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  • What is Sportsmanship?

    This badminton 'scandal' is blowing up in the media. Do you agree with the decision to DQ (even suspend) the women who intentionally lost in order to get into a more favorable part of the bracket?

    I totally disagree. If the object is to WIN (which seems to be the crux of the matter) then trying as hard as you can to WIN is indeed kosher. If that means you play for a tie in soccer or tank a game where you're trying to conserve energy for the next round, or trying to position yourself best in the bracket, then that is what you SHOULD do!

    Why should you try to make it MORE difficult on yourself to win?

    [all you people in favor of tactical racing should be on my side here - slowing down the pace from the front (not trying your hardest early on) in order to set up your kick, is the T&F equivalent in my mind. As much as I want a fast race, and as much as I criticize 'tactical' races, I certainly wouldn't DQ them!!]

  • #2
    Re: What is Sportsmanship?

    Originally posted by Marlow
    If that means you play for a tie in soccer or tank a game where you're trying to conserve energy for the next round, or trying to position yourself best in the bracket, then that is what you SHOULD do!
    I disagree with the DQ, which means I agree with you. Once you've made it to the next round, you've earned the right to conserve your energy.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What is Sportsmanship?

      I consider racing and badminton different, that said...

      - The Badminton teams deserved to be banned
      - pacing should be illegal on the track
      - Distance runners who are running too slow, or "tactically" racing, should be removed from the track.
      - Losing games on purpose in a round-robin or tournament format where you are not eliminated should result in a ban...

      The only reason we try to keep sport "honest" is that the one thing that is WORSE than someone cheating is someone losing on purpose; it's the reason why the penalty for point shaving in baseball (and other sports) is worse than the penalty for corked bats and scuffed balls.

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      • #4
        Re: What is Sportsmanship?

        Originally posted by preston
        - Losing games on purpose in a round-robin or tournament format where you are not eliminated should result in a ban...
        What about American Football; teams that have already made the playoffs frequently rest their best players. If they lose because of that, would you ban them from the playoffs as well?

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        • #5
          Re: What is Sportsmanship?

          Originally posted by j-a-m
          Originally posted by preston
          - Losing games on purpose in a round-robin or tournament format where you are not eliminated should result in a ban...
          What about American Football; teams that have already made the playoffs frequently rest their best players. If they lose because of that, would you ban them from the playoffs as well?
          Every time this happens NFL fans/commentators are pissed; however, there is normally one problem with this: the teams don't change their position. What the athletes in Badminton did that is wrong is that they re-drew the heats and that goes against sportsmanship. Yes, I'm not Roger Goodell but I would ban them.

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          • #6
            Re: What is Sportsmanship?

            I could argue either side of this but how is this different than the "honest effort" rule in track?

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            • #7
              Re: What is Sportsmanship?

              Originally posted by preston
              Every time this happens NFL fans/commentators are pissed;
              Another example from American Football is that teams get a better draft spot if they have a worse record, last season frequently referred to as "Andrew Luck sweepstakes". And sports media seems to be just fine with that.

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              • #8
                Re: What is Sportsmanship?

                With Marlow's and j-a-m's points noted as valid, I agree w preston regarding the dq of the badminton teams. Not sure what I think about the other cases preston mentions for dq -- I would have to think about those -- but as for the badminton case, absolutely dq.

                Speaking generally (I know there are exceptions that can always be cited) -- the cases across sports we're looking at, from a runner/thrower just doing enough to get a Q and advance, to a playoff-bound team resting its best players at the end of the season, to the badminton case -- are all in an "extended family" relationship, I suppose. But, I think we can trust the fans on this: They don't boo the runner/thrower who earns the Q in a prelim with a less than 100% effort, because they know that doesn't violate the letter or the spirit of the event. As for playoff-bound teams resting their best, most of the time fans might be a bit disappointed to see the 2nd team in play rather than the stars, but they most of the time get it. Moreover, those 2nd-teamers on the field are typically playing their best. In any case, the playoff-bound team isn't trying to lose. Which extends the analogies out to the badminton case, in which the players were actually trying to lose, and were really making a mockery of their sport, on its largest stage. It's too bad that the tournament was structured to facilitate such actions, but even with that known, the behaviour of the players/coaches was egregious, and required an exceptional response -- thus, disqualification. What they did was more like "throwing" a match than simply not giving 100% in the process of advancement.

                As for the sport of badminton, which I realize hardly seen or understood in the USA, it is fantastic to watch at the championship level, and it is a huge sport in East and Southeast Asia (and probably some other places, too, I don't know). What those athletes did was an embarrassment to their sport. Again, too bad the tournament was structured that way, and that needs to be changed, but these matches were a violation of what the word "competition" means. Anyone who saw any of the "competition" (and heard the crowd's response) can see that -- even if it was technically permissible, it was bad. The crowd got it right, and the officials did, too.

