In sports, a winning percentage is the fraction of games or matches a team or individual has won. It is defined as wins divided by wins plus losses (i.e. — the total number of matches). Ties count as a ½ loss and a ½ win. Winning percentage is one way to compare the record of two teams; however, another standard method most frequently used in baseball and professional basketball standings is games behind.
For example, if a team's season record is 28–16–5, the team has participated in 49 matches. The five ties represent 2½ wins and 2½ losses, and so the team has an adjusted record of 30½ wins and 18½ losses, resulting in a .622 winning percentage.
In baseball, pitchers are assessed wins and losses as an individual statistic and thus have their own winning percentage, based on their win–loss record. A pitcher's winning percentage is commonly expressed to three digits.
The name "winning percentage" is actually a misnomer, since a winning percentage, such as .536, is commonly not expressed as a percentage. The same value expressed as a percentage would be 53.6%. In leagues in which points are awarded for ties and overtime losses, it's possible for a team to have a winning percentage above 0.500 (50%) despite losing more than half of the games it has played.
Famous quotes containing the words winning and/or percentage:
“Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count for nothing in that very well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself: no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions.”
—Joan Didion (b. 1934)
“There is a potential 4-6 percentage point net gain for the President [George Bush] by replacing Dan Quayle on the ticket with someone of neutral stature.”
—Mary Matalin, U.S. Republican political advisor, author, and James Carville b. 1946, U.S. Democratic political advisor, author. Alls Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, p. 205, Random House (1994)