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Dead rubbers

Posted by Henry on August 19, 2003

In Reply to: Rubber Match ? posted by Bob on August 19, 2003

: : : : Where did the phrase Rubber Match for playing the tie-breaking game. ie: 2 out of 3 games, 1 game each... now we play the "Rubber Match"

: : : I don't know but am in good company as the OED doesn't know either. They say:

: : : ORIGIN C16: of unknown origin; early use was as a term in bowls.

: : Is a 'rubber' of bridge related, ie, a three part game?
: Yes. Bridge is the place where this is used most frequently ... but it is applied in almost every other case of a deciding third competition, from sport to elections to whatever.

In the Davis Cup, each match played between countries is called a tie because, in effect, all the countries in that level are equal to each other. Each tie is composed of two singles matches, a doubles match, and then reverse singles matches. All matches are called rubbers. Each rubber is a best-of-five sets match. To win the tie and progress to the next round, a team must win three of the five rubbers. If a team wins the first three rubbers, the last two are called dead rubbers because they will not count on whether the team will advance or not. The dead rubbers are best-of-three sets.