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Old 03-06-2020, 01:58 AM
Little Nemo is online now
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Can a team retroactively forfeit a game?


There's a current incident in my area where some members of a college sports team did something wrong outside of the arena and as a result, the team announced they won't be playing for the rest of the season and will be forfeiting all of the games.

That got me thinking about the ramifications of a team doing something like that and how it affected the other teams. Let's say they're a dominant team and have won all of their games. Then halfway through the season, they announce they are forfeiting all games for the rest of the season.

This means all of the teams that played them in the first half of the season have a loss on their records but all the teams that were scheduled to play them in the second half of the season have a guaranteed win (plus a bye week). This seems to be giving that second group of teams a significant advantage over the first group due to nothing other than random scheduling.

Can the forfeiting team decide that in order to equalize the records, they are going to not only forfeit all of the remaining games of the season but also retroactively forfeit all of the games that were already played? Let's say, for the sake of argument, that whatever incident caused the team to forfeit actually occurred back before the beginning of the season but wasn't discovered until halfway through the season.
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:35 AM
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Not an expert, but I guess the big issue with a team deciding to do this is that it changes the records... and possibly the standings... of those teams who are retroactively forfeited.

Team A and B are tied for the last slot of the playoffs with a 7-6 record. Team B gets the tiebreaker as they beat Team A head to head.

Team C declares 'hey, er, sorry, but we banged a lot of trash cans. Gonna forfeit our whole season."

Team B never played Team C. Team A lost to them once.

Now Team A has an 8-5 record and makes the playoffs despite losing to B&C.

Team B would have a valid complaint in this scenario, imho.

In short, this would be better handled at the league level.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-06-2020 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Not an expert, but I guess the big issue with a team deciding to do this is that it changes the records... and possibly the standings... of those teams who are retroactively forfeited.

Team A and B are tied for the last slot of the playoffs with a 7-6 record. Team B gets the tiebreaker as they beat Team A head to head.

Team C declares 'hey, er, sorry, but we banged a lot of trash cans. Gonna forfeit our whole season."

Team B never played Team C. Team A lost to them once.

Now Team A has an 8-5 record and makes the playoffs despite losing to B&C.

Team B would have a valid complaint in this scenario, imho.

In short, this would be better handled at the league level.
Presumably in this scenario the reason Team B never played Team C is that they were scheduled to play in the later part of the season. Unless we’re dealing with something like the SEC or Big 10 in football where not everyone plays each other.
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:35 AM
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After the fact the NCAA takes away wins in some cases but they don't give the opposing team a win. Most famous example is Louisville lost their BB title in 2013 due to NCAA violations. Which means there is no NCAA BB champion in 2013. NCAA took away wins from Joe Paterno after the Sandusky case but later restored the wins due to a lawsuit.
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Old 03-06-2020, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Can the forfeiting team decide that in order to equalize the records, they are going to not only forfeit all of the remaining games of the season but also retroactively forfeit all of the games that were already played? Let's say, for the sake of argument, that whatever incident caused the team to forfeit actually occurred back before the beginning of the season but wasn't discovered until halfway through the season.
No, it cannot.

Suppose a team loses its top two players in the middle of the season. Are the games that it already played adjusted in any way to take this into account? No. The same applies with a team that forfeits the remainder of its season.

Another case in point: Georgia Tech announced that it has stopped its appeal of its one year NCAA men's basketball tournament ban, and will not be in the ACC tournament as a result; however, this does not mean that the other teams will be re-seeded based on their conference records that do not include games played against GT.

