A winless season is a regular season in which a sports team fails to win any of their games. The antithesis of a perfect season, this ignominy has been suffered twelve times in professional American football, six times in arena football, three times in professional Canadian football, once each in American professional lacrosse and box lacrosse, more than twenty-five times in major Australian football leagues, over twenty times in top-level rugby league, at least twice in top-level rugby union, and twice in English county cricket.
Because of the relatively small number of games played in college and professional football seasons, there is a possibility that a particularly inept team will not manage to win any games. Before overtime was used consistently, teams might tie a game without winning one; these are generally counted in lists of winless seasons. This is because, during eras before overtime was introduced to American football, leagues generally ignored tied games when calculating winning percentage.
Because NFL teams do not all play one another each season, it is possible for multiple teams to go winless (or also, for that matter, to go undefeated in the regular season). This was common in the NFL's early years as scheduling was not standardized and teams entered and left the league regularly. Since 1935, multiple simultaneous winless seasons has only happened once, in 1944 when both Brooklyn and Card-Pitt finished 0–10 in a season where rosters had been decimated (and parity disrupted) by wartime enlistments.
|Year||Team||Wins||Losses||Ties||Strength of Schedule||Remarks|
|2017||Cleveland Browns||0||16||0||0.520||19-game winless streak, beginning with a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final game of the 2016 NFL season and ending with a victory over the New York Jets in Week 3 of the 2018 season. Ties the 2008 Detroit Lions for most losses in a single season. Coincidentally, both had perfect 4–0 preseasons. First NFL franchise to have multiple seasons with 15 or more losses, going 1–31 over two seasons, with their only win in week 16 of the 2016 season. The only franchise to have a winless season and a perfect season (1948).|
|2008||Detroit Lions||0||16||0||0.559||Detroit was the first non-expansion team to lose every game in a full season since World War II. This was their second winless season in franchise history (1942, see below). With this season, the Lions became only the second NFL franchise with two full winless seasons, and the only one still in existence.|
|1982||Baltimore Colts||0||8||1||0.648||Strike-shortened season; seven weeks of the schedule were cancelled as a result.|
|1976||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||14||0||0.520||Debut season; went on to lose the first 12 games of the 1977 season as well, to start 0–26 as a franchise.|
|1960||Dallas Cowboys||0||11||1||0.540||Debut season.|
|1944||Brooklyn Tigers||0||10||0||0.645||Suspended operations after the season, and did not return to the league after World War II ended.|
|1944||Card-Pitt||0||10||0||0.650||Merger between Chicago Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers due to player shortages during World War II; the Steelers themselves merged with the Philadelphia Eagles the previous year for the same reasons.|
|1943||Chicago Cardinals||0||10||0||0.595||If one includes the 1944 Card-Pitt team (see above), the Cardinals are the only NFL team to have back-to-back full seasons without a victory. (The league, however, considers Card-Pitt and the Cardinals to be separate franchises.)|
|1942||Detroit Lions||0||11||0||0.541||This was the first NFL season during U.S. involvement in World War II, leading to a depletion of the player talent pool. There were talks of suspending play. However, it was ultimately decided to continue operations to boost morale on the home front.|
|1934||Cincinnati Reds||0||8||0||0.608||Folded before the season was over.|
|1925||Columbus Tigers||0||9||0||0.649||First franchise with more than one full winless season (the Tigers folded after the 1926 campaign).|
The Rochester Jeffersons went a combined 0–21–2 from 1922 to 1925, but played only partial NFL schedules in those years (0–4–1, 0–4, 0–7 and 0–6–1, respectively). They also had another winless season in 1911 going 0–1–3 in the New York Pro Football League.
