A walkover, also W.O. or w/o (originally two words: "walk over") is the awarding of a victory to a contestant because there are no other contestants or the other contestants have been disqualified or have forfeited. The term can apply in sport but also to elections, when it is also referred to as winning "by default". The word is used more generally by extension, particularly in politics, for a contest in which the winner is not the only participant but has little or no competition. The narrow and extended meanings of "walkover" as a single word are both found from 1829.
The word originates from horseracing in the United Kingdom, where an entrant in a one-horse race run under Jockey Club rules has at least to "walk over" the course before being awarded victory. This outcome was quite common at a time when there was no guaranteed prize money for horses finishing second or third, so there was no incentive to run a horse in a race it could not win. The eighteenth century champion racehorse Eclipse was so dominant over his contemporaries that he was allowed to walk over on nine occasions, and the 1828 Epsom Derby winner Cadland walked over on at least six occasions.
The term is also used in tennis, in reference to a player's unopposed victory as a result of the opponent's failing to start the match for any reason, such as injury.
The only Olympic Games walkover for a gold medal was at the 1908 Summer Olympics: Wyndham Halswelle won a rerun of the 400 m race as the two other athletes refused to take part in the rerun. The only time it has happened at the FIFA World Cup was in the 1938 edition, when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany before the former was scheduled to play Sweden. Latvia was the runner-up in Austria's qualification group, but was not invited to participate; instead Austria's place remained empty, and Sweden, which would have been Austria's initial opponent, progressed directly to the second-round.
A walkover is usually the sign of a very strong mandate or unanimous support. For most higher-profile races, true walkovers are rare, as an opposing party will usually nominate a paper candidate to provide nominal opposition. It can, however, be interpreted by critics of the faction the walkover is awarded to as a suspicious sign of electoral fraud or gerrymandering to prevent other candidates from participating. The circumstances of such an interpretation are usually controversial. Walkovers can thus often be a sign of an illiberal democracy.
In civic organisations and civic societies, where personal charisma and personal politics often dominate, while parties or factions are often interested in a seat, they may not contest a seat that is being held by a long-standing or very popular individual, for fear of being seen as "rocking the boat". In elections for these societies, there is often "pre-election politics" where candidates attempt to figure out who is running for which positions; in this cat and mouse game, elected positions are thus often effectively decided by internal politics before a single vote is cast.
Many liberal democracies in history, including the United States, have had uncontested elections because support for one candidate was so strong. In the United States presidential elections of 1789 and 1792, George Washington ran uncontested for President, although in the latter election the ballot for the Vice President was contested by both Federalists and Democratic-Republicans. In the 1820 election, James Monroe also ran unopposed, though New Hampshire elector William Plumer cast a vote for John Quincy Adams as a symbolic measure.
Running without opponents is not always a guarantee of winning. Many elections require that the winner has not only the most votes of all candidates but a defined fraction of all votes cast, or of the electorate. In this case electors may be able to cast a blank vote or none of the above vote, spoil their papers, or abstain from voting, preventing the one candidate from winning and forcing a new election. In the Philippines, the sole candidate in an uncontested election must have at least one vote in order to win the seat; this is also true in general elections in the United States, and there are cases in local government races where the sole candidate on the ballot finished with zero votes (as almost all U.S. government seats require candidates to reside in the municipality they seek to represent, this means the candidate themselves must, usually out of forgetfulness or lack of time on election day, fail to vote for themselves) and thus lose an uncontested election. In such cases, the other members of the body usually appoint someone to the vacant seat. (This is not true in primary elections, where if only one candidate qualifies for a party's nomination, the primary is not held.) If a candidate is unopposed on the ballot but lacks support of their constituency, a campaign for any write-in candidate could outvote the unopposed candidate, regardless of whether that write-in name is actively seeking the seat.
”Winning by default” can also happen when there are less candidates than what is required. For example, if a group requires seven people, and only four people apply for the role, the candidates may be elected by default.
In poker games that use blinds, a hand is considered a walkover (usually shortened to walk) when no other players call or raise the big blind, resulting in the player who posted the big blind winning the hand by default. Walks are most often seen in tournament play. Cash games often allow the players to "split the blinds" (i.e. take back their blind bets in case there are no callers or raisers by the time the action gets to the small blind), but this is usually not permitted in tournaments.
