Throwing a Match

What do you guys think. Is throwing a match a good, fair, professional strategy? I have my own thoughts about it, but I would like to hear everybody else first. I will interrupt later.

I’ve seen it. I don’t personally like it when it is truly intentional. Most times when practiced it is extremely unfair to the partner robot in your alliance. (unless like @19andrewc said, it is the entire alliance in on it. But RECF might not like that.)

However, sometimes what is considered tanking by one person may be distributing the drive time within a team and is not intentional at all. People need stick time and not every club has fields and unlimited practice time. Some smaller clubs get most of their experience at events. They don’t know who are good and bad drivers or the helicopters are hovering if you know what I mean…

I’m not sure how to make an anti-tanking rule enforceable though. The you stay put with one team for the event rule is a good one but this is different. You could simply not show up for a match claiming a broken robot but in reality you are tanking to stay out of positions 16-24 of the alliance selection order and be a third pick. You could sign up for a judging time that conflicts with a match. Also, some robots do break easily or have more likely PTC trips for flywheels running matches too close to each other sometimes. So it is probably tough to enforce when not every tanking occasion has a robot on the field.

Good scouting helps prevent this to know what a robot is really capable of doing. But that is harder than you might think without details of what the tanked robot really can do.

1 Like

I don’t think it’s fair to do because you’re hurting whatever team is allied with you. Competition should be about trying to do your best and it isn’t really ethical to purposefully bring down a team that IS doing their best to win.

This is both sad and embarrassing.

It could hurt them? Intentionally losing a match will absolutely hurt your partner. It’s not about being risky, it’s about being unethical and unfair. You’re basically saying you don’t care if you hurt your partner, as long as it benefits your own team.


Thank you.


I really don’t think throwing a match is in the spirit of the game. While I understand the want to be in a lower place so that you can be picked by an alliance I just don’t think it’s a good idea. You will get yourself a very bad reputation which might hurt you at subsequent events and as Karthik said it will definitely hurt your partner. I have never had an alliance partner do this to me, but it has happened on opposing alliances and I just felt guilty for winning because we knew we didn’t deserve the win. Thankfully this was back in sack attack and it hasn’t happened since.

We will never pick a 3rd alliance that we know has thrown a match.

Even if it was 1104M?

Sigh. You missed the entire point.


Yes, even if it was 1104M. That doesn’t, and shouldn’t, make any difference.

There was a team at our last tournament who threw their matches and ended up winning the tournament. It really wasn’t fair for the rest of us. I ask anyone who considers throwing matches okay to please rethink that and never do it again. It’s really just not fair for the other teams who are playing in the spirit of the game.

It really is unfair to your alliance partner, especially if they want to win. Vex is not only about winning, but become more skilled at building robots, scouting, and driving robots. Sacrificing the success of alliance partners is not worth doing better at a tournament.

I’ll say the something similar here as on the last thread about throwing matches, we are treating this strategy as near perfect from a purely strategical standpoint… But guilty feelings in a driver, lower morale, risk of not being picked, and maybe karma :wink: make this strategy not any better then trying to win or any worse, it is like comparing apples to oranges, they are completely different with different pros and cons from a purely strategical standpoint with no emotions… when you add emotions is when the strategy truly falls apart.

I think that throwing matches is unfair too. My teammates, during the Sack Attack season, did really well at the regional and state level, and even remained at the top of the bracket at Worlds (in their division).

However, during a finals match for their division, one team decided it best to purposefully lose and let their sister team score more. It was certainly very disappointing, given that they’d gone THAT far and worked that hard, only to lose at such a grand scale.

Every team should always play to the best of its ability, and let the best robots win.

I was wondering why bracket manipulation isn’t outright banned. I understand that it would be nearly impossible to prove, but if you had evidence, then shouldn’t the teams be disqualified from the event? Just my thinking.

I completely agree that throwing matches is not fair and should not be an acceptable strategy. I think teams should always try their best to earn as many points as possible, which is also why I feel somewhat uneasy about SP farming.

It is disappointing to me that teams would choose throwing matches as their strategy. Yes, it does seem enticing from a competition point of view, but part of the competition is sportsmanship, and throwing a match is not sportsman like. First of all, you are cheating the system that VEX has placed in a way (yes, I know that many people are not rather fond with the luck that is involved with the system, but what can be done that is better?). Second you are not giving your opponents a fair match. Many teams go to competitions for practice, even after they have qualified for the next level, so it is not fair that you throw the match and waste that opportunity for them. Third, you are hurting your alliance. If your alliance partner is striving to their best, and you decide to throw the match, you are hurting their chances of performing to the best of their ability in the tournament. I think it is better if every team tries their best, and at the end of the day, the best robot comes out on top.

I’ll reiterate what I said in the other thread… it’s a despicable strategy. And I’ve seen it done several times… A team deliberately losing matches so they can be the 2nd pick for the top alliance of Seed1 & Seed 2.

I dislike the strategy. I don’t think I’ve personally seen it, although it is kind of hard to tell.
I guess the alliance selection system (which I’m in favor of) inevitably created it.
In order to prevent the strategy, I guess there should be an award for winning a match. Like a cookie or a Karthik figure or $10. That would be a bit hard to keep up with though :wink:

The good thing is that, for most people, the strategy is unsportsmanlike and is something that they will never resort to. There’s no way to prevent it except to believe in the competitors (or to make a reward system :))

I don’t think an additional reward should be needed. Being a sportsmanlike competitor should be its own reward.