Is there a word that signifies regular plus post-season games in sports? For instance, in American football, there is a pre-season consisting of games that do not count towards any league standings. Then there are regular season and post-season games, both of which determine overall standings for the year. Is there a single word to describe regular and post-season games taken as a whole? I considered "official" games but I'm not sure that captures it. "Meaningful" seems a bit vague since a game between two teams completely out of contention is sometimes considered not meaningful. The intent is to separate the games into two groups, "pre-season" and all other games that count towards the season standings.

  • @jsw29 I'm not sure the term post-season is limited to American football, but it may be something specifically American. Baseball in America also has a post-season, known as playoffs, which decides the winner for the season. I think most sports in America use the term to indicate playoffs that happen after the regular season is over. I'm not surprised that the terms are not used in other countries, though, or that they mean something different.
    – Bob Mc
    Dec 11, 2020 at 4:33
  • Yes, postseason is a term that is also used by some organisations in other sports, but it is always a technical term defined by the rules of these organisations, and it depends on season itself being used as a technical term by these organisation. In the sense that season has in ordinary English, football season is simply the part of the year when football games customarily take place. Whether there is hypernym for season in the technical sense and postseason is thus a question of the technical terminology of a particular organisation, not of ordinary, non-technical English.
    – jsw29
    Dec 11, 2020 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


I'd be inclined to call them 'competition games' or 'competitive games'.

This might still be ambiguous depending on the sport, i.e. in soccer it's common to have a separate knockout tournament (the 'cup') which is a competition on its own, as opposed to the 'league' competition which determines the country champion. In such a case, 'league games' might be sufficient to distinguish them further.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.