three points for a win rule, after FIFA formally adopted the system. The league was contested by 18 clubs with Porto as the defending champions.

Porto won the league and qualified for the 1996–97 UEFA Champions League group stage, Benfica qualified for the 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round, and Sporting CP, Boavista and V. Guimarães qualified for the 1996–97 UEFA Cup; in opposite, União da Madeira, Beira-Mar and Vitória de Setúbal were relegated to the Liga de Honra. Domingos was the top scorer with 25 goals.

1999–2000 La Liga

The 1999–2000 La Liga season, the 69th since its establishment, began on 21 August 1999 and ended on 20 May 2000. Deportivo La Coruña won their first league title with 69 points, the lowest for a champion since three points for a win was introduced in 1995.

2005–06 Football League

The 2005–06 Football League (known as the Coca-Cola Football League for sponsorship reasons) was the 107th completed season of The Football League.

This season saw Reading promoted to the top flight for the first time in their history, after winning the Championship with 106 points – a record for a 46-match season with three points for a win. Southend United were the champions of League One, while Carlisle United, having played in the Conference in 2004–05, completed a double promotion by winning League Two.

2007–08 Malian Première Division

The 2007–08 Malian Première Division was competed in 26 rounds between 15 December 2007 and 1 September 2008. Fourteen clubs competed, with the club top on points (three points for a win, one point for a draw, zero points for a loss) named Champion and the bottom two clubs relegated to the lower division.

Djoliba AC won their 20th title and did not qualified into the 2009 CAF Champions League the following season. At the time in the number of titles, Djoliba had 20 titles and formed one of the most of any amateur championships in the world, overall it may be around the top ten range of any clubs who had 20+ championship titles in the world at the time.

The season featured 183 matches, a total of 373 goals were scored.

Stade Malien was for the third time the defending team of the title.

All-time table of the FIFA World Cup

This all-time table compares men's national association football teams that have participated in the FIFA World Cup by several criteria including tournaments played, consecutive tournaments played or missed, matches, wins, draws, losses, goals, points, points per match, best finish, and confederation.

Three different columns of accumulated points are provided for each team, all of them taking each game as if it were a World Cup group-stage match.

The first column applies the system used in the World Cup since 1994: 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, and 0 for a loss.

The second column applies the system used in the World Cup up to 1990: 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw, and 0 for a loss. Effectively, this system values a draw as worth half a win.

The third column is the points actually obtained: 2 points for a win up to 1990; 3 points for a win since 1994; always 1 point for a draw and 0 for a loss.The respective values for average points per match represent the ratio of the total accumulated points to the number of matches played by the team in the World Cup.

The rank order of the teams is based on total points as per the "three points for a win" system, then on total goal difference, and then on goals scored in all World Cup matches. If two or more teams are still tied after the application of these criteria, they are given equal ranks and are listed alphabetically.

As per statistical convention in football, matches decided in extra time are counted as wins and losses, while matches decided by penalty shoot-outs are counted as draws in this table.

List of Huddersfield Town A.F.C. records and statistics

These are a list of player and club records for Huddersfield Town Association Football Club.

NWSL Shield

The NWSL Shield is an annual award given to the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) team with the best regular season record, as determined by the NWSL points system. The NWSL Shield has been annually awarded since 2013, and is recognized as a major trophy by the league.

North Carolina Courage and Reign FC, having earned two NWSL Shields each since the league's inception in 2013, have won the most shields of any NWSL team as of 2018.

Winning percentage

In sports, a winning percentage is the fraction of games or matches a team or individual has won. It is defined as wins divided by the total number of matches played (i.e. wins plus draws plus losses). A draw counts as a ​12 win.

For example, if a team's season record is 30 wins and 20 losses, the winning percentage would be 60% or .600. If a team's season record is 30–15–5 (i.e. it has won thirty games, lost fifteen and tied five times), the five tie games are counted as 2​12 wins, and so the team has an adjusted record of 32​12 wins, resulting in a 65% or .650 winning percentage for the fifty total games from

In North America, winning percentages are expressed as decimal values to three decimal places. It is the same value, but without the last step of multiplying by 100% in the formula above. Furthermore, they are usually read aloud as if they were whole numbers (e.g. 1.000, "a thousand" or .500, "five hundred"). In this case, the name "winning percentage" is actually a misnomer, since it is not expressed as a percentage. A winning percentage such as .536 ("five thirty-six") expressed as a percentage would be 53.6%.

Winning percentage is one way to compare the record of two teams; however, another standard method most frequently used in baseball and professional basketball standings is games behind. In baseball, a pitcher is assessed wins and losses as an individual statistic and thus has his own winning percentage, based on his win–loss record.

However, in soccer, a manager's abilities may be measured by win percentage. In this case, the formula is wins divided by total number of matches; draws are not considered as "half-wins", and the quotient is always in percentage form.

In the National Football League, division winners and playoff qualifiers are technically determined by winning percentage and not by number of wins. Ties are currently counted as half a win and half a loss, however, prior to 1972 tied games were disregarded for the purposes of this calculation — a 10-2-2 record (10÷12 ≈ .833) would then have outranked an 11-3 record (11÷14 ≈ .785). Tie games, a fairly common occurrence in football before the introduction of overtime, were thus somewhat more valuable to teams with a winning record, as compared with current rules.

Some leagues and competitions may instead use a points percentage system, changing the nature of this statistic. In this type of method, used in many group tournament ranking systems, the competitors are awarded a certain number of points per win, fewer points per tie, and none for a loss. The teams are then ranked by the total number of these accumulated points. One such method is the "three points for a win", where three points are awarded for winning a game, one point is awarded for a draw, and no points are awarded for a loss. The National Hockey League (which uses an overtime and shootouts to break all ties) awards two points for a win in regulation or overtime/shootout, one point for an overtime loss, and none for a regulation loss.


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