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Usually a "rubber match" or "rubber game" of a 3 game series is only played if no one has a chance to sweep the series. If team A wins game 1 and team B wins game 2, it shows game 3 can go either way... Sorta like how rubber can bend either way.

Thus, "Rubber game" of the series.

According to Paul Dickson's The New Dickson's Baseball Dictionary (Harcourt Brace, 1999), a "rubber game" is "The last and deciding game of a series when the previous games have been split; e.g., the seventh game of the World Series." This tie-breaking sense of "rubber" apparently originated in the pulse-pounding English game of "bowls," or lawn Bowling. Despite its name, bowls has little in common with American bowling, and consists of rolling wooden balls (called "bowls") across a level green, the object being to get your ball as close as possible to (but not to hit) a little white ball at the other end of the green. "Rubber" in its tie-breaking sense first appeared in the context of bowls around 1599, and was in use by the card-playing crowd (whist, bridge, etc.) by 1744. A set of three games of bridge is still generally referred to as a "rubber."

Unfortunately, no one knows where "rubber" in this sense came from. It appears to be unrelated to the elastic sort of "rubber." (Incidentally, our modern elastic "rubber" is short for "India-rubber," from its original source in the East Indies. "Rubber" previously meant anything used to rub, smooth or clean.) Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable ventures that the term may have referred to two "bowls" rubbing together, a fatal error in the game of bowls. Or it might be a metaphorical use of "rubber" (something that expunges) referring to the "sudden death" third game of a series, the loss of which would conclusively "rub out" the losing team's hopes. But there is, sad to say, no solid evidence for either theory."

I think that 'rubber match' will mean the match that will decide the rubber ie the fifth in a series of five. The term rubber doesn't itself mean decisive.

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โˆ™ 2014-04-23 14:35:50
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Q: Why is the third game called the 'rubber match'?
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Why is the 3rd game of a series called a rubber match?

A rubber match (or rubber game) is a match where the winner of that match wins the series. In a three game series tied at one game a piece, the third match is the rubber match. The third match is not called a rubber match if one team already won the first two games and is going for the sweep.


Why is the third game called the rubber match?

The term drives from contract bridge (the card game). There are two forms of bridge commonly played -- "duplicate", which is used in tournaments, and "rubber". A Rubber in rubber bridge consists of winning two out of three games, so if a match (or a series in sports) is tied at one-to-one, the "rubber" depends on winning that final game, hence the "rubber game" or "rubber match".


Where did the baseball term 'rubber game' originate?

Rubber game or rubber match: Term used for the third game of 3-game series when the two teams have split the first two games. Originally a card-playing term.


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