Badminton players DQ from Olympics for throwing matches

Story Here

Haven’t seen anything on NBC, yet.

Badminton can use all the publicity it can get, but I don’t think this is what they are looking for.

I am not sure of how intentionally losing in Round Robin gets you a easier draw. I hope sometime that NBC shows the video of these matches.

If the accusations are true about these players, then they should be thrown out of the sport, or be suspended for a long period of time.

The most surprising thing about the whole story is that there is a Badminton World Federation. I can see the strategic value in looking at potential matchups and preferring to play say the #1 finisher from one group vs. the #2 from another group. But come on, once that round is over you’d have to play someone decent anyway, so what’s the point?

I’m used to a setup where if you come in ranked lower, you have to play a harder schedule, so I’m not getting the draw either.

Oh my. This is kind of awesome in a shadenfreude kind of way.

I don’t blame the players. I blame the organizers. Create a game where it is advantageous to lose and someone will lose on purpose. You can’t expect anything else. The game will devolve into “who can lose without looking like I’m losing on purpose” no matter what else you do. If they were losing on purpose because of a bet or something like that, I would agree that they players are at fault. But they weren’t as far as I know. They were gaming the rules.

If anything, it makes me think that Badminton is a fucked up sport. If the tournament has incentives for losing, then there is something wrong with the rules.

The #2 ranked team had been upset in one of their earlier round-robin games, so in another match both teams were trying to lose, to avoid being paired against them in the knockout stage. The team that successfully lost that match was the #1 ranked team, so in the next match both teams tried to lose to avoid them.

Putting it in tennis terms, imagine there was a round-robin with two groups followed by a medal round, in which the top two from each group play in the semifinals, 1 from Group A vs. 2 from Group B and vice versa.

In Group A, Roger Federer is upset by, I dunno, Ferrer or someone in their match but destroys everyone else; Ferrer wins the rest of his matches and finishes #1 in the group. Even so, the winners of Group B would still rather face Ferrer than Federer.

Ah, got it. Thanks. :slight_smile:

I guess I was assuming some sort of ranking coming in.

Oh. That’s much less fucked up than I thought it would be.

Check out the link for some “highlights”- wow, look at that effort!

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/olympics--badminton-tournament-marred-by-teams-trying-to-purposefully-lose-a-match.html

As luck would have it, its former president is now the Vice President of the IOC.

I dunno. According to the article and the brief video clip I watched, they were shamelessly going about it. Dinking the service and plowing the birdie and yanking it wide making no effort to even give the appearance of conducting an actual competition. What’s more, this tactic of throwing a match had been evidently used in the past.

Then again, if there is a loophole to a rule, you can be sure someone is going to exploit it. What they did may not have been especially honorable but I don’t know if it can be considered outright cheating. I equate what they did with something like flopping (taking a dive after your opponent makes light contact in order to have the official cite them for a penalty) or in baseball intentionally walking a top batter so as to face a player of lesser caliber.

Yeah, this is a problem that comes up in round robin matches sometimes: sometimes certain players have an opportunity to game the system based on the other results. In this case it became a real clusterfuck and it sounds like the teams were making an embarrassingly minimal effort. The organizers probably had no choice.

They could solve this by giving the top-seeded team the opportunity to choose their own opponents from the available pool; you could ask the top seeds from each group to submit their choices, then randomly pick which one received their preferences; nobody would know for sure who had gotten their choices, which would eliminate some of the stigma from players publicly disrespecting each other.

What’s worse is the organisers had been warned this might happen, and (without getting all Daily Mail) there are certain teams who are more likely to game the system.

Apparently International Bridge tournaments had a similar problem of players throwing games, so they adopted the solution **Tom Scud **proposed where the winners get to choose their opponents.

We should change the wording of the SDMB rules from “don’t be a jerk” to “don’t abuse and demean the boards.”

What other people and teams should be kicked out of competition for abusing and demeaning their sport.

I blame the organizers not the players. Why should they waste energy and risk injury playing hard when they have already qualified and have no incentive to win?

And I don’t think this is a general problem with badminton. AFAIK tournaments like the All-England are just straight knock-out and they should have kept that format here.

I don’t think it was just that they wanted to avoid strong opponents - the Chinese team didn’t wan’t their two pairs to meet each other too early in the knockout stages, in order to maximise their medal chances.

It’s not that they weren’t going all out, they were actively trying to lose points. That goes against the spirit of the games, and leads to all sorts of bad matches.

Yes, that is true.

And the South Korean coach outright admitted that they were trying to lose, but said the Chinese started it. (“Yes you did, you invaded Tibet!” :stuck_out_tongue: )

Hilarious SI article here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/michael_rosenberg/08/01/badminton-scandal/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Funny quote: The eight players had already qualified for the elimination round when they stopped trying. Naturally, I assumed they were trying to save energy, since we all know that badminton is exhausting, especially if you play while dealing with a painful physical condition, like being sober.

:smiley:

The main problem isn’t that they were tanking a little and trying to conserve energy or even create a better matchup in the next round. It’s that it was painfully obvious to everybody in the stadium that they were screwing up on purpose. They didn’t even bother to pretend they were making an effort.