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Thread: Why the IIHF Faulted in the Jason Holland Case

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    2008 IHWC Why the IIHF Faulted in the Jason Holland Case

    Why the IIHF Faulted in the Jason Holland Case


    I have found time to write a more detailed account of why the IIHF Directorate Council made a serious mistake in the Jason Holland case. Since you cannot find such an account on the internet, and we are dealing with a very serious matter, I believe this account deserves a clean highlighted thread.
    It is my hope that most of you will now be able to see that the Jason Holland case was a relatively clean cut case in which the exceptionality clause did not apply.

    Before we go on, if anyone feel tempted to copy-paste it and publish it in their own name, it should be pointed out that this article is copyrighted, Any interested parties are of course allowed to quote and give reference to the article, which will more officially be published on the IHF's news site which will be implemented during this Summer.

    IHF as a rule-based organization

    First, it is very important to emphasize that IIHF officially is an international organization governed by the rule of law, and not by economic or political power or personal ties by the people who represent the organization. The rule of law is supposed to ensure fairness, predictability, consistency, efficiency, transparency and accountability

    • Fairness means that no member receives favourable treatment in the application of IIHF's rules.
    • Predictability means the the IIHF's stakesholders (its members, the media, international hockey fans, and others) can expect the IIHF to act or decide in a specific manner when certain circumstances apply.
    • Consistency that the IIHF's stakeholders can expect the IIHF to decide in a similar matter when similar circumstances apply.
    • Efficiency means that the IIHF is governed by principles aimed to ensure that the policymaking and decisions are not too resource (time and money) consuming.
    • Transparency means that the governance of the IIHF remains visible and clear for the organization's stakeholders (first and foremost its members) so they know what exactly is going on.
    • Accountability means that the elected people and organizational bodies that govern the IIHF can be held responsible for their actions and specific mechanisms for appeal exist.

    Most of these principles are specifically laid down in the very pre-amble of the IIHF's Statutes and Bylaws that govern the organization:

    http://www.iihf.com/fileadmin/user_u..._July_2003.pdf

    "The International Ice Hockey Federation is dedicated to the worldwide growth and development of ice hockey and In-line hockey, providing exemplary leadership and governance by diligently observing the principles of democracy, fairness, solidarity and transparency for its member national associations.

    The International Ice Hockey Federation achieves this by establishing in writing a governance structure with defined roles where accountability and responsibilities are clearly documented

    The procedures for holding democratic elections and for all appointments to office are provided in written form with continuous communication between member national associations and the governing body and its officers on elections, appointments, goals, initiatives, the resolution of differences and all other matters in a fair, transparent, accessible and efficient manners."


    IIHF's Statutes are specific rules agreed upon by the IIHF's members; bylaws are amendments to these rules. In short, the Rules and Bylaws are so to speak the very constitutional Treaty of the IIHF; it aims to prevent unfairness, unpredictability, inconsistency and so on in the governance of the IIHF.

    The IIHF makes it crystal clear that the conduct of all affairs must be in accordance with the organization's Statutes and Bylaws, and regulations. This is stated in Statutes and Bylaws themselves, and in the public presentation of the organization on the IIHF's webpage:

    Rules and Bylaws §3: "The IIHF will take all necessary measures to...conduct the affairs according to its Statutes, Bylaws and Regulations;"

    Webpage: see "IIHF Mission Statement" and here
    "The General Congress is the IIHF's highest legislative body and makes decisions about the rules of the game, the statutes and bylaws. The General Congress elects the president and the council (board). The IIHF President is elected by the General Congress and chairs all congresses and council meetings. The council is the IIHF's highest executive body. The president represents the interests of the IIHF in all external matters and is responsible that all decisions are made in accordance with the federation's statutes, bylaws and regulations".

    Officially, the IIHF is thus a rule-based organization, implying that all decisions must be accordance with the organization's Rules and Bylaws. These Rules and Bylaws are legally binding.
    It is also interesting to note that the IIHF repeatedly points this out on its webpage. The webpage is the public face of the IIHF and the repeated references to the Rules and Bylaws serves to emphasize that the public - the fans, media and IIHF's sponsors - can trust that the IIHF is a democratic international organization and the principles of fairness, predictability, consistency and so on are followed.