And at least the NCAA "vacates" the wins, as Bijou Drains pointed out. Most other leagues do "forfeit" the games, which can cause bigger problems. Case in point: the 1992 Little League World Series tournament - the team that won, from the Philippines, was later found to have used ineligible players throughout the entire tournament, so Little League declared the USA team that it beat in the championship game as the "world champions" - in effect, disqualifying every team from outside of the USA as a result. Something similar happened one year in the Texas state high school football tournament, when the team that was the basis for the book Friday Night Lights lost in the semi-finals to the team that won the championship game, only to forfeit it after it was discovered to have ineligible players - and the team it beat in the final was declared the state champion.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:56 PM
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When the olympics take away a medal for drug cheating or other reasons, they do move up the other people. Silver goes to Gold, Bronze to Silver and 4th place to Bronze depending on who lost the medal. BTW the 1972 Olympic BB silver medals were never claimed by the USA based on the strange outcome when they lost the gold to USSR. Last I heard they are in storage and can be claimed.
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:33 PM
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Here's an interesting parallel


In English soccer, the FA Cup is a historic and important competition.

Also, there used to be* an 'unwritten convention' that if a player goes down injured (possibly badly), the ball is kicked deliberately out of play, so the game legally stops and the player can receive treatment.
Now under the rules, the team that kicked the ball out loses possession. So the 'unwritten convention' continues that once the player has recovered, the ball is deliberately passed back to the team that sportingly gave away possession. (Hope that makes sense!)

In 1999, Arsenal were drawn at home against Sheffield United in the Fifth Round and beat the Yorkshire team 2-1 thanks to goals from Patrick Vieira and Marc Overmars. However, the winning goal caused plenty of controversy.

The ball had been kicked into touch by a United player so one of his team-mates could receive treatment. But when Kanu received possession from the resulting throw, he broke away down the right and squared for Overmars to score.


Under the rules, this was a legal goal. (But it was certainly against the 'unwritten convention' ... and in my opinion morally wrong.)
N.B. To be fair to Kanu he had simply misunderstood the situation, unaware that a United player had needed treatment.

Arsène Wenger stepped in and, recognising the unique situation Arsenal found themselves in, he offered United manager Steve Bruce a chance to replay the match at Highbury.

Wenger's gracious offer was accepted and, with the FA's consent, the rematch took place 10 days later. Overmars and Dennis Bergkamp put Arsenal in charge and, although the Blades grabbed a late consolation, they suffered another 2-1 defeat.


Alls well that ends well (as somebody once wrote!)

*I think the rules have now changed so the referee can stop the game to help the injured player.
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
... all of the teams that played them in the first half of the season have a loss on their records but all the teams that were scheduled to play them in the second half of the season have a guaranteed win (plus a bye week).
Surely a more common arrangement is that when a team is ruled ineligible to play an upcoming game, this gets treated as a non-game: bye week, but no win or loss.

Quote:
Can the forfeiting team decide that in order to equalize the records, they are going to not only forfeit all of the remaining games of the season but also retroactively forfeit all of the games that were already played?
Would be a decision of the league, not the team.
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:35 PM
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this reminds me of a strange game in little league baseball. Every kid needs to get at least 1 at bat. A home team was ahead and did not need to play the bottom of the 6th inning. But they realized 1 kid did not bat so if the game ended in the top of the 6th they would forfeit the game. So they started to let the other team score to tie up the game. But the other team figured out what was going on and they tried to not score by swinging at every pitch and not trying to hit the ball. Pretty sure this was in the playoffs to the LL world series. Not sure but I think both teams were kicked out of the playoffs for this game.
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
this reminds me of a strange game in little league baseball. Every kid needs to get at least 1 at bat. A home team was ahead and did not need to play the bottom of the 6th inning. But they realized 1 kid did not bat so if the game ended in the top of the 6th they would forfeit the game. So they started to let the other team score to tie up the game. But the other team figured out what was going on and they tried to not score by swinging at every pitch and not trying to hit the ball. Pretty sure this was in the playoffs to the LL world series. Not sure but I think both teams were kicked out of the playoffs for this game.
I read about this in Sports Illustrated once, but it wasn't Little League, which didn't have the "must play" rule in its tournament at the time (only in local league play). I think it was in the Cal Ripken Baseball league's tournament, and I thought the decision from league HQ was that the team that won by forfeit did nothing wrong.
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