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The final of a competition is the match or round in which the winner of the entire event is decided.
In sports competitions following a knockout system, where only two individuals or teams compete in each match, the final is usually played between the winners of two semi-finals. However, if more than two entrants are required for each match, then qualification for the final may be through some other process such as winning heats.
The final is usually, but not always, the last match in a tournament to be played, and the winner of this match is declared the winner of the whole tournament. In many contests, the winner(s) and runner(s)-up receive gold and silver medals respectively. Another game, or competition, between the two players who lost in the semi-finals is done to determine who receives the bronze medal. Unusually, many teams (32 in recent years) qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals. These teams then play each other in various formats until the ultimate two 'finalists' play off for the gold and silver medals.
If the final round is contested in a "best-of" format (like "best-of-7"), the term is sometimes called "finals,"(playoffs) to denote that there is more than one game (like "the NBA Finals") The Stanley Cup Final has been referred to in the singular since the 2005-06 season. However, it refers to its semi-final round as the Conference Finals, because there are two separate ones being contested. Another example of this is March Madness in college basketball.
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