Bye is a popular term in various sports and leagues in the United States such as the NFL, and is also used in other tournaments outside the country. The term Bye is used as a free pass given to a team during the season to advance to the next round of a tour without having to play or compete against other teams.
Bye Week in the NFL is a 'free holiday ticket for the teams', but it is actually a resting week or a no-playing week. After the bye is over the team goes back to playing normally for the rest of the season, all teams get their free week that is awarded during the middle of the season.
Other sports in the United States such as Hockey, Baseball and Basketball do not offer Bye Week during the regular seasons or tournaments. But some amateur tournaments do offer bye for the sports mentioned above, it all depends on the type of organization of the bracket.
Bye Week in the National Football League and Soccer: How It Works
During the first weeks of the season everything works perfectly in the NFL, teams play normally on Thursday, Sunday and Monday. Then between Week 4 and Week 12 the teams receive the well known Bye Week, but that week is not counted as a free win, it is only a no-playing week before returning to action.
Another sport that usually uses Bye is Soccer during some special tournaments that are organized in groups or brackets. In the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers some national teams received a direct Bye to the Third Round (final round of the qualifiers) and they avoided playing in the group stage and in the second round.
Sports that don't use bye usually offer days off for the teams, bye is not completely related to resting days but is usually taken that way. The Bye’s also serve to solve problems related to the organization of a tournament and the lack of teams within it.