    As I have noted elsewhere it is crucial that the IIHF enjoys credibility in the eyes of its stakeholders. If the IIHF squanders with the principles of rule of law (i.e. if some members receive favourable treatment by the referees or the Directorate Council in the IIHF's tournaments), the growth of international hockey - the most important objective in the IIHF's mission statement - may be damaged for years as member federations, the media and the fans cease to be interested in the tournaments the IIHF organizes or the IIHF as a whole.

    THE POLITICS

    Unfortunately, this description does not fit how IIHF is actually governed. Even though the detailed story remains to be told, it is no secret that economic and political power and personal ties have often resided over law in the IIHF. This goes back to the early dawn of IIHF (or LIGH as it was called at the time). In fact, Louis Magnus, left his presidency because of the creeping politicization of the organization he had founded.

    The IIHF's inconsistent handling of sanctions imposed on teams with ineligible players and the random changes of tournament rules (even in the midst of the tournament) are nothing new and too countless to mention here. Sufficient to say, if there is any consistency and predictability in the IIHF's conduct of these affairs the pattern is to be found in the organization's favourable treatment of its most powerful members and in personal friendship and animosities between the various members of the IIHF's... - rather than in the Statutes and Bylaws as the IIHF claims.

    On this background, one can only wonder why the IIHf still seems to enjoy a high degree of credibility in the media and among the fans. Whether the IIHF also enjoys a high degree of credibility among its member federations is another matter as less powerful members are often bought off (for instance by grants and the right to host IIHF tournaments) while others simply seems to have resigned. The IIHF does not differ from many other international organizations in this regard.

    One important reason that the IIHF remains a very non-transparent organization for the general public. Most international hockey fans do not have a clue of what goes on behind the closed doors, and it doesn't help that the media do not seem to bother.

    The exact story of what went on behind the closed doors of the IIHF Directorate last Wednesday also remains to be told. Even though this story is interesting as it will cast further light on the politics of the IIHF, we do not need to know what was said by whom; We only need to be concerned with the Directorate's decision and whether it is in accordance with the IIHF's Rules and Bylaws.

    As the following analysis will show, there is little doubt that the Directorate violated the rules by deciding not to forfeit the games played by Germany in the preliminary round of the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

    THE JASON HOLLAND CASE

    The case in itself is widely known among IHF's members, and there is no need to go into detail. In short, Jason Holland, whose grandfather was born in Germany, grew up in Alberta, Canada. As a Canadian citizen and hockey player, Jason Holland played for the gold-winning Canadian team at the 1996 IIHF World Junior Championship. Jason Holland, a defenseman, who was drafted by the New York Islanders in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft (2 round, #38 overall) went on to play for various NHL teams before moving the the German Elite League (DEL) in 2005-06. In 2008, after having played in DEL for three years, Jason Holland was selected to the German team at the 2008 IIHF World Championship. At the World Championship, Jason Holland played two games in the preliminary round (adding one assist), before it was revealed that he was ineligible under IIHF eligibility rules. The still unconfirmed story is that it was Norway's captain, Tommy Jakobsen who detected the mistake after having looked up Jason Holland's player stats on the internet. According to this story, Tommy Jakobsen didn't keep his mouth sealed outside the Norwegian team. He even revealed that Norway would protest before the IIHF Directorate Council if Norway lost to Germany (a game that was to be played later that day). A German journalist who had snapped up the story immediately informed Franz Reindl, the chairman of the German hockey federation, about the Norwegians plans. Reindl then admitted that he had made a mistake, believing that Holland was eligible under the IIHFs 2-year rule, and probably contacted Rene Fasel to prompt a quick meeting in the Directorate Council to settle the issue.

    As there was no doubt that Jason Holland was ineligible under the 4-year rule, applying to players who have played for another nation (as Holland did in 1996), the Directorate only had to decide on which sanctions should be imposed on the German team.

    Citing IIHF Statute 204, the Council decided that Jason Holland be suspended, but the German team would not forfeit any of its previous results at the championship. The reason given for not awarding a 5-0 score was that "it would unfairly impact the other participating teams at the championship in future rounds". Statute 204's paragraph on exceptional circumstances was cited as the legal basis for this decision.

    According to various sources (among others, the president of the Norwegian federation, Ole-Jakob Libęk), the decision was splitted as 6 members of the Council voted for and 3 (Canada, Norway and Slovakia) voted against.

