Games behind
In sports, the phrase games behind or games back (often abbreviated GB), is a common way to reflect the gap between a leading team (said to be that many games ahead or GA) and another team in a sports league, conference, or division. It is determined by adding the absolute difference
Absolute difference
The absolute difference of two real numbers x, y is given by |x − y|, the absolute value of their difference. It describes the distance on the real line between the points corresponding to x and y...

 in wins between a leading team and the team of interest to the absolute difference in losses between the two teams, and dividing by two. The leading team itself is always zero games behind. Usually this is indicated in tables by a dash rather than a zero.

GB is calculated using the following formula, in which TeamA is the first-place team, and TeamB is the trailing team:

For example, if the Cleveland Indians are three games behind the Detroit Tigers for first place, Cleveland would have to win three games, and Detroit would have to lose three, to tie for first. A "games behind" situation changes rapidly when two teams contesting the lead play each other since a zero sum game plays out. In this case, Cleveland would pull even with Detroit in a clean sweep of all three games.

It is often used in professional baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 and basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, where tie games are not permitted, and to a slightly lesser extent in American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 where ties are rare (when they do occur, they are counted as half a win and half a loss when calculating GB). Usually, in tables of standings in newspapers and magazines kept during the season, teams are ordered by the teams' winning percentage
Winning percentage
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 . Ties count as a ½ loss and a ½ win...

s, with the number of games they are behind the division leader supplementing the table. On rare occasions, it is possible (and has occurred) for the team with the second best winning percentage to lead the team with the best winning percentage in terms of games back. This usually occurs during the early portion of a season when teams have played an uneven number of games. For example, if Team A has a record of 23–13 and Team B has a record of 26–15, Team A would be recognized as having a better record by virtue of their .639 win percentage to Team B's .634 percentage. However, in the standings, Team A would still be one-half game behind Team B, though they would be ordered ahead of Team B.

Also, in some rare situations, also caused in the early season when teams play an odd number of games, a team with fewer wins could potentially be ahead of a team with more wins. For example, if a team is 26–15, but another team is 25–13, the team with a record of 25–13 is technically one-half game ahead of the 26–15 team, despite having fewer wins on the season.

The "games behind" number is sometimes made in reference to a standard "winning percentage", although in this particular context, the word "behind" is replaced by "under" or "below". In making this calculation, however, the division by two is not done. For example, a team with a record of 19 wins and 20 losses is considered as being "one game under .500", in contrast to being "one-half game behind" a team with a ".500" record of 20 wins and 20 losses.
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