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.

A video shows the Korean and Chinese badminton players try to lose in London Olympics

Korean and Chinese badminton players out-competing each other trying to lose in London Olympics

Human-Stupidity Analysis

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.

It must not happen that rating institutes get paid by the companies they rate. It must not happen that Southern European Nations get rewarded with financial support for fiscal irresponsibility. It must not happen that politicians get votes for promising to over-spend and for borrowing too much.  Rules have to be devised so that moral behavior gets rewarded and immoral bad behavior gets punished.

‘They’re just good at acting normally’: Danish duo take aim at Chinese badminton

CHINESE badminton players, two of whom are among the eight women disqualified from the Olympics for deliberately throwing matches to improve their draws, have been accused of manipulating competitions habitually in a sport the nation rules.
As women from the tainted doubles competition finished their quarter-finals, following the ejection of four South Korean, two Chinese and two Indonesian opponents ruled to have tanked their games, many spoke out angrily about the scourge of match manipulation that stands to severely damage badminton’s reputation and threatens its Olympic existence.  [...]

After the pair recorded nine consecutive service mistakes in competition on Tuesday night even the crowd was prompted to boo. Eight female players were subsequently charged by the world badminton federation and were ultimately disqualified on Wednesday afternoon.

The incentive has been around for a long time, and players have been using  tactics instead of strong play for a long time

Several people, including employees of the federation, have said concerns about the format had been raised long before the Games. The British badminton player Gail Emms, who won silver in the mixed doubles at the 2004 Games, said: "As soon as I heard about the group stage six or seven months ago, I went: ‘That’s going to see people trying to fix the draw.’ I knew it could happen.

"It’s unfair to all the players. They just wanted to be medalists for their country. It’s a tactic. This is why you need straight knockouts."

The chaos began when a Danish duo unexpectedly beat the second-seeded Chinese pair, meaning that China‘s top seeds would have faced their compatriots in a match if they won at the group stage. The second seeds remain in the contest. [...]

But others voiced anger with the organisers, with one microblogger writing: "This is a mistake with the arrangements and you cannot allow the athletes to shoulder the blame." Another pointed out: "Although it goes against the spirit of sports, the Olympic committee did not clearly rule this out in the regulations."

Fans reacted with dismay to Yu’s announcement, with several seeing the athletes as the victims. "I would support them if they were brave enough to say their coach put them up to it," wrote one microblog user.

Another said: "It is not fair to criticize Yu Yang. She is a victim of the badminton match system. We should encourage her to stand up again, not attack her. She did it for the team and she sacrificed her interest. Chinese people should support her, understand her and be proud of her."  Yu Yang, one of eight competitors who deliberately played to lose, makes announcement as Beijing orders public apology

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