The Loser is the Winner

Have there ever been any sports where the losing team (or participant) was actually considered to be the winner?

The 2000 election was just such a sport. :wink:

There have been games that have been forfeited by the team that was numerically ahead at the time. In horse racing - and the Olympics, for that matter - winners have been disqualified for testing positive for drugs. And in golf, signing an incorrect scorecard can get a person disqualified even if the score would have won.

Other than that, I think the OP needs to get a lot clearer about what is being asked.

Perhaps it is intended as some kind of zen koan?

I think he means like golf, where the person with the lowest score wins.

Anti-Chess is a chess variant where the object is to get all your pieces taken.

This is pretty close…in certain soccer (football) tournament setups, teams play a two game series with the winner determined by aggregate score if both teams split the games. Therefore, a team can lose the last game of a round and still advance if they built up a good enough of a cushion in the first game.

Formula 1 used to score by aggregate time when a race was interrupted by a red flag and was later restarted. Rather than wipe out whatever the time intervals were between drivers by restarting from the grid or behind the safety car, the time of the first leg was added to the time of the second. Therefore, it was possible for a person to cross the finish line first but lose if they didn’t make up the deficit to the leader at the time of the red flag. (e.g., Schumacher leads Hill by 14.391 seconds at the end of the first leg. Hill must be leading Schumacher by 14.392 seconds at the finish to win.) The last time this rule came into play was at the rain interrupted Japanese Grand Prix in 1994 and has since been dropped.

How about the Mayan/Incan (?) sport fabled as the precursor to basketball?

As I understand it, the ‘winning’ team was sacrificed to the gods.

I suppose it depends on your point of view.

While not exactly a sport (though it all depends on your definition of sport), my favorite card game as played by my grandparents when I was a kid, Shanghai, can make a winner out of a loser.

There are 7 hands in the game. You win the hand by laying down all your cards. The cards left in the other players hands are counted against them in progressive values. At the end of the game, the person with the lowest point total wins the game. I have played games in which a player has lost every hand, but successfully rid themselves of enough high point cards throughout the game that they ended up winning the game.

Ok, so playing cards may not be considered a sport, but it is competitive! And the betting was mighty serious at grandma & grandpa’s table.

How about Quidditch where if you catch the golden snitch you get 150 points for your team and end the game, but if you’re more than 150 points behind you actually lose?

Blackjack - when you bust.

Make that. . . when the dealer goes bust. High hand loses.

A lot of sailing races use a handicap system where the time around the course is adjusted by a certain number of minutes per mile based on the type of boat. It is possible (and even likely, depending on conditions) to cross the line first and end up losing to a boat that hasn’t even rounded the last mark. But everyone knows the handicaps going in, so I’m not sure this really answers the OP.

How about Russian roulette?

“Considered” to be the winner? How about cricket?

The only thing I can think of is the guy who draws the short straw in the life boat/suicide mission.

There’s also lowball poker, in which the lowest possible hand wins. The worst hand is A-2-3-4-6 of different suites (lowest cards without a straight).

If the two worst teams are playing the last game of the season in one of the major U.S. sports, and winning gives you a better record, you are declared the loser, because you lost on on the first pick in the next draft.

The Phila Eagles lost the ‘rights’ to OJ Simpson (Simpson jokes aside) by winning their last game of the season many years ago.

Winning games near the end of the season makes you a loser if it takes you out of the first pick in the draft.

You are referring to the Mayan ball game, I believe. From frescoes, there is clear evidence that some-one was sacrificed. Unfortunately, the Mayans didn’t include the box scores in the frescoes, so the debate depends on speculation and interpretation of the artwork. There is still debate as to which team was sacrificed, but opinion now seems to be running towards sacrificing the losers:

I saw/heard of a bicycyle race where the winner was the last over the finish line.

Aeschines, please leave political comments out of GQ.

General Questions Moderator