In "a deep run" seen in the sentences below, what does "run" mean?

  1. a chance at making a deep run in the tournament
  2. Panama did not appear poised for a deep run
  3. they were usually unable to transform that success into a deep playoff run

source 1: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jun/15/us-soccer-hope-solo-nfl

source 2: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/jul/26/gold-cup-final-usa-panama

source 3: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_Flames

  • 'Deep' as in 'far from the surface / shallows /start / entry level. A long way in. Compare 'in deep trouble'; 'in at the deep end'. Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 15:10

2 Answers 2


A run is a sequence of games, especially wins. A deep run into a tournament is a long sequence of games in the tournament, which takes one "deep" into, meaning a long way into, the tournament. This is most often a long run of wins in the tournament, as very often one loss is enough for elimination.

The expression is not used when referring to events such as a best of seven series between two sides.


My understanding is that this is a sporting analogy from football (my experience is with rugby union and league), where a deep run means you have progressed quite far down the field into the opponents half.

In the examples provided, it is referring to how much progress you can make (or not) within the scope of a tournament

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