Is there a difference between a player's tournament or match result being reported in the format +W -L =D and in the format +W =D -L? (where W is number of wins, D is number of draws, L is number of losses)

Obviously they're functionally equivalent and I feel like I have encountered both, but I'm not entirely sure if one is more standard/common or more technically correct/official than the other (or was originally considered to be so). Is there any difference in the circumstances where you use one or the other, or are they always mutually equivalent?

1 Answer 1


The only difference is the sequence they are written down.

Some like WLD so you can easily see the difference in scores. Some like WDL as that goes from best to worst in sequence, but makes it harder to compute the difference at a glance.

Compare to TV channels showing football scores. some have score1 team1 score2 team 2 others have team 1 score1 score2 team 2 some might even have score1 team1 team2 score2

clearly the middle one is easiest to see at a glance how the game score is without having to search and ensure you matched the right score to each team. You know who is playing and all you need is the two scores and which one belongs to one team. The middle one does that best.

It is just preference. And PHBs are not good at considering things like ease of use or other significant factors.

  • 1
    By the way in our local press since childhood football and other sports scores where in a form team1:team2 score1:score2 and I'm so used to it that its definitely the easiest way for me. So I would subject your statement: "clearly the middle one is easiest..." for me - no; the easiest will be always one you are used to use/see the most and will differ per person. Otherwise great answer - so I still pushed plus!
    – Drako
    Jan 12, 2021 at 7:00

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