Losing streak

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For other uses, see Streak.

In sports, a losing streak is an uninterrupted string of contests (whether games, matches, etc.) lost by a team or individual. A losing streak can last as few as two games, or it may last much longer. A losing streak and a winless streak are distinctively different, as a winless streak may include:

  1. tie games or draws
  2. in first-class cricket, unfinished matches
  3. in association football, ice hockey and some field hockey leagues, and depending on the definition of “loss” used by the observer, overtime or shootout losses.

Tie games can also be included in an unbeaten streak, as in soccer.

On an individual level, losing streaks might arise from the loser effect: an increased probability of losing at time T, based on losing at time T−1, T−2, etc. This means that one has a slightly higher probability of losing the next match because one lost the previous one.[1] The outcome of a match does not solely depend on the strength of the opponents, but also on how much effort one or the other is willing to invest. The loser effect rises from the tendency to hold back on the next match after losing. On the other hand, the winner effect encourages the opponent who won the previous match to invest more in the next fight. This phenomenon is well known in the study of animal behavior where the winner and loser effects help to keep the level of conflicts low in group living animals.[2]

Here is a list of the longest team losing streaks of all time in several competitions:

List of the longest individual losing streaks of all time in each sport:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Winner and loser effect". Fighting the Sharks. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Winning, losing, and reaching out". Behavioral Ecology. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  3. ^ NCAA FBS Records, 2012
  4. ^ a b c "Worst College Football Teams of All Time". ESPN. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Albright, Bill. "Lock Haven Skid at 50 after Last-Second TD". Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Scherr, Rich (28 January 2012). "Towson men's basketball team ends record losing streak". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Women's Hoops Ends Losing Streak with Victory over N.D. de Namur". Hornetsports.com. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Caltech ends 26-year league drought". NCAA.com. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Inside Schreiner: Women's Basketball". Inside Schreiner. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Garcia, Marlen (6 January 2012). "Towson's losing streak reaches record proportions". USA Today. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "Games Lost by Teams Records". Baseball Almanac. 
  12. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BAL/1915-schedule-scores.shtml
  13. ^ "Memorable Losing Streaks". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  14. ^ http://www.cfl.ca/page/stats_teamrec_streaks
  15. ^ WAFL Footy Facts: Consecutive Games Lost