    ON THE LEGAL BASIS FOR THE COUNCIL'S DECISION

    The use of ineligible players is potentially a very explosive issue. In order to avoid conflicts during (or after) IIHF tournaments, IIHF's eligibility rules are very detailed. Here we will only be concerned with the rules governing the sanctions that will be imposed on teams using ineligible players (since the ineligibility of Jason Holland is not an issue). Also, we should not be concerned with whom is responsible for clearing Jason Holland for play in the IHWC. The IIHF's Rules and Bylaws also includes rules for this, but these rules have no importance for the sanctions imposed on teams using ineligible players.

    These sanction rules are covered by §204 pg.2, section a-c in the Statutes and Bylaws. Section b) and c) specify what sanctions should be imposed if the ineligibility of a player is detected after the world championship.

    Though this was not the case, section b) and c) are still interesting as they shed light on what would have happened if Jason Holland was detected ineligible until after the 2008 World Championship (or Norway had waited bringing the case before the IIHF until after the championship in Canada).

    Section b) says:

    "If the ineligibility is proved after the championship and before the following Semi- Annual Congress, the team with the ineligible player shall be disqualified"

    In other words, Germany would immediately be relegated to Division 1, and the team that ended up #15 in the 2008 IHWC would probably have replaced Germany. Note that there are no ifs and buts, the rule is clean cut and there is no room for discretion.

    Section c) says:

    "If the ineligibility is proved after the next championship, the team with the ineligible player shall be deleted from the relevant championship rankings and its results"

    Depending on the teams ranking in the 2008 IHWC, and its world ranking points relative to the Division 1 teams, this sanction opens the possibility that the team may be relegated all the way down to Division 2. Again there are no ifs and buts. The penalty is automatic.

    The sanctions that shall be imposed if a player is detected ineligible after a championship are thus extremely severe.

    We not turn to section a) which specify the sanctions that should be imposed if a player is detected ineligible during the World Championship, as in Jason Holland's case.

    section a:

    "If the ineligibility of one or more players is proved during a championship then the games played by the team with an ineligible player shall be forfeited and the ineligible player dismissed from the tournament.

    In exceptional circumstances, the Council may vary the application of this clause in the best interests of the competition applying the principle that the team at fault should not take benefit of any ranking and with the objective not to disadvantage, even indirectly, other teams taking part in the competition. Any decision taken by the Directorate in this respect shall not be regarded as a precedent"


    The normal rule that the Council shall follow is to suspend the ineligible player and forfeit the games played by the team with the ineligible player. This rule is consistent with section b) and c).

    However, the IIHF's Statutes also points to exceptional circumstances where this rule may be deviated. Note that §204 pg. 1. section includes a more loosely formulated exceptional clause, according to which "exceptional circumstances can be decided by the Council". However, the use of this clause cannot replace §204 pg 2. section a which is specific describing the circumstances under which the forfeit rule may be deviated (judically, §204, 2a) is lex specialis to §204, 1h), meaning that the use of §204, 1h) cannot replace §204, 2a)).

    Since forfeit is the general rule that must be applied in nearly all cases, the clause specifying the circumstances where the forfeit rule may be deviated is extremely detailed. A closer look on the clause reveals that the following principles must be observed:

    1) The circumstances must be exceptional, implying that the clause can only be used in rare cases
    2) The team at fault (read: Germany) should not take benefit of any ranking by a decision not to forfeit
    3) Other teams must not be disadvantaged, even indirectly, by a decision to forfeit the games played by the team at fault
    4) The use of the clause cannot be regarded as a precedent for future cases

    The latter principle implies that the Ulf Samuelsson case of 1998 have no implications for the Jason Holland case.

    WHY THE IIHF FAULTED IN THE JASON HOLLAND CASE

    Before he was detected ineligible, Jason Holland played 2 games during the 2008 World Championship. In the first game, Germany lost 1:5 to Finland; in the second, Germany beat Slovakia 4-2 (in the latter game, J, Holland made an assist on the goal that gave Germany a 2:0 lead).

    Germany's victory over Slovakia has direct relevance for the use of the exceptional clause. What would be the consequences for the ranking if IIHFs Directorate Council decided to forfeit or not to forfeit Germany's victory over Slovakia?

    When the IIHF Directorate Council's meeting took place, the standings in Group C looked like this:

    TABLE 1
    1. Finland 5 points
    2. Germany 3 points
    3. Slovakia 3 points
    4. Norway 1 point

    If Germany's victory over Slovakia was forfeited 5-0, the standings would change:

    TABLE 2
    1. Slovakia 6 points
    2. Finland 5 points
    3. Norway 1 point
    4. Germany 0 point

    In this case, Slovakia and Finland would have been through to the Qualifying Round, and Germany and Norway would battle it out for the last spot later that evening when the Council made its decision.

