What is a Rubber Game in Baseball? – Explained

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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what is a rubber game in baseball

When teams play head-to-head, it is possible to end in ties where there is no declared winner. But in baseball, they always make sure to determine one victorious team by playing a rubber game.

What is a rubber game in baseball? This refers to the third and last game in a series where two teams both already have one win, only by playing the third “rubber game,” a winner will finally be declared!

Rubber Game in Baseball: The Definition


The professional baseball series involves many qualifying teams, and each competes for that glorious championship title.

You might have encountered the word “rubber game” in baseball when playing teams end up in a draw.

  • The terms rubber game and rubber match refer to the same event. The rubber match meaning is when two teams each already have a win, and to determine a winner, the third game, or the rubber game, will be played.

In a rubber game, the atmosphere is a lot more tense. Players focus on winning, and the fans are also clutching their seats to see if their favorite team will win.

The excitement and adrenaline from a rubber game provide an enjoyable watching experience for the audience.

So when would two competing teams play a rubber game?

  • Teams are tasked to play in three-series games. If one team wins two out of three, they are automatically the winner.
  • But, if they both scored, they need to settle the tie with the third game. There is so much pressure on players in the third game in this do-or-die rubber game! They need to do everything they can to win.
  • When teams play a rubber game, it is impossible to arrive at another tie. The third game always ensures that one team will win.

Because of the atmosphere in rubber games, the rubber game can make or break a team. The game can either build a team’s confidence or boost their morale.

However, the opposite is also true, and it can be very demoralizing for an almost victorious team that lost their rubber game.

Aside from being a tie-breaker, the rubber game is also important for players as it tests their resilience and determination.

It is very difficult to play your best when you are filled with stress and anxiety, and teams must find a way to win despite it!

Famous Rubber Games in Baseball History


But what is the origin of the term? Rubber games originate from a card game called rubber bridge. This card game involves a set of three rounds. The third round in this card game is called a rubber game and determines the winner.

The rubber match originated in Great Britain back in the 1600s as played in bowling. Regardless, rubber games are not only for baseball, but it is a concept in other sports, too, like boxing, badminton, and MMA.

Rubber games started back in the 1900s and are not well-used in baseball to help determine a rightful winner. And, there is a lot of rubber match history worth revisiting.

The 2016 Game 7, where Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians played a rubber game, was such a memorable game for the baseball community. Cubs had a tight win with a score of 8-7.

Another older rubber match was 1997’s Game 7 in the World Series. Florida Marlina won against Cleveland Indians and even extended innings as the games were too neck-and-neck.


Victory is a huge thing in the professional baseball league, and the rubber games are made to help break a tie.

What is a rubber game in baseball? Essentially, these are the third games played when two teams have a tie. All the excitement, energy, and tension from rubber games make them such a fantastic game to watch.

And for the players, these matches will help mold them into better players and even help their teams obtain their sweet victory.

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