Source: Worst NFL Teams of all time (ESPN)
|Year||Team||Wins||Losses||Ties||Strength of schedule||Remarks|
|1929||Dayton Triangles||0||6||0||0.656||Dayton's final season. The third and consecutive winless seasons for Dayton. Their final win was in 1927 then consecutively went 0–18–1 losing every game in their final two seasons.|
|1928||Dayton Triangles||0||7||0||0.625||The second winless season for Dayton.|
|1927||Buffalo Bisons||0||5||0||0.456||The Bisons consecutively went 0–13–2 through a three-season span.|
|1926||Hammond Pros||0||4||0||0.537||The second winless season for Hammond.|
|1926||Louisville Colonels||0||4||0||0.546||Louisville changed their name from the Brecks to the Colonels making this the franchise's third winless season and going 1-12–0 in their four seasons.|
|1925||Rochester Jeffersons||0||6||1||0.609||The fourth consecutive winless season for the Jeffersons. They went 0–21–2 through this span.|
|1924||Kenosha Maroons||0||4||1||0.612||Only season.|
|1924||Minneapolis Marines||0||6||0||0.650||Consecutively went 0-9-2 through a three-season span.|
|1924||Rochester Jeffersons||0||7||0||0.594||The third consecutive winless season for the Jeffersons.|
|1923||Louisville Brecks||0||3||0||0.544||The second winless season for Louisville in their third season, and only having one win in the previous season.|
|1923||Rochester Jeffersons||0||4||0||0.550||The second consecutive winless season for the Jeffersons.|
|1922||Evansville Crimson Giants||0||3||0||0.567|
|1921||Tonawanda Kardex||0||1||0||0.400||Only NFL season.|
|1921||Muncie Flyers||0||2||0||0.444||The second winless season in a row. The Flyers finished their NFL franchise record as 0–3.|
|1921||New York Brickley Giants||0||2||0||0.650||Only Season.|
The previously shorter length of seasons in arena football made imperfect seasons quite possible. The following teams went through an Arena Football League or a National Arena League season without winning a game:
|1989||Maryland Commandos||4||Only year branded as the Maryland Commandos.||AFL|
|1991||Columbus Thunderbolts||10||Moved to Cleveland the following year.|
|1992||New Orleans Night||10||Team ceased operations after season.|
|1994||Milwaukee Mustangs||12||First winless team to remain in same city during following season. Went to 10–4 in 1996. Folded in 2001.|
|1996||Memphis Pharaohs||14||Relocated twice, firstly as the Portland Forest Dragons from 1997 and then as the Oklahoma Wranglers. Folded in 2001.|
|2003||Carolina Cobras||16||Went to 6–10 the following season. Folded in 2004.|
|2018||Lehigh Valley Steelhawks||15||Only team in the league to be winless. Was 9-1 the season before and 2nd in the league. Folded after the season.||NAL|
The United Football League had one winless season. In their inaugural season, the 2009 New York Sentinels lost all six of their games. The team, which was a traveling team that played games in Hartford, Long Island and New Jersey (and had intended to play a game in New York City but backed out), fired its head coach and settled permanently in Hartford to become the Hartford Colonials. Under the UFL's double round robin format, only one team could finish any particular season entirely with losses, since every team played each other at least twice.
The 1991 inaugural season of the World League of American Football saw the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks fold after losing all ten of their regular-season games. The following year, the WLAF replaced that franchise with the Ohio Glory who almost met the same fate but managed one win in their lone season.
Since non-professional, semi-professional and minor league teams are inherently unstable in their membership, it is far easier for seasons in which a team wins no games to occur. In the case of non-professional teams, neither mechanisms to force a team to shut down against its will, nor effective drafts or revenue sharing mechanisms to distribute talent evenly among teams typically exist, leading to poor teams accumulating multiple winless seasons. Four teams in football history have both lost all their games and failed to score a single point in an entire season; all played eight games or less. The 1938 Clintonville Four Wheel Drive Truckers failed to score a point in a nine-game season, but managed two 0–0 ties. There are at least twelve teams who have accumulated losing streaks of 20 games or more; there are also four teams who have accumulated seasons of all losses with at least 13 games. In the case of minor professional football, particularly in indoor football leagues, winless seasons often result from an owner's abandonment or other financial hardship. The American Indoor Football Association had at least one winless team in five out of six seasons. The National Indoor Football League went its first three seasons without a winless season, but beginning in 2004, at least one team went winless every year until the league's collapse in 2007. Though the Spring Football League had two teams with winless seasons (the Los Angeles Dragons and the Miami Tropics), and the Stars Football League had one such team (the traveling 2011 Michigan Coyotes), they are almost never mentioned in discussions of perfect and perfectly bad seasons, since those teams only played two games each before the seasons were cut short.