    Looking at the issue, the Council had two options: 1) either to look at the implications for the standings that Germany beat Slovakia with an ineligible player or 2) to second-guess about the results of future rounds, including the last games in the preliminary round.

    Rather than second-guessing about the results of future rounds, one would have expected that the Council had chosen the more transparent option 1. In this case there is no doubt that Germany would benefit at the expense of Slovakia if the Germany's victory over Slovakia was not forfeited.
    Nevertheless, the Council decided to choose the other route, second-guessing about the results of future round, an option that would made the principles underpinning the decision far less transparent, thus violating an important decision-making principle of the IIHF.

    But, noting that Germany played Norway, and Finland played Slovakia in the last round of Group C, let us look at the various scenarios. The outcome of Germany vs Norway is especially important:

    Scenario A: Germany beats Norway, Finland beats Slovakia or Slovakia beats Finland

    In this case, Germany would go the Qualifying Round (QR) at the expense of Norway, regardless of whether Germanys victory over Slovakia was forfeited or not. However, if the Council decided not to forfeit Germany's victory, Germany would have benefitted at the expense of Slovakia in the QR Standings (if Finland beat Slovakia, Finland would have transferred 6 points to the QR, Germany 3 and Slovakia 0.
    If Slovakia beat Finland, the situation in the QR had become more interesting as the three teams would have transferred 3 points to the QR if no forfeit, while Slovakia would have transferred 6 points, Finland 3, and Germany 0 if forfeit.
    If forfeited, Slovakia would have gained at the expense of Finland. If not forfeited, Germany would have gained at the expense of Slovakia.

    On the face of it, we thus see a clash between 2 principles in the use of the exceptional clause, namely that b) the team at fault should not take benefit of any ranking and c) Other teams must not be disadvantaged, even indirectly, by a decision to not to forfeit the games played by the team at fault.

    However, in the way the exceptional clause is formulated, there is no doubt that all 4 conditions specified above must be observed. Since Germany would gain at the expense of Slovakia, the Council was not allowed to decide not to forfeit Germanys victory over Slovakia, under the IIHF's Statutes and Principles. If the Council misinterpreted the rules, believing it had the right to select among the restrictions, it would still error, as it would attach more weight to principle c) than the more fundamental principle b). This is exactly what the Council did. The council chose to completely ignore the fundamental principle that the team at fault must not take benefit for a non-forfeit, focusing instead on the less important restriction laid down in c).

    The question is whether we can construct a scenario where the Council did not make a wrong decision? Let us take a look at the other possible scenarios:

    Scenario B: Norway beats Germany; Finland beats Slovakia

    The final ranking if no-forfeit would look like this:

    TABLE 3
    1. FIN 8
    2. NOR 4
    3. GER 3
    4. SLO 3

    Since Germany benefits at the expense of Slovakia, the exceptional clause cannot be used. The same applies if Norway beat Germany in OT.

    Scenario C: Norway beat Germany. Slovakia beat Finland

    The final ranking if no-forfeit would look like this:

    TABLE 4
    1. Slovakia 6
    2. Finland 5
    3. Norway 4
    4. Germany 3

    The points transferred to the QR would look like this: Slovakia 3, Finland 2, Germany 1

    If forfeited, the final rankings would like this:

    Table 5
    1. Slovakia 9
    2. Finland 5
    3. Norway 4
    4. Germany 0

    The points transferred to the QR would look like this: 1. Slovakia 6, 2. Finland 3, Norway 1

    In scenario C, it is important to take note of two things:

    1) Germany would go to the relegation round, regardless of whether Germany's victory over Slovakia was forfeited or not. The application of restriction b) in the exceptional clause therefore has no relevance (implying there would be no need to look at the exceptional clause)
    2) Germany's games against its opponents in Group C would not count in the Qualifying Round, implying that the Council cannot refer to the principles laid down in restriction c) in the exceptional clause (implying once again that there would be no need to look at the exceptional clause).

    In conclusion, given the previous results in Group C, it is impossible to imagine a scenario where the exceptional clause could be used. What is more, the Council's argument that "The reason given for not awarding a 5-0 score was that "it would unfairly impact the other participating teams at the championship in future rounds" is logically wrong. Having looked carefully at all imaginable outcomes of the last round in Group C, it is impossible to imagine a scenario where a forfeit would unfairly impact the other participating teams.

