What does "bye" mean in football?
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Q:

What does "bye" mean in football?

A:

Quick Answer

In American football, a "bye" is when a team does not have a game during a given week in the course of the regular season. The NFL uses byes to extend the regular season to 17 weeks. Bye weeks typically occur between the fourth and 12th week of the season.

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Full Answer

The bye has a slightly different function in other sports. In tournaments, a bye signals that a competitor does not have an opponent in a particular round of the competition and automatically advances to the next round. The use of byes in a tournament allows it to run smoothly, even if there is not an ideal number of competitors for that type of tournament.

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    The sport of American football was invented in New Brunswick, N.J., on Nov. 6, 1869. Players from Princeton and Rutgers Universities participated in an intercollegiate contest that closely resembled a soccer-style game, according to the History Channel.

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    Walter Camp, a rugby player from Yale University, created American football in the 1880s. The game grew out of a combination of soccer and rugby.

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    The NFL began incorporating the "bye week" into the schedule during the 1990 season. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue made the move in an effort to generate television revenue from networks airing the games, also expanding the playoff field from 10 competitors to 12.

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