Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

Why Wins, Draws, and Losses are Superior to Wins, Losses, and Ties in Football

When it comes to presenting football records, there is a standard that has been followed by leagues and media organizations across the globe: Wins, Draws, and Losses (W-D-L). However, Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States deviates from this convention by using Wins, Losses, and Ties (W-L-T). In this article, we will delve into why the W-D-L format is not only logical but also aligns MLS with the rest of the footballing world.

The Logic of W-D-L

One of the main reasons why W-D-L is the preferred format is its inherent logic. In terms of points allocation, a win earns a team three points, a draw earns one point, and a loss earns zero points. By ordering the record as W-D-L, the most valuable figure (wins) comes first, followed by draws and losses, which are of decreasing significance. This ordering system is intuitive and easily understandable.

Moreover, tallying a team’s points becomes a simple process with W-D-L. Multiplying the number of wins by three and adding the number of draws gives the total points. It’s a straightforward calculation that facilitates quick assessment and comparison of team performance.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Overtime in Soccer - The Rules and How It Works

Universality of W-D-L

Another compelling reason to adopt W-D-L is its widespread usage. Every football league in the world, including the World Cup, employs this format. Even organizations covering MLS, such as Google, utilize W-D-L in their standings. By deviating from the international norm, MLS stands out as an exception.

MLS: Time to Embrace Change

MLS initially started using W-L since there were no draws in the league’s early years. However, ties were introduced in the 2004 season, leading to the adoption of the W-L-T format. This decision was likely influenced by other major American sports leagues such as Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League, where draws are not part of the game.

Yet, it is time for MLS to break away from this patched-together solution and embrace W-D-L. Unlike the NFL, where standings are solely determined by wins, the MLS table relies on points, with draws playing a crucial role in determining team rankings. MLS should celebrate what makes football unique and attractive rather than shadowing other American sports.

As Bradley Cooper’s character said in A Star Is Born, “Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die.” It’s time for MLS to grow up and align itself with the international footballing community.

MLS Exceptionalism

While some may argue that the W-L-T format showcases regional identity or MLS exceptionalism, it is important to consider the advantages of standardization. Just as the United States switched to the metric system in scientific discourse, commodities markets, and other fields to improve international communication, MLS should aim for greater integration into the global footballing world. If MLS wants to attract a global audience, it should strive for an easily understandable league table that doesn’t require a disclaimer for interpretation.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  The Rise of Inaki Williams: An In-depth Look at his Career and Achievements


Q: Why does MLS use W-L-T instead of W-D-L?
A: MLS originally used W-L because there were no draws in the league’s early years. When ties were introduced, the league chose to tack them onto the end of the record, creating the W-L-T format.

Q: Is the W-D-L format used in other American sports leagues?
A: No, other major American sports leagues like Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League do not utilize draws or ties in their standings.

Q: Is W-D-L universally recognized in the footballing world?
A: Yes, W-D-L is the standard format used by every football league worldwide, including the prestigious World Cup.


While MLS may have historical reasons for using the W-L-T format, it is time for the league to evolve and adopt the more logical and universally recognized W-D-L format. By doing so, MLS can align itself with the footballing world, improve international communication, and make it easier for both domestic and global fans to understand and engage with the league. To learn more about football and stay up-to-date with the latest statistics and player performances, visit Pesstatsdatabase. Let’s embrace progress and celebrate the beautiful game in its true essence.