The Legends Football League (originally Lingerie Football League), whose seasons are only three to four games long for each team, has had eight teams with perfectly bad seasons in three years of play. One such team, the Toronto Triumph, did not win a game in either of their competing seasons in 2011 and 2012.
The Princeton Tigers sprint football squad, a team consisting of players under 172 pounds, sustained 16 consecutive winless seasons before Princeton University shut the team down in 2015, citing safety concerns in allowing players to play on a team so heavily outmatched.
The Canadian Football League currently has a regular season of eighteen games; from 1952 to 1985 it was generally sixteen games as with the current NFL season, though those teams in the Eastern Division played only fourteen as late as 1973. Also, the CFL did not adopt interdivisional regular season play until the early 1960's. There have been no imperfect seasons since the CFL was officially founded in 1958 - the last imperfect season in either of the CFL's antecedent leagues was in 1949.
Imperfect seasons were common in the Canadian football during the first half of the twentieth century when fewer games were played and more leagues were challenging for the Grey Cup. There was also far more disparity between teams in early Canadian football leagues.
Also unlike the NFL, the CFL has always awarded "points" in the standings that, in effect, have always counted ties as "half-wins" so a team with only ties and losses in the standings has never been regarded as having an imperfect season.
|1949||Hamilton Wildcats||12||0||12||0||Merged with the Hamilton Tigers for 1950 season|
|1941||Montreal Royals||6||0||6||0||Did not resume when Canadian football recommenced after World War II.|
The National Pro Grid League, which operated from 2014 to 2016, has a season of 3 to 4 games per team plus a 4 to 8 team playoff. The Los Angeles Reign lost all ten games it played during the league's (and team's) three-year existence.
|2016||Los Angeles Reign||3||0||3|
|2015||Baltimore Anthem||3||0||3||Debut season|
|2015||Los Angeles Reign||3||0||3|
|2014||Philadelphia Founders||3||0||3||Folded after the 2014 season.|
|2014||Los Angeles Reign||4||0||4||Including one playoff loss.|
Seasons in the National Lacrosse League and its predecessors Major Indoor Lacrosse League and Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League have varied from eight games in the first years of competition to sixteen games today, with the extension having been gradual. The Charlotte Cobras, who played only one season before folding, are the only team in the history of the NLL to have not won a game in a season. In their sole 1996 season they played twelve games and lost them all, before folding.
In Major League Lacrosse, the season has consisted of either twelve or fourteen games since the league was formed in 2001. The only winless season in Major League Lacrosse has been by the 2006 Chicago Machine, who went 0–12 and lost an MLL record thirteen consecutive games.
In the other major professional sports leagues of North America it is virtually impossible that a team could lose all its games, for the simple reason that there are many more games in the regular season than in football or lacrosse.
The Major League Soccer schedule has consisted of between 26 and 34 games. No team in Major League Soccer has ever come close to losing all its games: the most losses in a MLS season is 24 from 32 games by the Kansas City Wizards in 1999, the year when the league used shootouts to decide all tied games. Shootouts were abandoned the following season. In 2013, D.C. United set new MLS records in futility. They won a league low three games, and lost a record 24 games, tying the aforementioned Wizards.
Since the 1967–68 season, the National Basketball Association's regular season schedule has been 82 games long (except 1998–99, 50 games and 2011–12, 66 games due to lockouts). It has been as few as 48 games long, but eventually expanded to an 82-game schedule.
The 2011–12 Charlotte Bobcats hold the record for the lowest winning percentage of any team in an NBA season, winning only 7 out of 66 games in a lockout-shortened season, for a winning percentage of 0.106. This broke the record held by the 1972–73 Philadelphia 76ers, who had a winning percentage of .110 in a full 82-game season. The 1947–48 Providence Steamrollers won an all-time NBA low of six games out of 48 (.125 winning percentage).
