Every March, 68 college basketball teams are invited to compete in the NCAA tournament to determine a national champion. First, 8 teams participate in 4 “play in” games to reduce the field to 64. In the first round, 32 games reduce the field to 32.

Chaque année en mars, 68 équipes de basket-ball universitaire sont invitées à participer au tournoi de la NCAA afin de déterminer un champion national. Dans un premier temps, 8 équipes participent à 4 matchs "play in" pour réduire le nombre de participants à 64. Au premier tour, 32 matchs réduisent le nombre de participants à 32.

Deepl conveys field in this context by 'nombre de participants' but I'm wondering if there is another word or expression.

3 Answers 3


French native here. The correct word, particularly in this case (a large field of competitors), would be the word plateau.

Sport journals will often talk about "un plateau relevé" to indicate that the field is very competitive for a given tournament, particularly tennis.

  • 2
    I'm a french native too, and didn't knew that "plateau" could be used in such a context. I admit that I don't read sport journals. ;) Thank you, I learned a new word, today.
    – Ouch42
    Oct 20, 2020 at 14:00
  • Thanks. Can you be more specific? 'Dans un premier temps, 8 équipes participent à 4 matchs "play in" pour réduire plateau à 64.' would be appropriate?
    – Dimitris
    Oct 20, 2020 at 15:19
  • "pour réduire le plateau à 64" would be appropriate.
    – Osgy
    Oct 20, 2020 at 15:23
  • Thanks again for your feedback.
    – Dimitris
    Oct 20, 2020 at 15:50
  • By the way, how would we say 'play in' to avoid the English?
    – Dimitris
    Oct 20, 2020 at 15:51

Someone may provide an alternative word but, as a native french speaker, I absolutely find "nombre de participants" right, here.


« Nombre des qualifiés » est une amélioration de « nombre des participants ». Je ne vois pas d'autre terme, en particulier aucun terme d'un seul mot.

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