Years ago

Solutions for the draw to minimise 'Tanking'

Seeing as teams are trying to avoid this team or that team (mainly U.S and Spain) what do people suggest FIBA actually do to remedy this situation?

The idea that I have is, just like to determine initial groups, the rounds are determines through pulling out of a hat (or glass barrell or whatever they use). This way no one knows who they'll play next.....

Throw some ideas out peeps!

Topic #35373 | Report this topic

Years ago

FIBA would never draw the teams out of the hat to decide who matches up in the final round. They like setting the draw so they can ensure a Spain-USA matchup in the final.

This game sells better than any other team vs. USA in the final. The last thing FIBA would want is for Spain to be eliminated early, another team to limp to the final and get blown out by 40. Remember the 08 Olympics matchup - absolute classic – 118 to 107.

Reply #493001 | Report this post

tom yum  
Years ago

seed the teams - like the ncaa tourney - you gotta play all the way to survive. higher seeded teams enter the draw later

Reply #493005 | Report this post

Years ago

My initial thought on another thread was similar to the Soccer WC draw in that there would be pools of 4. But we want to get more than 3 games out of each team as a minimum so not exactly like the FIFA model.

So the idea of a new FIBA model would possibly look something like this:

8 X pools of 4 teams in each = 32 teams in all.
Everyone plays 3 games within their pool, just like FIFA model, to determine top 2 and bottom 2.

Then new set of pools of 4 teams with top 2 going into a pool against a bottom 2, hence a percieved advantage, but also gives every team another chance to get through.

Same again, 3 games each against pool teams, top 2 go to knock out rounds, others go home or to the beach.

Left with 16 teams, then it is knock out, so no one really has any chance to tank here, do they....?

Reply #493009 | Report this post

Jack Toft  
Years ago

Round robin? Top two play off for title

Reply #493013 | Report this post

Years ago

I said this in another post..
Keep the prelim rounds the same, then keep the final 16 draw a suprise till prelim rounds are complete. That way no team knows who they will be up against no matter where they finish. FIBA can still keep USA and Spain in seperate sides of the draw if they want.

Reply #493014 | Report this post

Years ago

The final pool games are played at the same time at different venues. Teams go in not knowing the result of the other game/s. Done.

Reply #493021 | Report this post

Years ago

^and of course no team has scouts with mobile phones lol yeah right!!

Teams should be drawn from sealed box in public draw to place them in their pools to begin with that would stop Spain from missing America in the pools to begin with , everyone starts on same playing field, but you would have to do away with rankings. So that won't happen either......

Or teams can just go out and play the god dam games and be done with it.
They should be playing towin every single game anyway regardless of who the opposition is

Reply #493039 | Report this post

Years ago

Anon how do you "keep the draw a surprise"? You have to have a method or countries that randomly draw tough opponents will complain. Your world ranking under the current system will be as much luck as performance-based... oh wait, that's a lot like the current system.

*** Stream of consciousness for a bit here ***
(tldr: skip to the next set of asterisks)

You can straight seed teams in the final 16 by world ranking, which rewards the established powers, but that raises the question of how ranking is determined. This can also be a problem if rankings become too stagnant though, as the 16th team always draws USA in the quarters, the 8th/9th always playoff for a spot against the USA in the semi's etc. You could randomise it around the rankings by some arbitrary means (lottery balls, whatever), which makes it most likely that you will end up something approximating a straight seeding, but will shuffle the teams around a bit each time. Unless your ranking changes after each group game, this would make the "group round" irrelevant though.

You can change your ranking system so that every game counts, and so that it matters who you play, and optionally how much you beat them by. Not doing this is certainly part of the existing problem. The only component of ranking that is based on who you play is the fairly arbitrary weighting system for regional tournaments. Anyone that doesn't play in EuroBasket, including the USA, is disadvantaged to varying degrees.

16 team, single elimination is 15 games. An 8-team round-robin is 28 games. If you then play-off for gold/silver/bronze you've got 30 games. That may be a logistical problem, and will also raise the "too big a risk for star players", and potentially dilute the talent base.

