Sports in which no scoring is possible

Are there any sports, other than soccer football, in which it’s possible for none of the participants to score a point of advantage during the game (such as a goal)?

Also, are there any other sports, other than soccer football, in which the game can end as a draw/tie, with no winner?

Other than stuff like tennis, what games are IMpossible for there to be no score?

Unlikely that it happens, but NFL (US football) regular season games can end scoreless.

Absolutely possible in NFL football.

It’s possible for neither team to score, though this hasn’t happened in the NFL since 1943.

The current rules for regular-season NFL games feature a 10-minute overtime period, if a game is tied after the regulation 60 minutes of play, but if the score is still tied after that overtime period, the game ends in a tie.

US football goes into overtime if there is a tie at the end of regulation time, but if nobody scores in overtime, then the game ends in a tie. There is also the possibility of both teams scoring over and over in overtime and still winding up in a tie.
Baseball goes into extra innings and just continues ad infinitum till one of the teams winds up ahead at the end of an inning.

Surely there are loads.

Any goal scoring game could possibly end with no goals scored: hockey, netball, rugby, American Football, basketball… Sure it is vanishingly rare for them to do so, but there’s nothing in the rules that says someone has to score. Compare e.g. tennis where one player will score at the expense of another by definition.

As to draws, similarly any game in which both teams have the chance to score has the chance to end with them scoring equally. The lower scoring the game the more likely a draw of course, but my soul is still scarred by Scotland drawing 38-38 with England in the 2019 Six Nations.

never mind, wrong example

This is true in college football (at least in Division 1), but not true in the NFL, which uses a different set of overtime rules.

The only way that an NFL game that goes into overtime can still end in a tie, but with teams scoring during the overtime period, would be if the team which possesses the ball first in overtime scores a field goal on that possession, and the other team then also scores a field goal on the subsequent possession. Otherwise, NFL overtime is “sudden death,” and the next team that scores wins the game.

Even a cricket match can end up tied (or drawn!)

But consider a game like Chess. While there will be a result after the game is over, during the game itself a player’s position will be at some more or less quantifiable advantage or disadvantage; this may be clearer in a game like Go. Also, considering certain classes of games combinatorially, they can be assigned a value which may be a “number” but also “fuzzy” values which imply that first player to move wins.

Agreed. With modern kickers who can kick field goals of 55 yards or farther, both teams would have to fail to get within 40 yards of the other team’s goal, otherwise there would be at least one field goal in the course of the game. That’s a virtually impossible scenario.

In most basketball rules codes (NBA, FIBA, NCAA), a game can’t end in a tie. All of those codes appear to have unlimited overtime periods; if a game is still tied at the end an overtime period (even if the score is 0-0), another overtime period is played. The only way I could see a basketball game ending in a scoreless tie would be if it is called off due to lack of players (from fouling out, injuries, etc.) Otherwise, ultimately, someone has to score at least a single point in order for the game to end.

In NHL hockey, it used to be possible for a regular-season game to end in a tie, even a scoreless tie. But, with the adoption of the shootout for regular season games in 2005, there are no more ties in the NHL – if a game is tied after the overtime period, teams will keep taking turns taking shootout shots, until someone scores.

I guess it’s “possible” for no scoring in bowing. I don’t know the tie-breaking procedure would be.

Ah, thank you. It’s interesting that the authorities have obviously decided to force the issue by making a positive choice to prevent ties which would otherwise occur.

Where I could see it being more possible (though still very unlikely) would be if the game were being played in poor weather conditions. Heavy rain and wind, or a blizzard, for two examples, would make it difficult for offenses to move the ball (and hang onto the ball, for that matter), as well as making kicking far more challenging – most NFL kickers are pretty accurate out to 50 yards (which translates to the line of scrimmage being the opponent’s 32 yard line), but add in bad footing (from muddy, snowy, or frozen turf), and high wind, and even a short field goal is a crapshoot.

Sports where there is just a single round could have no scoring, such as tug of war and arm wrestling. In sports like these, the competitors face off and there’s a winner and loser. There might be leagues where there are several rounds played and competitors get points based on how they did in each round, but that’s a characteristic of the league, not the underlying sport. The core sport itself does not have points. There’s just a winner and loser.

In Japanese baseball, games can end in a tie. Not sure what the rules say in other countries.

I believe Rugby matches can end in a tie, depending on the league.

NCAA hockey games can end in a 0-0 tie. The NHL forces a winner with their overtime/shootout rules during the regular season in the case of an end of regulation time tie game. They use a different set of OT rules for playoff game ties.

Unless the game is called for whatever reason, which happened in the top of the Sixth in St. Louis on 13 September 1989 – the last game in MLB to end in a 0-0 tie.

Rugby League March 28, 1982 Newtown and Canterbury played a 0-0 draw.
The only instance recorded.

Whilst no (professional) team has ever gone scoreless in a VFL/AFL game so there have been no scoreless draws. The lowest ever combined match score was Essendon 1-8(14) vs Melbourne 0-8 (8) in 1897
My oldest son once played in a junior AFL game which finished 0-1 (1) vs 0-1 (1).

My understanding is that a weird corner case, like in that 1989 game, is how you can still get a tie in an MLB game:

  • A late-season game, with two teams that are well out of contention (and probably as the last game of the final series of the year between the two teams)
  • The game goes at least 5 innings (the minimum length to qualify as an official game)
  • The game is then called due to rain or other weather, while the score is tied

Normally, such a game would be suspended at that point, and completed at a later date, but if it’s not possible to do so (due to no open schedule dates which coincide for the two teams), and if the outcome of the game has no bearing on the playoffs, it would go into the books as a tie.