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09-25-2011, 12:15 AM #1
The Walkover & Withdrawal issue - rights and wrongs
Up for Discussion by all of you:
Here is the scenario...
This is all about the spate of walkovers, withdrawals and dropouts that have happened in torunaments all over the world. The biggest and most noticed spate of occurences have been with the China team. What is unique about the Chinese occurrences is that they almost always will happen when one member is due to meet another player from China. There have been just too many "conicidences" and as we know, where there's smoke, there must be fire.
BUT, this is not about LD, or LYB or CJ or any Wang...
This is about the bigger problem: the existence of this situation and the fact that little has been done to change it.
It is an undeniable part of human nature....
If you calculatingly do something that you know is fundamentally wrong or unethical or deceitful, and if you discover that there is nothing to stop you because the laws or rules or strictures do not fully cover it; or that your family or your position is strong enough to discorage anyone else from taking stringent measures against your actions.... what would you do next?
Obviously you'd do it again!
If you are aware that you are corrupting certain concepts or even your own people by forcing them to become accomplices to your actions, (providing them with ideological or philosophical or maybe even material justification) and if you discover that there is nothing to stop you, what would you do next?
You'd do it again!
Yes, you should be held accountable for your actions. But then, so should everyone else: for their actions, or their inaction.
So yes, LYB may be at the centre of the web, along with his bosses who by virtue of the fact that they do not stop him, offer passive (or who knows, active?) encouragement.
And he exerts his force and power on his band of merry men and women, and bends them to his will; either they are with him or they are against him. If against, they are staring at the end of their careers, and possibly a blacklist. If with, they are eternally doomed to have sinned, and having sinned and become sinners, the next time the sinning comes more easily. These people, the players, are almost victims of their circumstance; and it takes a person of exceptional character to break the shackles and take a hard stance against it all.
But perhaps the ones who should be most accountble but are not, and who are paradoxically charged with being the custodians of our game, are the BWF. They have had enough time and opportunity to really do something about the regulations and put an end to the mockery, but they choose not to. Why? Because they think it's important for LYB and his band to be present at the OG2012? Maybe.
Lets examine what would happen if BWF were to have closed all the loopholes that allow this mockery to continue. Even if it means the complete restructure of how the game is represented. What would happen? Would China stop sending its players to the tournaments? Would they withdraw from badminton worldwide? I think not. They would be forced to play as much and as hard as anyone else. Because they want the world to know how good they are!
The question is: do the people at BWF (remember: committees always protect their own existence first; attend to business next, and only if they absolutely must!) really want to do anything that needs to be done, but takes them out of their comfort zone?
And finally: where do we stand? By "we" I refer to us, the forumers, the weekend players, the armchair experts, the coaches and linesmen, the sincere followers and fans, the lovers of the sport, the millions addicted to our daily fix of at least a game or two each evening. And all of us who follow the exploits of our heroes and heroines, our idols and favourites. The millions of us in every part of the world.
Do we actually have any say in how cleanly or ethically or honestly or bravely the game is played? Are we not stakeholders in this drama? Without an audience, how long would a show run?
A handful of people are running this show and none of them know what the other will want to do next. A committee against a man with power in his hands. Its a no-brainer. The man will win. The fallout is the feeling of hopelessness and betrayal.
09-25-2011, 12:56 AM #2
Perhaps from countries like China's perspective, it's really not about an individual; it's about the country. If it were the Finals, I'm not sure if they'd care who' win. But if it were not, there seems to be tactical reason. Is this wrong? If you think it's, care to explain/describe why?
09-25-2011, 06:24 AM #3
Especially for China with such strong players it will often come down to a decisison if the "team" should be prioritized or the individual player.. China usually sees the game more from a team/country perspective.. Which you can like or not like.. I think Denmark is a good exmple of the opposite. Where the sport is viewed much more individual than "team"/"country". Where each player firstly play for themselves and secondly for the team, not the other way around..
09-25-2011, 06:53 AM #4
Just came back from Indonesia, they told me: thefts are always one step ahead of the police. That's in the context of corporate or business security. The problem with badminton, there is no police, it almost does not exist. So no wonder, the crime continues.
09-25-2011, 11:28 AM #5
Cobalt's post puts certain things in the right light. There have been lots of vitriolic posts about how certain players are cheaters, etc. But they are simply following orders. If they didn't, they would be (?have been) replaced by someone who would.
SO, if there is a problem, what, seriously, are the options for BWF?
-If players represented themselves or their clubs, instead of countries, that would dissipate the power of any one manager. But that's unlikely to be feasible.
-Fewer ranking points for a win with a walkover? Don't see how that is fair to honest folks.
- Some have floated the idea of an "independent" doctor to confirm all injuries? A doctor's job is to alleviate suffering, not to police a rank-fixing scandal. There are lots of illnesses for which there are no solid objective signs --- only symptoms. As may have been said on Star Trek: "Darn it, Jim, I'm a doctor not a lie detector!"
-Monetary fines? Suspensions? But who is to judge this? What grievance mechanism will there be for those who feel they are falsely accused? How could this not ignite nationalistic uproar in BWF which would lead to it being less effective than many of you say it is already?
There are some huge brains out there in Badminton Central. I, for one, am keen to hear realistic ideas.
09-25-2011, 11:46 AM #6
We must also recognize BWF is trying to build up its fan base. Fans are integral to driving the badminton industry. No fans = no sponsors = no coverage = eventually no badminton.
