Holy cow, I wrote a book!
It may be possible based on your location to view what
calls "highlights" from the women's badminton doubles
match between China's Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli
and South Korea's Jung Kyung Eun/Kim Ha Na.
The serves go laughably into the net,
there is barely any attempt to chase down shots,
and returns go far out of bounds.
If this is top-level badminton,
I think I could be a world champion.
Both sides had secured their advance into the next round,
and Wired explained
why both teams decided that a strategic loss would be advantageous.
Julie VanDusky-Allen provides a
game-theoretical analysis of the situation.
(Even if you randomize the seeds in the knockout portion
of the tournament, you can still get into a situation where
a team in the round-robin portion of the tournament may
decide that it is advantageous to lose a match on purpose.¹)
Partway into the match, an official warns both teams
that if they do not make an effort to win,
the teams will both be disqualified.
That served to improve the quality of play only marginally.
they need to study soccer or American professional
where intentionally losing is a long-standing tradition:
You need to make it look like you're trying,
or people are going to figure you out.
For example, play normally most of the time,
but then have a mental lapse and "accidentally"
make an error that concedes a point.
At least fake an injury.
That'll let you start playing badly with plausibility.
(Although these techniques for throwing a match subtly
probably don't work if your opponent is also trying
Since the attempt to get both sides to play
to win didn't seem to help,
perhaps the officials should have announced,
"We have decided to assist in motivating the two sides
by declaring that the loser of the match will be
disqualified from the tournament."
Now they have something to play for.
¹ Consider a four-team group with teams
A, B, C, and D.
In round 1,
A defeats B 5–1 and
C defeats D 2–1.
In round 2,
A defeats D 5–1 and
B defeats C 2–1.
At this point, A is guaranteed
advancement as long as it doesn't
lose to C by more than 8 points.
If A defeats C, then B will advance.
But A may decide that it prefers to
play against C in the knockout
portion of the tournament.
In that case, it can intentionally lose to C
in the third round by 4 points
(leaving a comfortable margin of error),
and as long as B doesn't win by
more than 7 points,
A will get its wish: C will advance.