    The IIHF's Directorate Councils decision not to forfeit Germany's victory over Slovakia was thus not only legally wrong (i.e. not in accordance with IIHF's Statutes and Bylaws), the argument on which Council based its decision was also logically wrong.


    If the Council's decision cannot be considered to be based on the IIHF's Statutes and Bylaws, it is tempting to conclude that it was based only on the economic importance of Germany in IIHF affairs and/or personal ties (friendship and amenosities) within the IIHF's Directorate Council. The fact that Germany is economically very important for the IIHF and the rumors that the president of the IIHF has very friendly and personal ties to the German hockey federation and less than friendly ties to a number of other federations (including the Slovak federation) lends support to this interpretation. However, as long as high ranking officials of the various federations do not speak up in public, rather than off-the-record, it cannot objectively be verified whether these rumours are true or false. The true story of the politics of the IIHF thus remains to be told.
    Last edited by Karsten; 12-05-2008 at 20:48.

  2. #2
    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this with us Karsten. Couple of comments: It might be worth trying to add some evidence of "few non-corrupt high-ranking officials" for the actual paper. Same with the rumours that you refer to in the last section - "rumors that the president of the IIHF has very friendly and personal ties to the German hockey federation and less than friendly ties to a number of other federations (including the Slovak federation) lends support to this interpretation. " If left as this, it weakens your argument.

    Otherwise interesting stuff. To me a key point is that Reindl admitted it immediately to Fasel - and so, like you suggest, it should have been clear as to the course of action. But what actually happened to prevent it? Some indication of what took place would be valuable at this point.

    Oh one more thing: regardless of whether the Samuelsonn case can or can't be used as precedent, it would be a good historical example for how it was handled compared to this one - improvement here or same old same old? Might bolster the argument.

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    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Thanks for that very interesting read, Dr. Karsten (I've read your profile, definately not an insult!). I have nothing more to say because you put it all out there for everybody. Please let us know which journal will have the final revision of this article when it is published.
    Bringing ice hockey to Northwest China!

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    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KazakhEagles View Post
    Thanks for that very interesting read, Dr. Karsten (I've read your profile, definately not an insult!). I have nothing more to say because you put it all out there for everybody. Please let us know which journal will have the final revision of this article when it is published.
    Ahhhh, there's always something folks will add - that's why this board exists. There's no definitive answer as a review of karsten's paper will likely show - it's one argument. Even here, there's room for opinions to be put out there for everyone to have a go at.

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    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Hmmm, this will give a good read. I'll post my comments here when I edit it, instead of double posting. Looking foward to reading this. How long did it take you to compose Karsten?

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    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    I've got a question that I don't think has been asked. As usual these things will drag on and the tournament will likely be long over by the time any decision on the appeal is made. What if the IIHF loses that appeal decision? How might it be dealt with it after the fact? Can it even be? Or, does this fall into that grey area where the decison can't be used as a precedent for the "next time" a la the Samuelsonn case?

    I suppose this post could have gone in the other thread but this might be a better place after reading the first post here where there's more context

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    IHF Member Skratch's Avatar
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    Excellent job, Karsten.
    When it comes down to issues IIHF is not an institution - it's a marketplace.
    Quod erat demonstrandum.

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    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftofcenter View Post
    Ahhhh, there's always something folks will add - that's why this board exists. There's no definitive answer as a review of karsten's paper will likely show - it's one argument. Even here, there's room for opinions to be put out there for everyone to have a go at.
    I'm not the kind of person to critique one's writing. Anybody who's had the (mis-)fortune of reading my ramblings on here knows that I'm not qualified to, heh heh heh.

    Yeah, there are multiple sides to this case where so many sides, not just the IIHF, were at fault. The IIHF, DEB, and possibly other member organisations were at fault, but as Karsten wrote, we don't know what happened on the room. I would like to find out how the person who decided only some of the criterion should be applied convinced the others that was how the law was meant to read. I'd like to know which body that person represented, because if it was an IIHF rep, then we get into more questions and problems. Or did nobody ask questions? The 6-3 vote was fairly conducted but it was bogus because the votes would only be to get a weaker opponent to get a better result in the standings for the relevant participant (except Canada who did vote for forfeited scores).

    Maybe the IIHF needs to employ our editor-in-chief?
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    Hello you all!