The thing that irks fans most are the no-shows after they have paid to watch an advertised match. In Singapore this year, enough was enough. The fans revolted and made their displeasure known in no uncertain terms. Rule #1 is NEVER to cheat the fans. NEVER, because these days they have so many other ways to spend their money.
This is a very serious illness caused by a difference in philosophy. Will the game heading towards the professional ranks be able to survive the transition or will it be DOA?
09-25-2011, 12:28 PM #7
This would of course be sad for the nations with many great players...
There is also another side of the "fairness" coin.. The Japan Open way with putting all top-players from one country at one side seems to me like an unfair advantage to LCW as well.. having an easier road to the finals, compared to if CL,CJ or both where on his half of the draw...
Another idea, that probably would not be appealing for most players/fans would be for BWF to implement a rule of always promoting the higher ranked team-player without play when two "team"-members meet. That would take away any major possibilities of "team orders".. But would of course not be great for younger upcoming players who want to show they can beat the older higher ranked players etc..
My preffered way would really be to individualize the sport, instead of "accepting" the team-thinking.. And the only feasible way to start to do that, I think, is to break apart the different disciplines into different tours (Mens Singles tour, Mens doubles tour, mixed tour, ladies tour etc..). And have players, coaches etc. register individually. Not trough BAMs, CBAs and other bodies...
Last edited by twobeer; 09-25-2011 at 12:30 PM.
09-25-2011, 12:49 PM #8
Certain tournaments (the SS, SSP) are designed for play by individuals, i.e. their participation list is based purely on ranking and registration of participation. There is of course, also the qualification process where players of the host country and/or countries that are more geographically local to the tournament, get the opportunity to play with the big boys if they are good enough.
Where it all gets murky is that the national associations are the funnel for registration, and there have been cases galore where the associations have arbitrarily or selectively registered (or not registered) eligible players even when said players have indicated their availability and desire to participate. But it doesn't just stop there...
The national association is obviously tasked with bringing laurels to the country, and their greater focus would always be on events where national pride is at stake against teams of other countries. Some countries take this stance more than others. I guess it would also depend on the depth of talent available, and in my personal opinion, the national perception and valuation of individual freedom.
When the might of the national association is brought to bear on the individual and dictates how and where he/she plays, the individual becomes subordinate to the perceived national agenda. But here's the kicker: all this happens at an event designed purely to showcase and individual competition based on rankings!
Why can it happen? Because the BWF in its infinite wisdom and desire to control the sport in conjunction with the national associations, has linked the individual ranking system (which is based on points earned at events designed for individual competition) with eligibility for the most coveted prizes in world sport, like the Olympics. As a result, some countries who have the manpower to take advantage of this situation, can and will use the SS and SSP to further their national cause for representation at events like the Olympics.
The Olympics are an event that pits country against country, in a mostly friendly environment. Indeed, the entire circus is meant to promote harmony, understanding, sportsmanship, and all that stuff at an event where the individual is encouraged to display bravery, competitiveness, spirit, and a never-say-die attitude. This is and admirable mix of attrubites, and for the most part the OG succeeds in meeting the objective.
The SS and SSP are events that conceptually have nothing to do with national interest. They were created to simply pit the best equipped players in the world against each other, in different environments at different times, and thus give different venues and people all over the world, and opportunity to enjoy the best that badminton has to offer. And yet....
09-25-2011, 12:59 PM #9
As for preventing younger player to shine, I think that would be of less concern. If a nation really is fixing matches, and they want a youngster shine, they'd not have set up another more experienced player to stand him up. Of course, this could be a real issue for countries that are "honest".
09-25-2011, 01:45 PM #10
Another thing would be an avenue for players to complain against the official/coach if they are coerced to lose against their team mates. Provided they have proof of course, whether written or voice recording. That would still take a lot of guts on the part of the players though, even in a very democratic environment.
In China's current system, with so much riding on the line, near impossible.
09-25-2011, 02:10 PM #11
09-25-2011, 02:28 PM #12
The Olympics qualification process makes badminton into a team sport.
You could be the 4th best player in the WR and if the 3 above you come from the same country you don't even get to go. Meanwhile a player down at 40 in the rankings who is best in their country gets the place. This is clearly wrong.
In athletics in every event if you have a world class distance time you can send 3 athletes. So i Jamaica have 3 100m sprinters with the time they all go.
If it wasn't for the bad olympic selection process we wouldnt have these controversies. And don't tell me if come April there's 2 other players from another coutnry who are training partners and they play each other with one needing the win to qualify there wouldnt be a similar happening. Its just because China are so dominant there are many match ups.
09-25-2011, 03:54 PM #13
As long as many top players are associated with a national body and not a true professional athlete, I think these alleged match fixing incidents will continue to be part of badminton. I am not sure there is a good way to penalize match fixer without harming athletes that are genuinely hurt other than making them professional and accountable to their own bank accounts.
09-25-2011, 03:59 PM #14
09-25-2011, 04:32 PM #15
Well it would be a step if the teams are split, then the teams would have to have separate coaches and it would weaken the "team" part more, as a first step.
09-25-2011, 11:17 PM #16
This thread is under "Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating"
So, base on the rules of the games, i believe the rule allows WO or withdrawal.
But there is another point about inappropriate conduct which says about "honoruable and sportsmanlike".
Which i am sure this is what China team did over and over again (WO or withdraw when facing a country mate).
It is absolutely not honour to give your country-mate a benefit to have a day rest. It is breaching a sport value.
I believe if Thomas Lund want to do something, this point can be use to give a disciplinary action/fine.
09-26-2011, 12:27 AM #17
Last edited by cobalt; 09-26-2011 at 12:30 AM.
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