Coin Flipping

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    Coin Flipping

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    Coin flipping or coin tossing or heads or tails is the practice of throwing a coin in the air to choose between two alternatives, sometimes to resolve a dispute between two parties. It is a form of sortition which inherently has only two possible and equally likely outcomes.

    Coin flipping is used to decide which end of the field the teams will play to and/or which team gets first use of the ball, or similar questions in soccer matches, American football games, Australian rules football, volleyball, and other sports requiring such decisions. In the U.S. a specially minted coin is flipped in National Football League games; the coin is then sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and other coins of the special series minted at the same time are sold to collectors. The XFL, a short-lived American football league, attempted to avoid coin tosses by implementing a faceoff style "opening scramble," in which one player from each team tried to recover a loose football; the team whose player recovered the ball got first choice. Because of the high rate of injury in these events, it has not achieved mainstream popularity in any football league, and coin tossing remains the method of choice in American football.

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