Winning percentage

"Win–loss record" redirects here. For the baseball statistic, see Win–loss record (pitching).

In sports, a winning percentage is the fraction of games or matches a team or individual has won. It is defined as wins divided by the total number of matches played (i.e. wins plus losses). A draw counts as a ½ loss and a ½ win. Winning percentage is one way to compare the record of two teams; however, another standard method most frequently used in baseball and professional basketball standings is games behind.

For example, if a team's season record is 30 wins and 20 losses, the winning percentage would be .600. If a team's season record is 30–15–5 (i.e. it has won thirty games, lost fifteen and tied five times), the five tie games are counted as 2½ wins and 2½ losses, and so the team has an adjusted record of 32½ wins and 17½ losses, resulting in a .650 winning percentage. In leagues in which points are awarded for overtime losses, it is possible for a team to have a winning percentage above .500 (50%) despite losing more than half of the games it has played.

In baseball, a pitcher is assessed wins and losses as an individual statistic and thus has his own winning percentage, based on his win–loss record.

In North America, winning percentages are expressed to three digits and read as whole numbers (e.g. 1.000, "a thousand" or .500, "five hundred"). In this case, the name "winning percentage" is actually a misnomer, since it is not expressed as a percentage. A winning percentage such as .536 ("five thirty-six") expressed as a percentage would be 53.6%.

However, in soccer, a manager's abilities may be measured by win percentage. In this case, the formula is wins divided by total number of matches; draws are not considered as "half-wins", and the quotient is always in percentage form.

Some leagues and competitions may instead use a points percentage system, changing the nature of this statistic. In this type of method, used in many group tournament ranking systems, the competitors are awarded a certain number of points per win, fewer points per tie, and none for a loss. The teams are then ranked by the total number of these accumulated points. One such method is the "three points for a win", where three points are awarded for winning a game, one point is awarded for a draw, and no points are awarded for a loss. The National Hockey League (which uses an overtime and shootouts to break all ties) awards two points for a win in regulation or overtime/shootout, one point for an overtime loss, and none for a regulation loss.[1][2]


Major League Baseball

Win % Wins Losses Year Team Comment
.798 67 17 1880 Chicago White Stockings best pre-modern season
.763 116 36 1906 Chicago Cubs best National League 154-game season
.721 111 43 1954 Cleveland Indians best American League 154-game season
.716 116 46 2001 Seattle Mariners best 162-game season
.250 40 120 1962 New York Mets worst 162-game season (2 games rained out)
.265 43 119 2003 Detroit Tigers worst 162-game season (no rainouts)
.248 38 115 1935 Boston Braves worst modern National League season
.235 36 117 1916 Philadelphia Athletics worst American League season
.130 20 134 1899 Cleveland Spiders worst pre-modern season

National Basketball Association

Win % Wins Losses Season Team Comment
.890 73 9 2015-16 Golden State Warriors the best 82 game season
.110 9 73 1972–73 Philadelphia 76ers worst 82-game season
.106 7 59 2011–12 Charlotte Bobcats worst season statistically

National Hockey League

In the National Hockey League, teams are awarded two points for a win, and one point for either a tie (a discontinued statistic) or an overtime loss. It can be calculated as follows:

Points % Wins Losses Ties Points Season Team Comments
.825 60 8 12 132 1976–77 Montreal Canadiens best points % in post-expansion NHL
.131 8 67 5 21 1974–75 Washington Capitals worst points % in post-expansion NHL
Further information: List of NHL records (team)

See also


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