Definition of Sudden Death

When two teams can't seem to get the edge on one another, what happens? In many sports, the answer was sudden death overtime. If one team gets ahead during this period, they win. Baseball still uses this rule, as a winning run scored by the home team in an extra inning ends the game automatically.

Sudden Death Overtime in the sport of Hockey is a very serious thing.This method of winning used to be popular in soccer as well, being called the "golden goal" period before teams went into penalty shootouts. However, this method was abandoned in 2004. However, the method is still used in collegiate matches in the United States.

In American football, the method is still used to an extent. Since 2012, each team gets a possession in overtime in order to see who can score. This was to counter a criticism about the team who won the coin toss would essentially win.

The National Hockey League also still uses sudden death in their overtime when it comes time for playoff and championship games. If neither team scores during this period, it goes to penalties.

Tennis and volleyball matches often use a form of sudden death, but requires the margin to be by 2 points rather than whoever scores first. This is so that the opposing team has a chance to continue rather than immediately ending it based on whoever is serving.

While sudden death has fallen out of use (or in the case of basketball, has never been used at the highest level), there are still examples of it sticking around in various forms in order to decide winners in various sports and leagues.