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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In sports, a losing streak (a.k.a. a cold streak, losing skid, slide, schneid, or losing slump) is an uninterrupted string of contests (games, matches, etc.) lost by a team or individual. A losing streak is thus the opposite of a winning streak. A losing streak can last as few as two games, or it may last much longer.

Shimer College basketball coach 'celebrates' game 37 of his team's record-setting losing streak in 1963.

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  • Pistons SNAP their 28-game losing streak | NBA on ESPN
  • Pistons snap their 28-game losing streak ๐Ÿ™Œ
  • Cincinnati Reds Eight-Game Losing Streak is Draining the Life out of Reds Country
  • Wemby's REACTION to BREAKING his 18 Game LOSING STREAK!๐Ÿ‘€


Distinction from winless streak

A losing streak and a winless streak are distinctively different, as a winless streak may include:

  1. tie games or draws
  2. in first-class cricket, unfinished matches
  3. in association football, ice hockey and some field hockey leagues where points are awarded for wins and drawn games, overtime or shootout losses if the draw at the end of regulation counts as a draw for points percentage.

Tie games can also be included in an unbeaten streak, as in soccer.

Existence and causation

Most quantitative studies of winning and losing streaks, and the associated concept of psychological momentum, have failed to find any evidence that "streaks" actually exist, except as a matter of random chance.[1] A team with low ability is more likely to lose frequently, and a team with high ability is more likely to win, but once ability is controlled for, there is no evidence that a "winning" or "losing" streak affects the result of the match.[2] In fact, one study of European association football matches using a Monte Carlo methodology found that once ability was accounted for, a team was actually slightly less likely to win or lose when it had experienced the same result in the previous match.[2]

Despite the apparent nonexistence of streaks in quantitative terms, many scholars in the field have pointed to the importance of understanding qualitative, psychological aspects of streaks.[1] A series of losses can have a negative effect on team morale even if it has no direct effect on the outcome of the next game.[3]

Studies in sports management suggest that some managers are able to interrupt losing streaks (and prolong winning streaks) through managerial strategies such as changing the lineup or rotation of players.[4] Similarly, effective mental strategies may enable individual athletes to resist the psychological effects of a "losing streak" by staying focused on the task at hand.[5] In team sports, effective strategies for combating negative momentum may include team cohesion activities and increasing the use of positive body language.[6]

To the extent that they exist, losing streaks may arise from the loser effect: an increased probability of losing at time T, based on losing at time Tโˆ’1, Tโˆ’2, etc. This means that one has a slightly higher probability of losing the next match because one lost the previous one.[7] The outcome of a match does not solely depend on the strength of the opponents, but also on how much effort one or the other is willing to invest. The loser effect rises from the tendency to hold back on the next match after losing. On the other hand, the winner effect encourages the opponent who won the previous match to invest more in the next fight. This phenomenon is well known in the study of animal behavior, where the winner and loser effects help to keep the level of conflicts low in group living animals.[8]

Longest losing streaks

List of the longest individual losing streaks of all time in each sport:

American football

Association football

Australian rules football

Auto racing

Canadian football







Professional wrestling

  • WWE: 269 matches โ€“ Curt Hawkins (2016โ€“2019)[34]
    • [note: Hawkins' 269 losses between his victories over Apollo Crews on November 8, 2016 (WWE SmackDown Live) and The Revival on April 7, 2019 (WWE Wrestlemania 35 Kickoff), only include his televised and house show matches in which he was an official participant (regardless of match format).]