The 1953–54 Baltimore Bullets went 0–20 on the road. More recently, the 1990–91 Sacramento Kings managed a near-imperfect road season, winning only one of 41 away games. Overall, the Kings lost 43 consecutive road games before beating the Orlando Magic 95–93 on November 23, 1991.
Since its formation in 1997, the WNBA regular season has been gradually increased from 30 to the current 34-game schedule.
No team has gone through a WNBA season without winning a game; the fewest wins in a WNBA season has been three by the 1998 Washington Mystics in their first season, and the 2011 Tulsa Shock. Two other expansion WNBA teams, the 2008 Atlanta Dream at 4–30 and the 2006 Chicago Sky at 5–29 have come closest to this record.
The Atlantic City Seagulls of the (now defunct) summertime, minor league USBL finished the 2001 season with an 0–28 record. It was quite a turnaround for the franchise, as they were dominant in the USBL just a few years earlier; the Seagulls were USBL runners-up in 1996, then swept to three straight titles in 1997–99. In 2000, the Seagulls slipped to 12–18, fourth place, and were beaten in the first round of the playoffs; after their winless 2001 campaign, the Seagulls folded.
In 2013, Mersey Tigers became the first top-flight British basketball team to go a whole season winless.
This record of 0–33 in the regular season of the 2012–13 BBL Championship, was completed with a 90–57 loss away to Glasgow Rocks, but can also be extended to include their complete season of 0–35 (defeats in the first round of the BBL Cup and BBL Trophy).
The defeat in the BBL Trophy was also significant because they fell at this stage to EBL Division One side, Worthing Thunder, and in doing so, it was the first time a BBL side had been knocked out from a competition by an EBL team.
They also currently hold the longest losing streak of 34 consecutive defeats in the BBL Championship.
The National Hockey League's schedule, like that of the NBA, consists of 82 games. Since the 2004–05 lockout, teams receive two points for a win, one point for a loss in overtime or a shootout, and zero points for a loss in regulation time. From 1997 until 2004, teams received two points for a win, one point for a tie or overtime loss, and zero points for a regulation loss. Prior to 1997, teams received two points for a win, one point for a tie, and no points for a loss. From 1997 to 2004, NHL standings tables had four columns: W–L–T–OTL. From 2005 to 2010, it was reduced to three, W–L–OTL; in 2011, a "regulation/overtime win" column (ROW) was added, which excludes shootout wins; it does not change the point totals, but does serve as the second tiebreaker (after games played; since all teams play 82 games by the season's end barring any unreschedulable cancellations, it becomes the first tiebreaker at season's end).
No team has ever come close to losing every game in an NHL season; the worst record is by the 1974–75 Washington Capitals who went 8–67–5 (8 wins, 67 losses, 5 ties). The 1974–75 Capitals and 1992–93 Ottawa Senators hold the record for fewest wins on the road with one. The NHL played an 80-game season in 1974–75, whereas in 1992–93 the schedule consisted of 84 games, thus giving the Senators the percentage record for worst road record. The Senators also set a record by losing their first 38 consecutive road games (the Senators' road statistics include a neutral site game played in Hamilton, Ontario, in which the Senators were considered the road team).
Winless seasons occurred frequently in the Ukrainian Hockey Championship, the top-level ice hockey league in Ukraine. The longest series belongs to HK Dniprovski Vovky who lost all 30 games in the regulation time in the 2007–08 season. SDYuShOR Sokil, the academy team of HC Sokil Kyiv, had three winless seasons (1999–2000, 2004–05, and 2006–07). Four more teams completed a season without winning a single game: Ivars Kyiv lost all 12 games in 1996–97, Kryzynka II, the second team of HK Kryzynka Kiev (playing in the same league as the main team), tied 1 and lost 13 games out of 14 in 1998-99, HC Khimik Sieverodonetsk lost all 16 games in 2003–04, and VIM-Berkut lost all 10 games in 2009–10.