The 1873–74 Football Association Challenge Cup was the third staging of the FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. Twenty-eight teams entered, twelve more than the previous season, although six of the twenty-eight never played a match.1875–76 FA Cup
The 1875–76 Football Association Challenge Cup was the fifth staging of the FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. Thirty-two teams entered, three more than the previous season, although five of the thirty-two never played a match.1876–77 FA Cup
The 1876–77 Football Association Challenge Cup was the sixth staging of the FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. Thirty-seven teams entered, five more than the previous season, although five of the thirty-seven never played a match.1878–79 FA Cup
The 1878–79 Football Association Challenge Cup was the eighth staging of the FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. Forty-three teams entered, although six of the forty-three never played a match.1879–80 FA Cup
The 1879–80 Football Association Challenge Cup was the ninth staging of the FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. Fifty-four teams entered, eleven more than the previous season, although five of the fifty-four never played a match.1881–82 FA Cup
The 1881–82 Football Association Challenge Cup was the eleventh staging of the FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. Seventy-three teams entered, eleven more than the previous season, although five of the seventy-three never played a match.1884–85 FA Cup
The 1884–85 Football Association Challenge Cup was the fourteenth staging of the FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. 114 teams entered, 14 more than the previous season, although 9 of these never played a match.1885–86 FA Cup
The 1885–86 Football Association Challenge Cup was the fifteenth staging of the FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. One hundred and thirty teams entered, sixteen more than the previous season, although six of the one hundred and thirty never played a match. Blackburn Rovers retain the cup for the third time in a row. As of 2017, they were the last side to achieve FA Cup hat-trick.1886–87 FA Cup
The 1886–87 Football Association Challenge Cup was the sixteenth FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. One hundred and twenty-four teams entered, six fewer than the previous season, in addition to four of the one hundred and twenty-four never playing a match.1887–88 FA Cup
The 1887–88 Football Association Challenge Cup was the seventeenth staging of the FA Cup, England's oldest football tournament. One hundred and forty-nine teams entered, twenty-five more than the previous season, although four of the one hundred and forty-nine never played a match.1888–89 FA Cup qualifying rounds
The FA Cup, from this season onwards, began to incorporate a series of qualifying rounds in order to determine qualifiers for the actual Cup competition itself. The qualifying rounds were made up of amateur teams, semi-professional teams, and professional sides not yet associated with the Football League, such as Nottingham Forest. The only game to be played on Christmas Day took place, Linfield Athletic beating Cliftonville 7–0. Everton became the first Football League team to withdraw from the Cup after drawing Ulster in the first qualifying round.See 1888–89 FA Cup for details of the rounds from the First Round onwards.1889–90 FA Cup qualifying rounds
This was the second season where the FA Cup, or the Football Association Challenge Cup, used a series of qualifying rounds in order to determine qualifiers for the actual Cup competition itself.
See 1889–90 FA Cup for details of the rounds from the first round onwards.1890–91 FA Cup qualifying rounds
This was the third season where the FA Cup, or the Football Association Challenge Cup, used a series of qualifying rounds in order to determine qualifiers for the actual Cup competition itself and the first season that a Preliminary Round was used.
See 1890–91 FA Cup for details of the rounds from the First Round onwards.1890–91 Scottish Cup
The 1890–91 Scottish Cup was the 18th season of Scotland's most prestigious football knockout competition. Heart of Midlothian defeated Dumbarton 1-0 to win the trophy.1891–92 FA Cup qualifying rounds
This was the fourth season where the FA Cup, or the Football Association Challenge Cup, used a series of qualifying rounds in order to determine qualifiers for the actual Cup competition itself and the first season that a Preliminary Round was used.
See 1891–92 FA Cup for details of the rounds from the First Round onwards.1910 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final
The 1910 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 23rd All-Ireland Final and the deciding match of the 1910 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, an inter-county Gaelic football tournament for the top teams in Ireland.
Louth received a walkover, because Kerry refused to play after the Great Southern and Western Railway would not sell tickets to their fans at reduced rates.2014 ATP World Tour Finals – Singles
Novak Djokovic was the two-time defending champion and he successfully defended his title, after Roger Federer withdrew from the final, the first walkover in a final in the tournament’s 45-year history.Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic & Marin Čilić made their debuts at the event.2014 Dockerty Cup
The 2014 Dockerty Cup was a football (soccer) knockout-cup competition held between men's clubs in Victoria, Australia, held between March and August 2014. Victorian soccer clubs from the 5 State League Divisions, regional, metros and masters leagues - plus the 12 Clubs from the National Premier Leagues Victoria - competed for the Dockerty Cup trophy.
This knockout competition was won by Melbourne Knights, their 9th title.
The competition also served as Qualifying Rounds for the 2014 FFA Cup. In addition to the two Victorian A-League clubs, the four semi-finalists qualified for the final rounds of the 2014 FFA Cup, entering at the Round of 32.
Note: †–After extra timeReginald Doherty
Reginald "Reggie" or "R. F." Frank Doherty (14 October 1872 – 29 December 1910) was a British tennis player and the older brother of tennis player Laurence Doherty. He was known in the tennis world as "R.F." rather than "Reggie". He was a four-time Wimbledon singles champion and a triple Olympic Gold medalist in doubles and mixed doubles.