*** Alright here comes my actual suggestions ***

Best system I can think of is.
1) Change rankings to be based on who you win/lose to, not final position.

Then either
A1) World Champs/Olympics are single-elimination tournaments (no group stage). The top 8 seeds get a bye in the first round.
A2) Consolation bracket games are played between eliminated teams (so that each team gets a minimum number of games, and to improve the accuracy of the rankings)
A3) Seeding for the draw is based on world ranking with some slight randomisation to prevent stagnant ranking issues.


B1) The top 8 teams are placed in two groups and play-off for seeds 1-8. (Some gamesmanship as teams try to drop from 5th to 6th to avoid the 4/5 -> 1 path)
B2) The bottom 16 teams are placed in 4 groups and play-off for seeds 9-16. (Some gamesmanship as you probably have a better draw if you finish 10th to avoid the 8/9 -> 1 path)

Both of those suggestions have problems but seem better to me than the current system.

Reply #493040 | Report this post

Years ago

You ban Australia for 2 years in any FIBA event. Men's, women's, wheelchair, and juniors.

Problem solved, no team will ever tank again

Reply #493064 | Report this post

Years ago

Or they'll just find more convincing ways to tank.

Reply #493068 | Report this post

Years ago

FM = F-----g Moron

Reply #493071 | Report this post

Years ago

The top 3 from each group qualify for the finals, not top 4.

The winners of each group, go straight to the quarter finals, and wait for the 2nd and 3rds to playoff in the "Prelim finals"?

This way, let's say that the pre-tournament draw pits Lith/Slov/Aust group's 2nd and 3rd ranked teams against the USA Qtr Final, then there is no incentive to tank. They know their fate beforehand, and try to finish 1st in the group to get their own Qtr Final.

Reply #493078 | Report this post

Years ago

You ban Australia for 2 years in any FIBA event. Men's, women's, wheelchair, and juniors.

Problem solved, no team will ever tank again

What a stupid suggestion, so all those other players are penalised because of this idiots behaviour

Reply #493082 | Report this post

Years ago

Thought about it some more.

The crossovers are what is causing teams to supposedly tank. So let's cut out the crossovers completely.

Using this years groups, Lith, Slov, Aust, Mex, Ang, Kor would play 5 games, top 3 qualify, bottom 3 eliminated after round robin.

Lithuania straight through to their own Qtr Final, which is really a Group D "Grand Final".

Slov V Aust in Group D Prelim Final. Winner plays Lithuania in the Group D Grand Final. Winner of that goes into Semis against the winner of one of the other groups they were drawn against pre-tournament.

So basically, your group is a mini league straight into the medal rounds. No need to tank.

Reply #493090 | Report this post

Years ago

If the winner of 1v4 CD went to play the winner of 2v3 AB therefore 1v4 DC play 2v3 BA. Vice versa, makes tanking harder as you rely on results across all groups.
This gets rid of playing the teams you have already beat.

As FIBA is changing to FIFA style format, the debate is pointless.

Reply #493099 | Report this post

Years ago

if you're putting yourself in a harder position for the next round how is it an advantage?

Reply #493109 | Report this post

The Dream  
Years ago

the top 4 of group c playing the top 4 of group d is not normal

should be top 4 of a playing top 4 of d


Reply #493144 | Report this post

Years ago

@Jack Toft while I see the simplicity and the fact your idea works to avoid tanking, as it has I'm sure in many play grounds all over the country, what about all the dead rubber games after about round four?

Love the idea though, top shelf...

Reply #493146 | Report this post

Years ago


Reply #493147 | Report this post

tom yum  
Years ago

dont do the next phase until first phase is completed and then do it as a random draw - so 4th in abcd pools are drawn randomly from any system (lotto system etc balls in a container) and they play the 1sts in abcd also drawn randomly. etc etc 2 abcd v 3 abcd etc

Reply #493150 | Report this post

Years ago

Read this online this is the best way IMO. Any problems with it?

"I have an easy way to fix this. Instead of having a predetermined bracket, you have a empty bracket. You have the teams play group play and once complete, you rank them #1-#16 based upon win/loss record with point differential being the tiebreaker. You start with #1 and let them pick their spot in the bracket. Then you let #2 then #3 and so on all the way to #16. This would encourage teams to play each and every single game as hard as thy can because if they backdoor their way in, they will get stuck playing tougher competition."