Since the early 1960s, the schedule of both leagues of Major League Baseball has been 162 games long, and before that it was 154 games long. With such a schedule, it is practically impossible for a team to finish with a winless season. The sabermetric baseball statistic Wins Above Replacement is calculated on the premise that even a team consisting entirely of replacement-level players, (i.e., a player that could be "replaced" by a call-up from the minor leagues without any significant statistical difference) is expected to win a baseline minimum number of games (typically 40-50 depending primarily on the caliber of the team's division) per 162 game season.
The closest to a perfectly imperfect season in the National League was the infamous 1899 Cleveland Spiders season, who finished with a record of 20-134 after its roster was looted by the owners of the team, who then stacked the best players onto the St. Louis Perfectos.
With a win percentage of .130, the Spiders are (as of 2016) the last of three major league teams to have finished a season below the Mendoza line (.200) in win percentage; the others were the 1889 Louisville Colonels (.196), and the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys (.169), whose best players had jumped to the Pittsburgh Burghers of the newly formed Player's League.
Since the establishment of the American League in 1901, the teams to have come closest to imperfection are the Philadelphia Athletics in 1916 (36–117), the Boston Braves in 1935 (38–115), the New York Mets in their 1962 inaugural season (40–120), the Detroit Tigers in 2003 (43–119), the Baltimore Orioles in 2018 (47–115), and the Detroit Tigers in 2019.
The Shanghai Dragons lost all 40 of their games in the inaugural 2018 season of the Overwatch League. They also lost their first two games of the second season, for a streak of 42 losses before defeating the Boston Uprising on February 22, 2019. Starting in Season 2, each team will only play 28 matches per season so it is unlikely that any team will get the chance to beat Shanghai's record.
In the Australian Football League (until 1990 called the Victorian Football League), seasons have ranged from twelve games per team (in 1916, when only four teams competed due to World War I) to 22 games (since 1970, except for 1993 when 20 games were played), with most seasons being of 18 or 22 games duration.
|1897||St Kilda||0||14||0||Did not win a match until Round 1 of 1900|
|1899||St Kilda||0||17||0||VFL/AFL record low percentage of 23.2 (scored only 323 points and conceded 1,391)|
|1902||St Kilda||0||17||0||Full forward Charlie Baker won the VFL Leading Goalkicker Medal despite the team being winless|
|1913||University||0||18||0||Full forward Roy Park won the VFL Leading Goalkicker Medal despite the team being winless|
|1914||University||0||18||0||Dropped out of competition and folded at the end of the season; reformed in 1919 and have competed in amateur football since|
|1919||Melbourne||0||16||0||Melbourne's first season in the VFL after being in recess from 1916-1918 due to World War I|
|1898||West Adelaide||0||14||0||First season in SAFL.|
|1921||Glenelg||0||14||0||First season in SAFL; did not record first win until Round 1 of 1925.|
|1964||Central District||0||20||0||First season in SANFL.|
|1995||Sturt||0||22||0||The first (and to date only) 0–22 season in a major Australian rules football league.|
The West Australian Football League has existed within Western Australia under various names since 1885, and until the 1980s was of equivalent standard to the VFL and SANFL. Its season was originally around six to nine games in length, later increasing to 21 games, and from 2018 is 18 games.[a]
|1899||Rovers||0||8||0||Folded during season; Perth played the remaining fixtures.|
|1905||Subiaco||0||10||0||Played fewer games than rival league clubs due to financial difficulties.|
|1917||Midland Junction||0||12||0||Disbanded at end of season.|
From the time of the formation of the Victorian Football League in 1896 until it was dissolved in 1995, the VFA was the second-tier club competition in Victoria. Its home-and-away season varied erratically from 12 to 22 games in length.
