August 1, 2012

"Eight female badminton players tossed out of Olympics for trying to lose matches, Badminton World Federation announces."

Email from CNN.

Earlier story here.

IN THE COMMENTS: LoafingOaf asks:
If they have the tournament set up so that it's to a team's advantage to lose a match, what did they expect? 
Answer: more subtlety.

ADDED: "... Sections 4.5 and 4.16 of the Badminton World Federation players' code... stipulate that a player employ 'one's best efforts to win a match' and bans 'conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.'"
Most paid spectators at Tuesday's badminton women's doubles matches played Potter Stewart, knowing "detrimental" when they saw "detrimental" — as four pairs of players clearly tried to throw matches in order to influence their draws in the tournament's quarterfinals....

"I'm sorry, it's blindly obvious what's going on. It's as if neither player wants to win the match. There's a simple answer: Tell both players, if you don't play properly, you're both thrown out of the tournament," intoned the BBC's announcer at Wembley Arena....

But it is sport. Manipulating the seeding or draws in tournaments has a long tradition in sport...

If the Olympic badminton players could be faulted for anything, it's for not throwing their matches better.

Sending endless serves out of bounds and hitting returns into the net — that's no way to tank. Points must be played above-board, until the critical moment when a shot goes awry. The players should have strained and gasped, and inspected their racquets for holes after misplays.
As I said: more subtlety.

17 comments:

David said...

Good. They deserved it.

Now about that Korean fencer . . . .

Mark O said...

Wish these rules applied to the NBA.

LoafingOaf said...

If they have the tournament set up so that it's to a team's advantage to lose a match, what did they expect?

Craig said...

Once the teams have qualified for the quarterfinal their opponents should be determined by a coin toss. I find this situation disconcerting.

lemondog said...

So each side was trying to lose to the other side?

Which was the winner (loser-winner)?

Huh.... I'm confused.....

Strelnikov said...

I'm worried about what this might do the high flying world of badminton.

edutcher said...

I thought this was all pure sport.

madAsHell said...

I dunno.

If I had to wear that hideous uniform with piss yellow shoes...

Yeah.....anything to get off the court!

PatCA said...

Is this one of those efforts to pump up the weaker teams? "Everybody gets a trophy"?

lemondog said...

If I had to wear that hideous uniform with piss yellow shoes...

Chinese?

The players appeared quite hefty compared to their kinda spindly opponents.

rhhardin said...

The sides ought to have swapped uniforms.

Joe Schmoe said...

I always feel bad for athletes from Communist countries who are upset or otherwise dishonored in the Olympics.

Like the Russian hockey team in 1980. Were those guys ever heard from again? Or did they quietly retire to Siberia?

I hope the Chinese badminton players have friends or relatives in high places in China. Otherwise putting iPhones together for 16 hours a day is the best they can hope for.

Carnifex said...

I watched it on replay... it wsa 4 teams of 2 players each. And they were facing each other. It wasn't just throwing the match, it was, as they said, how they did it. Dropping the shuttle cock onto the floor, just dropping it. Serves that did't even make it to the net , let alone into the net. The crowd was rightly furious and was booing loudly. All the teams were warned to play to win or they would be forfeit, but they just kept doing it.

As for subtle, point shaving is the subtlest form of cheating there is. A player misses a tackle...touchdown, or blows his coverage, or just fails to make a play on the ball. Or he misses the front end of a one and one. fails to stop a drive to the hoop, or more subtly, fouls the player on the way to the hoop.

The only way to prove it is to get someone to confess. That is it. If the players keep their mouth shut, how can you prove that they didn't honesntly make a bad play.

It's all about the spread, babeee!

tim maguire said...

A superior player can intentionally lose secretly if the inferior player is trying to win.

But how are you to lose well when your opponent is also trying to lose?

Nate Whilk said...

Remember this old puzzle?

A wealthy man had two adult sons who each owned a horse. He wants to decide which one will inherit his entire estate. So he challenges his two sons to a strange cross-country horse race: The one whose horse is slowest will be the sole heir. After a few days into the race, the brothers have made no progress and begin to wonder what to do. Upon the advice of a wise old man they jumped on the horses and raced as fast as they could to the finish line. What did the wise old man suggest? "Switch horses".

So if the referee decides both teams are trying to lose, offer them a choice: either both teams are disqualified, or all points are now negative and the highest score wins the match (and gets the disadvantageous subsequent pairing).

Eric Jablow said...

It could have been worse. During the round-robin stage of the 1982 World Cup, in one group it came down to the last game between West Germany and Austria. If West Germany won by 3, they and Algeria would advance. If Austria had won or tied, Austria and Algeria would advance. Only if West Germany won by 1 or 2 would West Germany and Austria advance. West Germany scored in the eleventh minute, and then the rest of the game was played as a farce.

The newspapers called it "El Anschluss".

Craig said...

Think how many home runs Barry Bonds would have hit if intentional walks were considered unsportsmanlike conduct punishable by the offending pitcher's removal from the game.