A tied game in the National Football League (NFL) happens when a regular season game concludes with both teams tied after one ten-minute overtime period. Ties have been tallied in league standings as a half-win and half-loss since 1972; prior to that, ties were not counted at all.
Tied games are rare occurrences that happen only about once every other year. There have been seven ties in the NFL history; three of them happened this year. The last time there were six ties in a single NFL season was in 1967 when there were just 12 teams in the league. The last time there were this many ties in any other major American sports league was in 1894 when there were also six NBA games ended in a 6-6 tie.
The most recent tie occurred on December 30, 2018, in the first game of the NFL playoffs between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. It was the first postseason game in NFL history to end in a tie. The next day, January 1, 2019, another tie occurred in the AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. This is the first time ever that two playoff games have ended in ties.
There have been several proposals to change the current system where a tiebreaker rule is used to determine which team moves on to the next round.
Tie games were common in the NFL from its inception in 1920 until 1973, when the league did not have regular-season overtime. The NFL had a total of 258 tied games during this time span. Only three seasons (34, 1950, 1952) went without a tie, while five 1920, 1923, 1926, 1929,...
The next season saw nine ties, then a record. There have been at least ten ties in each season since 1974, with a few exceptions including 1977 and 1978 which both had only nine games due to player strikes that year.
In fact, there have been so many ties in recent years that the NFL has instituted a lottery system to determine who will play in postseason game #4 if they are still tied at the end of regulation time. The lottery is based on the previous season's ranking of teams, with the first team out of the lottery drawing gets the fourth seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. If two or more teams are tied for the same number of points, the selection process continues until all teams have been selected. This system was introduced in 1994 after many complaints about how the NFL handled these situations before then.
Here is a list of all the current playoff series that are still undecided after four quarters: Baltimore - Cincinnati, Chicago - Detroit, Denver - New England, Houston - Indianapolis, Kansas City - Oakland, Los Angeles Rams - NFC West champion, Las Vegas - San Francisco.
NFL. If a game is tied after four quarters, it will be decided in overtime. A coin toss is performed in overtime to determine which team would have possession of the ball initially. If the game is still tied after 10 minutes of overtime, it is declared a tie.
College football. If the game is tied at the end of four quarters, it will be decided by either A another quarter or B the use of extra periods. If there are only two periods left in the game and you're still tied, they'll add one more period called "free time." In this period, either team can make any number of attempts to score a touchdown. The team that doesn't score during this time loses.
High school football. If the game is tied at the end of four quarters, it will be decided by an additional 20 minutes of play. This is called "two-minute drill" and it's used to decide most high school football games. The coach hopes that his players can go over the opposition's defense during these two minutes so that when the clock does run out, there's enough time for another series or two to try and score a winning touchdown.
Minor league baseball. If the game is tied after six innings, it will be decided in extra innings.
If the game is tied at the end of regular, it goes into "sudden-death" overtime (the game will end the next time a team scores). A game finishes in a draw after a maximum of 15 minutes of overtime in the regular season. In the playoffs, the game continues until someone scores, at which point the game is over. Football 101: NFL Football Rules.
A game can also end in several other ways: foul play, injury, darkness, weather delay (a fog machine used in football stadiums to mask poor lighting conditions), and veto. The referee can halt the game for any reason during regulation time; examples include bad weather (lightning, snow, ice), player injuries, and protests by either team. He can also suspend the game due to darkness (usually around midnight) or go into sudden death if the score is still tied. Sudden death rules apply only once per game, so if there is more than one opportunity for a team to win or lose, they will get another chance under the same circumstances next time around. A forfeit victory is given to the opponent if the defaulting team fails to show up for the game. This often happens when a team claims that it has insufficient numbers to play. A loss results if your opponent wins or forfeits.
In the NFL, games can be played under two different sets of rules: regular season games and post-season contests. During the regular season, coaches can challenge any call made by an official on the field with the exception of penalties.
Football in America A tied game may only be declared a draw if both teams agree to it or if the conference deems it a draw due to inclement weather. If the game cannot be completed within a fair amount of time (due to curfew, travel issues, or weather warnings), it is an official game, and the game is tied. This occurs most often in playoff games.
In college football, if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, then the first team to score wins. If they are still tied, then the winner is determined by a series of sudden death rules: If neither team scores during overtime, the winner is the first team to reach the ball across the line of scrimmage. If the same team scores twice in a row, that is called a safety and it ends the game immediately. Otherwise, the third player from each team lines up opposite one another and takes a knee; the first player to rise completes a pass and gain control of the ball is allowed to continue playing.
In the NFL, if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, then the first team to score wins. If they are still tied, then the winner is determined by a series of procedures: If there is no time left on the clock and the ball is in opponent's territory, the game goes into overtime. If the score is still tied after 90 minutes of play, then the game enters a free-throw shooting contest.