|1912||Melbourne City||0||18||0||Single||First season in the VFA.|
|1913||Melbourne City||0||18||0||Single||Folded at the end of the season.|
|1941||Sandringham||0||18||0||Single||Conceded then-record score of 43.29 (287).|
|1951||Box Hill||0||19||1||Single||First season in VFA.|
|1961||Brighton||0||18||0||Second||Nearly folded at the end of the season before reforming as Brighton-Caulfield.|
|1989||Camberwell||0||18||0||Single||Defeated Sunshine in Round 4, but Sunshine dropped out of the VFA and folded after eight games, with their record being expunged.|
|1990||Camberwell||0||18||0||Single||Dropped out of the VFA and folded before the start of the following season.|
|1993||Coburg||0||18||0||Single||Lost 29 consecutive matches between 1992–1994.|
After 1995, the VFA was replaced by the current Victorian Football League (VFL), which serves as a state league and feeder to the AFL.
|2014||Bendigo||0||18||0||Dropped out of league and folded at the end of the season.|
In the Rugby Football League Championship, teams initially played a variable number of games, with the maximum ranging over time from 26 to 38, and some teams playing as few as fourteen. In more modern times the fixture list has been standardised at 26 games per team.
As a result of this fairly lengthy schedule, it has been almost impossible for British rugby league teams to lose all their games, with the only exception being during World War II's so-called "Wartime emergency League" when teams were often able to arrange no more than ten games and some as few as five. The only four winless seasons since normal competition resumed after the war have been in the second and third divisions of the Championship.
In 2018, West Wales Raiders set a number of Rugby League records for futility on course to losing all 26 games, including the largest point differential (-1930 points), most points conceded (2106) and largest average number of points conceded per game (81). In addition, they were on the receiving end of Rugby League's largest ever defeat - a 144-0 loss to York City Knights.
|2018||West Wales Raiders||0||26||0||League 1|
Conceded 2106 points
Set a new world record for biggest Rugby League defeat, losing 144-0 to York City Knights
Finished on -4 points after fielding an ineligible player in two matches
|2006||Oldham||0||18||0||National League One|
Finished with a points difference of -724
|1991–92||Nottingham City||0||26||0||Third Division|
Last season in league
Finished with a points difference of -1159
|1989–90||Runcorn Highfield||0||28||0||Second Division|
Renamed Highfield for following season; still took five successive wooden spoons before disbanding in 1997
|1941–1942||Bramley||0||19||0||Left the league until 1945–1946|
|1940–1941||Broughton Rangers||0||10||0||"Wartime Emergency Season"|
Left the league until 1945–1946 as Belle Vue Rangers before disbanding in 1955.
|1940–1941||Leigh||0||13||0||"Wartime Emergency Season"|
Did not return until 1946–1947
|1906–1907||Liverpool City||0||30||0||Scored only 76 points and conceded almost 1,400.|
In the New South Wales Rugby Football League, the ancestor of today’s National Rugby League, seasons were initially between eight (in the event of Kangaroo tours) and sixteen games long, so that a very bad team could go through a season with only losses. As a result of the expansion of the NSWRL from 1947 onwards, the season has been lengthened gradually with a few intermissions. The following NSWRFL teams up to 1966 did not win a single game:
|1966||Easts||0||18||0||Longest winless season in NSWRL/NRL history. Last season with 18 games: in 1967 the season expanded to 22.|
Sequence of 29 winless games from Round 13 of 1965.
|1946||Souths||0||14||0||Lost 22 successive games after the death of Alf Blair during the 1944/1945 off-season.|
|1937||University||0||8||0||Team disbanded after season shortened by Kangaroo tour, having won only one game in three years (13–11 against St. George in the last round of 1936).|
|1935||University||0||16||0||Lost 42 consecutive games after winning 4–3 in opening game of 1934|
|1921||University||0||8||0||Kangaroo tour shortened season.|
Won only one game in initial season of 1920 for a combined 1–20 record.
|1920||Annandale||0||13||0||Disbanded at end of season after having won only one game (8–5 against Norths) in three seasons.|
|1918||Annandale||0||14||0||Sequence of 27 winless games: won only twice in last four seasons|
Since 1967, NSWRFL and later NSWRL, ARL and NRL seasons have been between 22 and 26 games long; thus it is much less likely a very bad team could lose every single one of its games.