Reply #493191 | Report this post

Years ago

Not revealing the second round draw until the first round is complete is the way to do it. I wrote an article about that after some teams appeared to tank their final pool game in 2010 (no investigations though).

The problem with that in this tournament is there were two separate venues for the knockout rounds, meaning teams had to know in advance which venue they were going to.

On a side note, in 2010 one team got their maths wrong, only to be told by a journo late in the game, launch a desperate bid to get back to the margin required, fall short and miss the knockout rounds!

Reply #493210 | Report this post

Years ago

Speed44: It allows teams that finish lower to "pick their opponent", which is often as big, or bigger reward than just getting to pick your seed. If you are a dominant inside team, you can pick a team with a soft interior. If you've got a great full-court press, you can pick a team with a lack of depth/strength in ball-handling.

Strengths: It works out reasonably well for top 4 (can avoid each other) and bottom 4 (beggars can't be choosers).

Weakness: It works out poorly for 5-8, and too well for teams 9-12.
eg. You'll end up with situations where team #8 chooses to play team #6 or #7 because that matchup is better than a potential matchup with team #9 or #10. Which doesn't reward team #6 or #7.

Reply #493306 | Report this post

Years ago

Naph: Yep, I agree with what you're saying, but does it pretty much eliminate tanking? The group games are more vital this way as you are trying to pick your bracket spot as early as possible. Therefore, you need to win them.

Or do you think teams in the mid region of the 16 may tank to finish 9th or lower so they can choose their 1st round matchup?

I think it does eliminate the worry about playing the USA. Teams who scrape into 16th will just be happy to get in, even if they are forced to play the USA.

I also think there may be a situation where the teams ranked 2nd to 9th, all pick a bracket spot on the opposite side of the USA (who hypothetically pick first). So generally, the USA have a much easier run to the Final, which isn't necessarily great for the World Cup.

There are some issues here, but I think it would be very interesting tactically. For example, just say Greece have the wood on Spain and think they can beat Spain every time they play them, and so even though they pick 3rd, they choose to go against #2 Spain in the 1st round and try and knock them out early.

Of course if FIBA do go the FIFA model, then this is all moot, but it does interest me.

Reply #493317 | Report this post

Years ago

So in the Greece/Spain example you provided... does Spain tank to ensure that they finish behind Greece, so they can be sure to avoid them?

Pseudo-random (weighted by world ranking) single-elimination makes the most sense to me. You don't see tanking in a knock-out competition.

Easiest improvement for me is to go to a ranking system where your ranking is based on who you play, rather than purely tournament finishing position.

Reply #493323 | Report this post

Years ago

Funny that you use the Greece-Spain example. Some suggested in 2010 that the Greeks tried to avoid Spain in the Round of 16 in their final pool game against Russia.

But then NZ upset France to move Spain up a spot and it (if it occurred) backfired and Greece lost to the Spaniards in the first knockout round.

Reply #493328 | Report this post


Reply to this topic

Random name suggestion for anonymous posters: Ganymede 44

Rules:You must read the Terms of Use. No spam, no offensive material, no sniping at other clubs, no 'who cares?'-type comments, no naming or bashing under 18 players. Learn how to embed YouTube videos or tweets

Please proof-read your post before submitting as you will not be able to edit it afterwards.

Close ads
Dunk.com.au - Custom basketball uniforms
PickStar - The best place to book sports stars
Punch - insightful time tracking

Advertise on Hoops to a very focused, local and sports-keen audience. Email for rates and options.

Recent Posts

Invoicing clients? Stay productive with Punch, the insightful time tracker that earns you more.

Special offer: $30/month Pay $100 for lifetime access. Sign up now!


An Australian basketball forum covering NBL, WNBL, ABL, Juniors plus NBA, WNBA, NZ, Europe, etc | Forum time is: 7:44 pm, Thu 27 Feb 2020 | Posts: 822,711 | Last 7 days: 946