                And, I realize that reasonable people can disagree on this. Marlow's and j-a-m's points are legit, but I'm with preston on this one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What is Sportsmanship?

                  Originally posted by j-a-m
                  Originally posted by preston
                  Every time this happens NFL fans/commentators are pissed;
                  Another example from American Football is that teams get a better draft spot if they have a worse record, last season frequently referred to as "Andrew Luck sweepstakes". And sports media seems to be just fine with that.
                  Actually, many people in the media complained about this. This is the reason why the NBA changed their draft process so that the worst team has the best shot, but not the only shot.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What is Sportsmanship?

                    Originally posted by lonewolf
                    I could argue either side of this but how is this different than the "honest effort" rule in track?
                    That rule, by and LARGE, has gone away. Our state used to have it, but finally gave in and got rid of it. I never even understood that rule. If you are NOT giving an 'honest' effort, who is that hurting but yourself? Wherever you are in the competition, YOU have earned that position and it is yours to forfeit if you wish.

                    In our post-season, many times a runner will double in one round and then forfeit one of the places in the next round in order to focus on one event. Unfortunately, the state assn is not smart enough to allow runners to declare their forfeiture, so the next finisher can move up. We're working on that at the committee level.

                    There are tons of cases in sports from the grass-roots to (obviously) the top level where the SMART thing to do is not compete all out. Unless you are preston and willing to BAN everyone who does that, you are being very hypocritical to look the other way when it's happening elsewhere.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What is Sportsmanship?

                      Originally posted by Master Po
                      Speaking generally (I know there are exceptions that can always be cited) -- the cases across sports we're looking at, from a runner/thrower just doing enough to get a Q and advance, to a playoff-bound team resting its best players at the end of the season, to the badminton case -- are all in an "extended family" relationship, I suppose.
                      One aspect that I'm still missing in this discussion is that it can hurt a third team. Let's say team A has already made the next round; teams B and C both still have a chance. Now team A doesn't give an honest effort and accordingly loses to team B. Because of that team B advances and team C doesn't. That's where I consider the line to be crossed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What is Sportsmanship?

                        that's a good point, j-a-m. Not all of these things can be worked out in the structure of a competition. I have seen such cases as you mention, as I'm sure most of us have. Most of the time, in my experience, such cases are interpreted by competitors and fans as "team B" getting a lucky break in the way a season's schedule played out, so that at the end of a season they are playing "A", which has made the playoffs and is now playing their second team, whereas my team "C" has to play someone else who will give us tougher competiton than "A's" second team. I think if that scenario was extended to "A" actually trying to lose to "B" with the aim of thwarting "C's" playoff chances, that's a violation of the competition. But those cases are rare, and the main stream of such cases -- short of "trying to lose" -- seem to be interpreted as "that's the break's." More like one team getting a good seed or draw in a tournament, and someone else getting a crappy seed.

                        But here again, I think the badminton case truly crossed the line, as both teams were actively trying to play as bad as possible in order to lose -- they were exerting effort to lose. I think it's good to analyze things at great length, as we do on here. But I sometimes think -- we can trust what we see right in front of us -- watch those badminton matches and listen to the crowd. What those athletes did was wrong. (And again, the fact that the competition was set up to facilitate such thinking was truly problematic. It isn't rocket science to craft a tournament that mitigates against such performances. Kind of like a governing body never having thought about what might define a "tie" in a competition, and not having in place in advance a tie-breaking procedure for choosing an OT...unthinkable! :wink: )

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                        • #13
                          Re: What is Sportsmanship?

                          Originally posted by Master Po
                          Moreover, those 2nd-teamers on the field are typically playing their best. In any case, the playoff-bound team isn't trying to lose.
                          Valid point; the 1st-teamers would probably focus on avoiding injuries, and not play their best anyway.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What is Sportsmanship?

                            Originally posted by Master Po
                            And again, the fact that the competition was set up to facilitate such thinking was truly problematic. It isn't rocket science to craft a tournament that mitigates against such performances.
                            There was a scandal in the 1982 soccer WC that was partially caused by the way the schedule was set up. Groups of four, two advance, but the final games did not take place at the same time. So team C had already played its final game when A played B. If A and B were to play to a draw, both would advance. In case a winner were to emerge from A versus B, then only the winner would advance, the loser would be out, and team C would advance.

                            Teams A and B had an incentive to reach a draw. And about halfway through the game both teams stopped showing any effort Not surprisingly the game ended in a draw, amid loud boos from fans, both teams advanced, and team C was out.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What is Sportsmanship?

                              That 1982 game is why FIFA changed the timing of the final games in each group so they are simultaneous.

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