The Brisbane Rugby League premiership began in 1909 and continued in varying forms until 1996, after which it was superseded by the Queensland Cup. Between the 1930s and the 1960s it was of comparable standard to the New South Wales Rugby Football League, but subsequently a huge drain of players to Sydney eroded the standard of play. Before World War II seasons were typically no more than twelve games long, so that a very bad team could easily fail to win a game; however as the competition grew it was expanded to 21 games, which made winless seasons much less likely.
|1946||Western Suburbs||0||10||0||Broke its losing streak in the opening game of 1947 but fell to 2–7–1; then won premiership in 1948.|
|1945||Eastern Suburbs||0||10||0||Would rise to minor premiers in 1946 and six straight grand finals 1946 to 1951 via massive recruitment drive.|
|1944||Eastern Suburbs||0||10||0||Two consecutive winless seasons|
|1943||Western Suburbs||0||9||0||Forfeited scheduled tenth match to Northern Suburbs.|
|1940||Eastern Suburbs||0||10||0||Nine-season record from 1937 to 1945 was 9–81–0.|
|1933||Southern Suburbs||0||12||0||Finished last every season from 1933 to 1937 with combined record of 5–48–0, including consecutive winless seasons.|
|1925||University||0||9||2||Would finish 7–5 in 1926, but disbanded in middle of 1934 season after all players moved to rugby union.|
|1915||West End||0||8||0||Became “Ipswich” the following season, but did not compete after that.|
Super Rugby, the Southern Hemisphere's principal club competition, has seen two teams go through an entire season with no wins or draws. Both seasons were in the competition's past incarnations of Super 12 and Super 14, each name reflecting the number of competing teams.
Under both Super 12 (1996–2005) and Super 14 (2006–2010) formats, each team played all other teams once, resulting in seasons of 11 and then 13 games. The competition became Super Rugby with the addition of a 15th team in 2011. The season format was also heavily revamped; the regular season now consists of 16 matches.
The Super 12 and Super 14 eras each saw one team finish a season with only losses; both teams with this dubious distinction are from South Africa. In 2002, the Bulls, based in Pretoria, finished with 11 losses from 11 matches. The other imperfect season was that of the Johannesburg-based Lions in the final season of the Super 14 format in 2010, who lost all 13 of their matches, while ending up with a final points difference of negative 300.
Only four teams are known to have completed a season with no victories or draws. Antigua Barracuda lost all 26 matches of the 2013 USL Pro season. Gibraltar Phoenix lost all 14 matches in the 2013-14 Gibraltar Premier Division, while in the 2015–16 season, English non-league team Longford AFC, played a 30-game season in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division Two (14th tier on the English pyramid), losing all their matches after the majority of their players and manager left. In 2016, Grêmio Barueri lost all 19 matches of the Campeonato Paulista Série A3, the third level of the São Paulo state championship. After the disastrous season, the Antigua and Grêmio Barueri teams folded.
In the 2010–11 Ukrainian Second League (3rd tier on the Ukrainian pyramid), FC Veres Rivne lost all 14 out of 22 scheduled games before being expelled from the league due to failure of payment of league dues; in addition, they failed to score a single goal at home.
In top-level domestic league football however, a handful of teams have completed their respective seasons without winning a game. In the 2010–11 Serbian SuperLiga, FK Čukarički Stankom played an entire season winless, drawing five matches and losing 25 in a 30-game season, giving them only 5 points and finishing bottom in a field of 16. The team also only scored ten goals whilst conceding 65.
In the Bulgarian A Professional Football Group, which is the top tier of association football in the European country, three teams have all played a season without winning, with those being Torpedo Ruse (four draws out of 22 matches during 1951), Rakovski Ruse (one draw out of 30 matches during 1996/97) and Chernomorets Burgas Sofia (also one draw out of 30 matches during 2006/07). Chernomorets were however the worse performing out of these, conceding 131 goals with only eight in reply (the same number scored as Rakovski Ruse in their winless season), they still however completed the season with a minus 2 points total, because they violated a rule concerning not being able to field enough youth players.
