Replay (sports)

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This article describes a replay competition. It is not to be confused with instant replay, the videotape review process.

In sports, a replay (also known as a rematch or a do-over, depending on the context) refers to an extra game between two teams after the first game's results were either nullified or ended in a draw. A game may be nullified if the game's result is protested (usually the losing team) and the organizers ruled to replay the game (thereby upholding the protest). If the game is nullified, the results of the first game may be discarded.

Full replays are extremely rare in most sports; most sports organizations have provisions that either allow ties to stand or mandate they be broken within the game with overtime or some other form of extended play. Among organizations that have a replay system are the AFL Grand Final, some competitions of association football, and Nippon Professional Baseball. In all cases, the replay system is only used in knockout tournaments, when a winner must be decided.

Association football[edit]

In association football, replays were often used to decide the winner in a knock-out tournament when the previous match ended in a tie, especially in finals. In 1970, FIFA (the worldwide governing body of the sport) and IFAB (the international rules committee for the sport) allowed penalty shoot-outs to be held if a match ended in a tie. The penalty shootout made its appearance immediately thereafter. The first instance of a shootout replacing a replay (rather than lots) was the final of the 1976 European championship. The shootout's first use at the World Cup took place in the 1982 semi-finals. Replays are now only used in the early rounds of the English FA Cup tournament, as well as rounds up until the semi-finals in the Scottish Cup.


In boxing, rematches (referred to as "rematch" and not "replay") have produced some historically significant moments in the sport. Examples include:

Notable replayed games[edit]