Rugby League



  • Cavan Paddlers
  • 2022 - Martin O'Reilly (24 matches)
  • 2023 - Martin O'Reilly (16 matches)

Ultimate Frisbee

  • UFA: 81 matches - Detroit Mechanix (April 29, 2017-June 22, 2024)

See also


  1. ^ a b Crust, Lee; Nesti, Mark. "A Review of Psychological Momentum in Sports: Why qualitative research is needed". Athletic Insight. 8 (1). Archived from the original on 2014-12-25. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  2. ^ a b Dobson, Stephen; Goddard, John (2003). "Persistence in sequences of football match results: A Monte Carlo analysis". European Journal of Operational Research. 148 (2): 247โ€“256. doi:10.1016/S0377-2217(02)00681-1.
  3. ^ Peterson, Dan (2008-10-06). "The Reality of Momentum in Sports". Live Science. Archived from the original on 2015-01-10. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  4. ^ Fort, Rodney; Rosenman, Robert (1999). "Streak management". Sports Economics: Current Research. Bloomsbury Academic. p.ย 119. ISBNย 9780275963309.
  5. ^ Crust, Lee. "Sports psychology: the role of momentum in sports performance". Sports Performance Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2015-01-10. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  6. ^ Cotterill, Stewart (2012). "Momentum in Sport". Team Psychology in Sports: Theory and Practice. Routledge. p.ย 117. ISBNย 9780415670579.
  7. ^ "Winner and loser effect". Fighting the Sharks. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  8. ^ Dugatkin, L. A.; Reeve, H. K. (2014). "Winning, losing, and reaching out". Behavioral Ecology. 25 (4): 675โ€“679. doi:10.1093/beheco/aru078.
  9. ^ "NCAA FBS Records, 2012" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-10-04. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  10. ^ Albright, Bill. "Lock Haven Skid at 50 after Last-Second TD". Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  11. ^ "2013 Earlham Football Schedule". Earlham Athletics. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  12. ^ "D-III Earlham College Quakers suspend football program after 53 straight losses". 2018-11-13. Archived from the original on 2018-11-14. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Princeton drops Sprint Football". 12 April 2016. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Semi-pro Football / Minor League Football โ€“ Team Games Records". Archived from the original on 2020-02-21. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  15. ^ "San Marino 0-0 Estonia". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 2023-01-25. Retrieved 2023-03-03.
  16. ^ "Finally a win for Super Power". Bangkok Post. 16 October 2017. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017. the victory ended their 27-match losing streak
  17. ^ "Everton return to form by beating Norwich". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 2021-09-24. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  18. ^ St Kilda also lost 51 consecutive matches in 1896โ€“1899: their last three matches in the VFA and their first 48 matches in the VFL.
  19. ^ This was Glenelg's first 56 matches in the SANFL competition.
  20. ^ WAFL Footy Facts: Consecutive Games Lost
  21. ^ "Death of J.D. McDuffie". Archived from the original on 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  22. ^ a b c "Games Lost by Teams Records". Baseball Almanac. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  23. ^ "1915 Baltimore Terrapins". Archived from the original on 2023-12-24. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  24. ^ "Twins end historic losing streak: Pablo Lรณpez channels Johan Santana as team wins first playoff game since '04". 3 October 2023. Archived from the original on 4 October 2023. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  25. ^ Tyree, Ameer (December 28, 2023). "Longest losing streaks in sports history โ€“ Cheat". CBS News. Archived from the original on December 29, 2023. Retrieved December 28, 2023.
  26. ^ Morales, Luisa. "Blackwater snaps infamous 29-game losing streak, stuns Magnolia in thriller". Archived from the original on 2022-03-09. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  27. ^ Scherr, Rich (28 January 2012). "Towson men's basketball team ends record losing streak". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  28. ^ "Chicago State sets D-I women's record with 59th straight loss". ESPN. 4 February 2018. Archived from the original on 5 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  29. ^ "Caltech ends 26-year league drought". Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  30. ^ "Inside Schreiner: Women's Basketball". Inside Schreiner. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  31. ^ Garcia, Marlen (6 January 2012). "Towson's losing streak reaches record proportions". USA Today. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  32. ^ "Saint Louis College of Pharmacy". Archived from the original on 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  33. ^ "DakStats WebSync". Archived from the original on 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  34. ^ Pappolla, Ryan (April 7, 2019). "Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins def. The Revival for the Raw Tag Team Championship". WWE. Archived from the original on April 9, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  35. ^ "Rugby League". Archived from the original on 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  36. ^ Suffered a 21-match losing streak which dropped to 237th in the rankings and earned the nickname "the Charlie Brown of tennis".

External links

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