The open high frequency of draws in association football, coupled with the relatively long length of seasons and promotion and relegation system used in a majority of jurisdictions to automatically remove the lowest performing teams from any given league, makes winless seasons less likely to occur.
In the ANZ Championship, which formed out of the old Commonwealth Bank Trophy in 2008, seasons have been thirteen games. There has so far been one winless season, by the Central Pulse from Wellington (formed as a combination of the Wellington Shakers and Western Flyers) in the opening 2008 season. They did earn one point when a game was abandoned due to a leaking roof. The Pulse were to win only one game each in 2009 and 2010, thus having a record of 2–36 after three seasons.
In English first-class county cricket, which has a history dating back to the early nineteenth century and was until the middle twentieth century up to the highest standard of the game, seasons have varied in length. Before the 1880s, they were generally less than ten matches in length and some "first-class" counties played only against one or two different opponents, so that a team losing all its games was not uncommon. Between 1887 and 1929, seasons were gradually increased in length to a standard twenty-eight matches for all counties. However, because of the development and popularity of one-day cricket, seasons have been reduced to twenty-four games in 1969 and twenty in 1972, though this was increased by two in 1977 and 1983. With an increase to four days for all games, sixteen or seventeen games have been played since 1993.
Also, because of improvements to pitches via the heavy roller and covering to protect from rain, the proportion of games "drawn" (not finished) has steadily risen since the 1870s.
Only two county teams have ever finished a season with only losses in a program of eight or more games:
|1884||Derbyshire||0||10||0||Won only three games from 1884 to 1887|
Lost every game in 1887, but played only six games
|1920||Derbyshire||0||17||0||One match, against Nottinghamshire, was abandoned without a ball bowled|
Teams losing or drawing every game in a first-class county season have been rather less exceptional, though by no means frequent:
|1865||Yorkshire||0||6||2||Were to have an amazing rise due to the discovery of deadly fast bowlers Freeman and Emmett, winning every game in 1867.|
|1886||Derbyshire||0||8||1||Was demoted from first-class status between 1888 and 1893|
|1897||Derbyshire||0||9||7||Lost two games by one wicket to power clubs Lancashire and Yorkshire|
|1900||Hampshire||0||16||6||Lost star batsman Robert Poore to the Boer War|
|1910||Somerset||0||15||3||Lost star bowler Bill Greswell to business in Ceylon.|
Two-year record in 1910 and 1911 was one win, 28 losses and five draws
|1928||Worcestershire||0||19||11||Most matches and most losses by any winless county team.|
Played 54 county matches without a win between June 1927 and May 1929.
|1936||Northamptonshire||0||9||15||Did win one game against Sussex under “one-innings” rules after first two days washed out by rain|
|1937||Northamptonshire||0||16||8||Lost star batsman Fred Bakewell to a car crash and bowler "Nobby" Clark to loss of form|
|1938||Northamptonshire||0||17||7||Ninety-nine County Championship matches without a win between 14 May 1935 and 29 May 1939|
|1967||Nottinghamshire||0||4||24||Only team to be winless without finishing bottom|
24 drawn matches is most in county cricket history; four finished games is fewest in a season of more than sixteen games
|1982||Warwickshire||0||8||14||Alvin Kallicharran was leading run-scorer in country, but bowling exceptionally weak with average of over 45 runs per wicket|
|1996||Durham||0||12||5||Won only one match in any competition (four-day or one) against a first-class opponent|
|2014||Leicestershire||0||10||6||Second Division. First back-to-back winless seasons by a county since the Second World War.|
There were no completely winless seasons in the Sunday League limited-overs competition during its history from 1969 to 2009.
With the exception of the Sheffield Shield since the 1970s, most first-class cricket competitions outside England have either been knock-outs or of such short length that it becomes an everyday occurrence for a team to lose all its games. Some, such as the Ranji Trophy and most seasons of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, have indeed been knockout competitions, which typically use first innings lead to decide if a match is unfinished.
There have still be some notable winless sequences in non-English first-class cricket: