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-   -   Why isn't the league table featured prominently in American sports (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=868434)

penultima thule 01-07-2019 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut (Post 21416847)
In fact, as soon as a game starts, they will often show a "live table". ... That can only work in soccer, mostly due to the low frequency of scoring.

Both AFL and NRL telecasts in Australia will show a "live table" and game scores change way more frequently than soccer though the lead in the game and teams W/L status less so.

It's also seen occasionally in the BBL cricket.

kenobi 65 01-07-2019 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut (Post 21416847)
On broadcasts of American sports, it is pretty rare to see the full standings for the entire league (and live tables are non-existent).

What we see, instead, are live updates of scores from the other games in progress.

asterion 01-07-2019 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenobi 65 (Post 21417692)
What we see, instead, are live updates of scores from the other games in progress.

And if it's the NFL, lots of fantasy updates.

Jackknifed Juggernaut 01-07-2019 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by penultima thule (Post 21417674)
Both AFL and NRL telecasts in Australia will show a "live table" and game scores change way more frequently than soccer though the lead in the game and teams W/L status less so.

It's also seen occasionally in the BBL cricket.

So in the midst of a game, if the score is tied 0-0, the table shows each team with a draw on its record? That seems odd considering that draws are presumably not very common.

penultima thule 01-07-2019 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut (Post 21417816)
So in the midst of a game, if the score is tied 0-0, the table shows each team with a draw on its record? That seems odd considering that draws are presumably not very common.

You'd see the live ladder in the pre-game.
The two teams would have an asterix to denote they had a game in hand.
It usually doesn't take very long for a team to score in Aussie Rules.
I haven't taken that much notice in the past but you probably wouldn't see it the live score until later in the game. It's obviously maintained live but the broadcast would likely only use it if the current score caused a change in the ladder. I can't recall an instance of the ladder being shown when the scores were tied.
You'd see the live ladder in the post-game even if there are other fixtures of the round being/still to be played.

Pixel_Dent 01-08-2019 07:29 AM

In olden days my memory is that the league standings were mentioned more often. My guess is that they're mentioned less often for the same reason that most people no longer buy TV Guide magazine or check the newspaper for movie listings. If I want to see the league standings I no longer check the paper or turn on ESPN, I just type "NFL" into the search field on my cell phone and get the full table in a few seconds.

Pleonast 01-08-2019 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by penultima thule (Post 21417840)
The two teams would have an asterix to denote they had a game in hand.

The phrase "game in hand" is unclear to me. Does it mean the two teams are actively playing the game, or that they just finished? Context seems to indicate the former, but without that I would think the latter. As in "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush", "in hand" means completed.

Atamasama 01-08-2019 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pleonast (Post 21418639)
The phrase "game in hand" is unclear to me. Does it mean the two teams are actively playing the game, or that they just finished? Context seems to indicate the former, but without that I would think the latter. As in "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush", "in hand" means completed.

I think of “in hand” as being “in progress”, like something being currently in your hand (and being used).

A bird in the hand isn’t “completed”, it’s literally in your hand. The point of the proverb isn’t that it’s better to have one thing done than have two things in progress. It means that if you already have a bird in your hand, you don’t let it escape for the chance to get two birds, because there’s no guarantee that you’ll catch them.

Anyway, as an American I’d assume “in hand” to mean it’s currently happening, even though it’s not a term I’m completely familiar with.

Telemark 01-08-2019 01:02 PM

If Team A has played one fewer game than Team B, it has a "game in hand". Which means that Team A has another game to play in order to gain points that Team B doesn't have.

ElvisL1ves 01-08-2019 01:04 PM

If Team B has one more win than Team A, they have a game in hand.

garygnu 01-08-2019 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21418797)
If Team B has one more win than Team A, they have a game in hand.

No. A game in hand means a match that hasn't been played yet when rivals have already played the equivalent.

If hockey team A has won 36 games out of 52, and team B has won 35 games out of 50, team B may be behind in the current standings but have two games in hand.

No, it doesn't match up with the "bird in the hand" colloquialism.

ElvisL1ves 01-08-2019 01:30 PM

Nope. Having to do more than the other team, like win one more game, is the opposite of having anything in hand. "In hand" means you've almost achieved something, such as finishing ahead of the other team.

DSYoungEsq 01-08-2019 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21418870)
Nope. Having to do more than the other team, like win one more game, is the opposite of having anything in hand. "In hand" means you've almost achieved something, such as finishing ahead of the other team.

You are, sir, incorrect in your understanding of the application of the phrase "game in hand" to sports situations under discussion.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/...a-game-in-hand

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_in_hand

ISiddiqui 01-08-2019 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq (Post 21418952)
You are, sir, incorrect in your understanding of the application of the phrase "game in hand" to sports situations under discussion.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/...a-game-in-hand

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_in_hand

Indeed. Think of the games of a season as tokens which are being spent. If you have played one less game, that means you have spent one less token and therefore have one more in your hand than the other person.

Btw, league tables are less spoken of, but how far a team is from the top team in the division or a playoff spot is very much spoken about. So it's different.

Atamasama 01-08-2019 03:11 PM

I never see the “in hand” (or equivalent) mentioned in standings for American sports (football is the only one I follow closely, though I casually follow baseball). But it sure would be... handy. (Sorry.) I have to guess, so if one football team is 9-2 and the other is 8-2 I assume the 8-2 has played one fewer game (either they had their bye week and the other didn’t, or they haven’t played this week’s game yet). It would be nice to not have to do that quick mental math all the time and have it spelled out explicitly.

kenobi 65 01-08-2019 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 21419141)
I never see the “in hand” (or equivalent) mentioned in standings for American sports (football is the only one I follow closely, though I casually follow baseball).

I hear it occasionally in relation to baseball, particularly when you get to the last quarter of the season, and there's a tight divisional race (though it's not always worded precisely as "in hand").

In the NFL, once a week's games have been played there's never a gap of more than one game played from team to team, and even that gap vanishes for the last month of the season (as all of the teams have taken their bye week by then).

Conversely, in MLB, because games are scheduled on a daily basis, the timing of days off for teams varies, and (maybe more importantly) because rainouts are sometimes not rescheduled for months (if at all), it's not uncommon to see larger differences in the numbers of games played from team to team.

Telemark 01-08-2019 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 21419141)
I never see the “in hand” (or equivalent) mentioned in standings for American sports (football is the only one I follow closely, though I casually follow baseball). But it sure would be... handy.

It doesn't really work in football (or basketball or baseball), since points don't really matter. All that matters is your record. For the sake of this discussion let's leave football ties out of it. If Team A is 11-4 and Team B is 12-4, you know Team A needs to win their last game to match Team B's record.

In hockey, points matter. So if you're near the end of the season and Boston has played one fewer game than Montreal, but they have the same number of points then they have a "Game in hand". Boston has one more game in which to score a point (either by winning or losing in a shootout). There's no guarantee they'll end up ahead of Montreal in the standings, but they have an opportunity.

penultima thule 01-08-2019 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Telemark (Post 21418790)
If Team A has played one fewer game than Team B, it has a "game in hand".

+1

Team A ... Played 10, Win 7, Draw 1, Loss 2, Pts 30
Team B ... Played 9, Win 7, Draw 1, Loss 1, Pts 30
Team C ... Played 8, Win 7, Draw 1, Loss 0 Pts 30


Team A has "played an extra game"
Team B has "a game in hand"
Team C has "two games in hand"

asterion 01-08-2019 04:57 PM

I've never heard "in hand" and the closest I can think of is being half a game back.

Atamasama 01-08-2019 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenobi 65 (Post 21419210)
In the NFL, once a week's games have been played there's never a gap of more than one game played from team to team, and even that gap vanishes for the last month of the season (as all of the teams have taken their bye week by then).

True, but with games on Sunday, Thursday, and Monday (and sometimes Saturday once college football ends regular season games) you can lose track. And I’m sure it happens where Team A hasn’t had a bye week and played on Thursday, and Team B had a bye week and plays on Monday, and you check the schedule on Sunday and see that Team A is 4-2 and Team B is 4-0. So it can seem weird temporarily with a two game gap. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Telemark (Post 21419218)
It doesn't really work in football (or basketball or baseball), since points don't really matter. All that matters is your record. For the sake of this discussion let's leave football ties out of it. If Team A is 11-4 and Team B is 12-4, you know Team A needs to win their last game to match Team B's record.

True, the important thing is win percentage, so it doesn’t matter as far as standings go. But it’d be nice to know I guess.

Pleonast 01-08-2019 08:24 PM

Seems I wasn’t the only one not understanding the term “in hand”. Thanks for the ignorance fighting!

Jackknifed Juggernaut 01-09-2019 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asterion (Post 21419359)
I've never heard "in hand" and the closest I can think of is being half a game back.

Perhaps you’ve never noticed it, but I hear it all the time at the end of the MLB, NBA and NHL seasons, when teams competing for playoff spots have a mismatch in number of games left. If you regularly watch these sports, I guarantee that you’ll notice it next time. It’s one of those phrases that you start hearing all time after never noticing it before (kind of like after noticing the arrow in the FedEx symbol). I predict this will happen during the last week of March.

Jackknifed Juggernaut 01-09-2019 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 21419374)
....True, the important thing is win percentage, so it doesn’t matter as far as standings go. But it’d be nice to know I guess.

But with the knowledge that all teams will have played the same number of games at the end of the season, “games in hand” allow one team more opportunity to improve its win percentage, and by a greater margin, versus its competition. That’s what makes it an important and significant variable.


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