Why do they call a third game a rubber match?

Answered by James Kissner

The term “rubber match” is commonly used in various sports and competitions to refer to the third and deciding game or match. In the context of rubber bridge, the term is used to describe the third game in a rubber.

To understand why it is called a rubber match, we need to delve into the history of bridge. The game of bridge originated in the late 19th century and has evolved over time. In the early days of bridge, players used to keep track of their scores by marking their victories with a rubber band around their scorecards. Each victory would result in stretching the rubber band, hence the term “rubber” came to represent a complete competition or round.

In rubber bridge, the overall competition consists of three games. The team that wins two out of the three games wins the rubber. If each team wins one game, then the third game becomes the deciding game, often referred to as the rubber game.

The term “rubber match” has since been used in various sports to describe a similar situation where two teams or individuals have won one game each in a series, and the third game becomes crucial in determining the ultimate winner. This term has been adopted due to the historical association of the term “rubber” with a decisive competition.

The use of the term “rubber match” adds a sense of excitement and anticipation to the final game or match. It signifies the importance of the third game in determining the winner of the overall competition. Not only does it create a sense of drama, but it also adds an element of pressure for both teams involved.

In my personal experience with rubber bridge, I have witnessed the intensity and competitiveness that arises during the rubber game. The stakes are high, and the players are determined to secure victory. The term “rubber match” perfectly captures the significance and intensity of the final game in a rubber.

To summarize, the term “rubber match” is used in rubber bridge to describe the third and deciding game in a competition. Its origins can be traced back to the use of rubber bands to mark victories in early bridge games. The term has since been adopted in various sports to represent a crucial game or match that determines the overall winner.