In a programming context, I need to refer to players and teams interchangeably (in sports). I'm looking for a word - noun or adjective - that would be a generalization of those two terms. I can't seem to find one that would be appropriate at the moment.

The context that has me looking for a generic term is that both players and teams are capable of accumulating stats over a season (specifically, in hockey). Hence, they both share the common property of having stats.

Any suggestions?

  • Depending on your language and environment, couldn't you build the stats functionality into a library/module/class and invoke it from both your team and player code? You should be able to avoid inappropriate code duplication without combining the team and player code into an odd superclass. The stats library/module/class could provide an interface that would allow the team and player code blocks to separately identify the types of stats that might be accumulated for teams or players respectively.
    – frances
    May 9 '14 at 15:22
  • 1
    "Performer"? It's not great but might fit as a class name. Both players and teams can be performers with regard to stats which are analysing their performance. May 9 '14 at 15:35
  • @frances I generally agree with your thoughts, however in our case we do not really have a need for distinct logic between player and team stats in our domain, as we only use a very restricted subset of stats that are used by both players and teams (e.g. points).
    – djule5
    May 9 '14 at 16:46
  • @starsplusplus Thanks, Performer could be a possibility indeed. I do however prefer Gary's suggestion of Participant.
    – djule5
    May 9 '14 at 16:50

Both the players and the teams are participants. You can refer to the participants' statistics and then break them down by player & team as you choose.


Depending on context, you can refer to opposing players/teams as "opponents," "competitors," "contenders," "adversaries," "contestants," and, more neutrally, as "**protagonists**."

protagonist: an important person who is involved in a competition, conflict, or cause.

  • Thanks, I can definitely see contenders and contestants being good options too. They do convey the idea of competition as well, whereas participant sounds more neutral.
    – djule5
    May 9 '14 at 19:00
  • @djule5 Sure. Then what do you think of "protagonist?"
    – Elian
    May 9 '14 at 20:46

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