most people are familiar with the game theory "prisoner's dilemma" but probably not with the "Chicken game" game theory. Basically it's two people playing a game of "chicken": driving their cars towards eachother and see who would swirl first. whoever swirls first loses, and the person who doesn't swirl wins. If both people swirl, both people live but it's a tie so no one wins (0,0). If one person swirls, that person loses (-5) and the other wins (+5). Of course if neither swirls, then they crash and both die which is a (-10, -10). There're different version of the points system but the general gist is there: If both people play to win, they would each individually choose to NOT swirl which would lead them to crash and both die. now looking at this women's group round robin scenario: if neither of the teams throw their games, they will waste a lot of energy but will definitely not be thrown out and BOTH will go on to the next round. BUT if one team throws the game and the other doesn't, that team will get a better draw. so what ends up happening: acting on what's best for each individual, BOTH teams tries to throw the game --> both gets disqualified. There is a major assumption here and it's that if only ONE team tries to throw the game, win or lose that team will not be disqualified. Given that the organizers have not been actively punishing or disqualifying players in the past, I think this is a reasonable assumption. So how could this have been prevented? AVOID the zero sum scenario which in this case would've been to change the format to avoid "losing" to gain advantages in subsequent games. Of course there's the whole "sportsmanship" stuff... but when the goal is to win a medal (and to keep ur job), you can see how economic plays a key role.