Thursday, August 02, 2012

Bad Admin Olympic Shame

Badminton is major news, as eight players were disqualified from the London 2012 Olympic Games for "not using one's best efforts to win" and also "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport".

Competitors in preliminary group play tried to position themselves better for the important knockout round.

The newly-constructed competition system at this Olympics failed miserably. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) was mainly responsible for the failure, not the players.

First, there should have been an immediate response to any lackluster play. Warnings, fines or penalties could be threatened or imposed during the first poor match, not after a whole day of buffoonery.

Of course, if other athletes see one team seem successfully "conserving energy" or avoiding injury they might do similarly.

In athletics (track & field) it's common to see competitors run more slowly in preliminary rounds - doing just enough to qualify. In field events there's often a qualifying distance or height, where a first good throw or jump allows an athlete to advance without further efforts. Too bad for the spectators.

It's perhaps more disturbing when a winning athlete in the finals fails to perform a final throw or jump when they've already won, or when a runner slows before the finish line. But it's not really a situation where we want to see dozens of sports bureaucrats arguing & interfering. Make reasonable rules!

Send home bad bureaucrats & unwise coaches, not Olympians.