Please explain “three times on the bounce”.
Three times in a row, that is.
Three times in a row?
That means three straight times – without break, without interruption.
If you bounce a ball, you push it down to the floor and it bounces back; you push it down again and once again it bounces back to your hand. You keep doing this and you’re keeping the ball “on the bounce”, literally.
When you stop, the ball stops bouncing.
This gives us the idea of the ball “on the bounce”. When it’s on the bounce, it goes up and down without break.
Hence, three times on the bounce means three times in a row, three consecutive times, three times in succession.
This expression is often used in sports to describe players or teams winning consecutive games and titles.
Or losing, for that matter, dropping consecutive games without tasting a win.
For example, the Los Angeles Lakers won 33 consecutive games back in the 1971-72 season. That’s 33 times on the bounce.
The Chinese football team, on the other hand, have failed beat Japan for 24 years. That’s 24 years on the bounce. The last time they beat their East Asian foes goes back to 1998, or the previous century, if you will.
Since then, they’ve played Japan 13 times without winning any one of them.
That’s 13 times on the bounce.
Embarrassing, to say the least.
Ah, well, let’s not dwell on our disappointing footballers. Let’s focus on the bright side.
And the bright side, for the present, is that we’ve mastered another useful sporting phrase, “on the bounce”.
Let’s read a few media examples:
1. Glasgow made it three United Rugby Championship wins on the bounce with a 17-6 victory over Zebre Parma in Italy. Having lost their season opener at Ulster, the Warriors have now chalked up consecutive wins against the Sharks, Lions and Zebre ahead of next weekend’s home clash with Leinster – their final match before the international break.
First-half tries from Lewis Bean and Sione Tuipulotu put the visitors in control, while a Duncan Weir penalty was all either side could muster after the break. Limited to six points from the boot of Carlo Canna, Zebre did show some threatening glimpses but have now not won a game in any competition since February and their record against Glasgow stands at 18 defeats and no victories.
Glasgow put the Zebre defence under some early pressure and were rewarded in the fifth minute when Bean overpowered Canna to barge over from close range, with Weir adding the extras. Bean went over again seven minutes later after more good work by the Glasgow forwards, but he lost control of the ball before being able to ground and a swift trip to the TMO confirmed the on-field verdict of no try.
- Glasgow make it three URC wins on the bounce with victory at Zebre, RugbyPass.com, October 16, 2021.
2. Adopting his trademark crouching position in the technical area, Marcelo Bielsa closely studied the mayhem unfolding in front of him on the Anfield pitch.
Bielsa’s first English Premier League game as a manager was barely a half-hour old and already there’d been five goals, countless chances and furious, end-to-end drama.
Back in the top division after a 16-year absence, Leeds is certainly going to be a fun watch under the Argentine coaching great this season.
Bielsa’s team went toe-to-toe with Liverpool in the first match of the champion’s title defense and was denied a point only after conceding a late penalty, converted by Mohamed Salah to complete his hat trick and a wild 4-3 win for the hosts.
Arsenal also opened against a promoted team and found it much more straightforward.
Fulham was swatted aside in a 3-0 home loss to the Gunners, with Brazil winger Willian setting up all of the goals on his debut after a cross-London switch from Chelsea.
Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel – another debutant from Brazil – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were the beneficiaries of Willian’s work at Craven Cottage.
“I don’t think it gets much better than that,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said after his team opened league play having already featured in the first match of the English season – a win over Liverpool in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium last month.
It already looks destined to be a long season for Fulham, whose defending was suspect when they were relegated from the Premier League two seasons ago after conceding a division-high 81 goals.
“This year we are going to lose football matches,” Fulham manager Scott Parker said, “but what we can’t afford to do is when you go and lose two or three on the bounce – which is going to happen with us – let it cripple you.”
- Liverpool wins wild opener, Arsenal coasts as EPL begins, APNews.com, September 13, 2020.
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan leads after the first session of the Betfred World Championship final, but Judd Trump took the last two frames to end the afternoon just two behind at 5-3.
O’Sullivan is chasing a historic record equaling seventh Crucible crown, which would tie Stephen Hendry’s tally. The 46-year-old would become the oldest ever World Champion if he were to win the event, eclipsing Ray Reardon who was 45 when he claimed his sixth world title in 1978.
Trump is bidding for his second World Championship win. The Ace in the Pack tasted Crucible glory back in 2019, when he scored a stunning 18-9 win over John Higgins in the final. Bristol’s Trump edges the head-to-head standings with O’Sullivan, leading 13-12.
They entered a packed Crucible arena to a standing ovation ahead of play and both hit the ground running with a standard befitting of the occasion.
It was Trump who took the first with a break of 72. O’Sullivan swiftly responded and contributions of 120 and 68 saw him take to the front at 2-1.
Trump had looked set to restore parity when he left O’Sullivan needing a snooker in the fourth, but missed a red which he attempted to play right handed on 52. O’Sullivan then got the snooker he needed and eventually forced a respot. Trump put the black to the side cushion, before 38-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan nailed a cocked hat double to steal the frame and lead 3-1.
O’Sullivan then moved three in front by taking the next and a break of 105 saw him make it five frames on the bounce. Trump hit back with a run of 97 to reduce his arrears to 5-2. O’Sullivan had a chance to take the last but snookered himself on the final yellow. Trump got in with a mid-range yellow and cleared the colours to end two behind at 5-3.
- 2022 World Championship – Ronnie leads Judd Trump by 12-5 after the first day, RonnieO147.com, May 2, 2022.
About the author:
Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.