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Playoff berth

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

In a sports league, a playoff berth is a position in the playoffs secured ("clinched") ahead—and sometimes well ahead—of the season's conclusion. In close races, some teams will not make the playoffs until they have played the final game of the season, but other teams clinch a spot in the playoffs when they have mathematically qualified for the playoffs. A team mathematically qualifies for the playoffs when they have won enough games to qualify, including if they lose every remaining regular season game and all trailing teams win every remaining regular season game.

In some leagues, only the leader of each division qualifies for the playoffs, thereby requiring clinching the division in order to clinch a playoff berth. But in many large sports leagues, additional wild card teams that have not finished at the top of their division will also contend in the playoffs, and these positions will also be sought by teams that are unable to reach the top.

Ranking watchers, such as the media, keep track of when teams have clinched, or how close they are to achieving this (see Magic number (sports)). In standing charts displayed in newspapers and on websites, teams that have clinched a berth or even their division are generally indicated with various letters and symbols.

A team's ranking among playoff teams is known as a seed. Teams with the better regular season record (a higher seed) are generally afforded greater privileges during the playoffs, including home advantage and byes. A team that has simply clinched a playoff berth may continue to try to win if they have a chance to obtain a higher seed. A team that has already clinched the highest possible seed during the regular season, or a team that cannot improve upon its seed, may be able to rest their starters during the remainder of the season.

See also[edit]

  • Elimination from possibility of reaching postseason

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