8 female badminton players from China, Korea, and Indonesia were disqualified and expelled from the 2010 London Olympics. Their sin: blatantly making mistakes to lose matches in order to get more desirable positions in the quarter final eliminations.
The behavior came to light, because the Korean and the Chinese teams tried to out-compete each other with ridiculous beginner’s mistakes of putting serves into the net. Both wanted to lose the game.
Stupid rules give stupid results.
The rules require to give "best effort to win the match". Those who give their best effort might, at times, be forced to fight a team they would rather not fight. The loser can get the next team they prefer to compete against.
There is a simple and well known solution to this conundrum. Let the winner of a group CHOOSE the next team they want to play against. If two group winners’ choices are contradictory, then let the one with a higher score decide. Thus winning gets rewarded.
Rewarding suboptimal behavior happens in banking, and for CEO’s. Unnecessary trading, unnecessary sales, unnecessary fusions or acquisitions yield fat commissions to bankers and sales personnel. It requires extremely good character to give unbiased investment advice, against the one’s own financial interest. The RULES must be in ways that they reward good behavior.
It must not happen that CEO’s get fat commissions for actions that in the long run bankrupt the company.