Greyhound principle

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Greyhound principle or greyhound procedure refers to a procedure in which access to a resource that is only available to a limited extent is only released by the resource administration office according to the chronological order of the requirement notifications, but not according to other criteria. The best-known and most concise German formulation of this rule is the proverbial phrase: “ First come, first served .” A comparable procedure in legal contexts is the priority principle .


Today, the first-come-first-time principle is used, for example, when selling tickets for a concert, since the seats or tickets are simply allocated one after the other without looking at the person.

The basic strength of the greyhound principle, namely the reduction of the award selection to a single decisive criterion (the time at which the request is received), is also the decisive weakness: Additional criteria, such as Strictly speaking, e.g. the increased need of an applicant may not be taken into account.

The greyhound principle explicitly refers to a finite resource; if the resource is not limited, but an in principle unlimited amount is sorted according to its chronological order, this ordering principle is referred to as first in - first out or first come, first served ("first come, first served").

Problems with the implementation on an electronic basis

The classic sighthound method has two important features that can only be mapped electronically with increased effort - for example with web registrations:

  1. There is only one queue and access to the resource is exclusive. Strictly speaking, the example of the sale of concert tickets described above represents a whole series of isolated first-class procedures, namely one per point of sale (if these are not networked).
  2. The queue can form any length of time before the start of the campaign and is only limited by the amount of work that is individually accepted. At very popular concerts it can therefore happen that people come to the point of sale a day earlier and camp there.

Cheating Opportunities

The greyhound method in the variant with several individual proceedings is prone to agreements between participants: Two participants can improve their chances by going to different queues. Depending on the goal, either the first person buys the tickets for both people, or, if it is a matter of lists, both people also enter the other.

In the electronic environment, there is also the fact that web queries can be easily automated so that users with programming knowledge can gain an advantage.

Another problem is that of the black market: Once you have made it to the beginning of the queue, you can often buy significantly more cards than you need for yourself, and then sell them overpriced. This is particularly problematic when the resource itself is free.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. First-come-first-serve principle. In: June 24, 2016, accessed May 11, 2020 .