    This reminds me of the events in Vienna 1987.

    But unlike this case, the earlier one (and again with Germans!) was clearly an act of opportunism from my countrymen. Since they only noticed it after they seemed to lose their chances to go to the medal-series!

    All the best
    Jukka

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    IHF Member welmu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KazakhEagles View Post
    Maybe the IIHF needs to employ our editor-in-chief?
    concur. Good job karsten!

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    You are absolutely right, Karsten, the decision is wrong. The rules are as they are and the games should have been forfeited. One can think of cases, where for the sake of the competition it makes sense to give an exception. If Holland would still play and his ineligibility would be found out today, there is no way to let Slovakia play in QR now.

    The Sykora case in 19897 is however different. The inegibility rules were different (actually they changed because of this case) and, more important, DEB asked IIHF before the competition, whether Sykora could play or not. In my opinion, in this case the IIHF made the error.

    Now there is one thing, which is wrong in Karstens article, as far as I know, Jason Hollands Grandfather was born in Italy, but lived in Germany for most of his youth.

  12. #12
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    left of winger, though you are raising a few interesting questions, most of your comments have no relevance for the line of reasoning in my writing. If you want to trivialize my arguments, you need to challenge the very logic of my reasoning.

    You don't have to be a lawyer or judicial expert to see that the IIHF made a wrong decision. As for the judicial aspects of the case, all you need to recognize is the undeniable fact that all IIHF decisions must be accordance with the IIHF Statutes and Bylaws. The rest is a matter of deductive logic, examining whether the conditions in the exceptional clause (§204, 2, a) could be applied.

    The exceptional clause is very detailed in that it specifies four conditions that must be met before it can be used. Two of these conditions are substantial:

    a) The team at fault (Germany) must not benefit at the expense at other teams if the games are not forfeited
    b) Non-faulted teams must not benefit at the expense of other non-faulted teams if the games are forfeited.

    My writing proves that the Council ignored the first very important condition, and that the second condition would not have been relevant if the first condition had been met.

    As I see it. there is therefore not a shadow of doubt the Council erred in its decision. If you want to argue, I urge you to challenge this conclusion.

    As for my comments on the politics of IIHF, I have repeatedly stated that they are irrelevant for the argument, that the full story remains to be written and "as long as high ranking officials of the various federations do not speak up in public, rather than off-the-record, it cannot objectively be verified whether these rumours are true or false".
    However, I don't think what am writing is false. Among hockey historians, it is well-known fact that the IIHF's history is paved with dirty politics, and the rumours that Rene Fasel have close ties with the German federation and less than friendly ties with other federation is also wellknown by close observers of what goes on in Zürich. I am sure that Marc (Branchu) can confirm this.

    Kun, how long did it take to write? About three hours, but the content have developed in back of my mind for a longer time.

    Jukka, yes you are right. The case bears close resemblance to the Miroslav Sykora case of 1987. I didn't have time to find out whether the ineligibility rules were different at the time.

    An interesting question, not addressed in my writing, is whether it is at all possible to imagine a scenario (i.e. a combination of outcomes of the games in Group C) where the IIHF could have used the exceptional clause. Otherwise, it would be redundant.

    The answer is confirmative. It is in fact possible to envisage such a scenario. And here is a little challange for all of you: see if you can find this combination of outcomes.

    As pointed out above, two requirements must be met: a) a no-forfeit must not benefit the team at fault (Germany), and b) a forfeit must not benefit a non-faulting member country at the cost of another.

    In order to help you a little bit, I will give you a hint: In the scenario in question, Jason Holland only played the first game (vs Finland). He didn't play the second (because he was either injured or scratched).

  13. #13
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElTres View Post

    Now there is one thing, which is wrong in Karstens article, as far as I know, Jason Hollands Grandfather was born in Italy, but lived in Germany for most of his youth.
    Thanks for pointing this out, and thanks for your support. And I would also like to use this opportunity to praise our German members of this forum. They have in nearly all cases been extremely fair, recognizing that the decision was indeed wrong. By being fair and non-biased, they serve as a model for the members we want to attract to this board.

    Germany is certainly not the only member country which has faulted in sending ineligible players to the world championship. And the issue is not a question of whether the DEB is acting immoral or the German federation just made a couple of simple mistakes. The issue is whether the IIHF made a wrong decision.

    On a deeper level, the real issue is whether we want the IIHF to be run like a banana republic or as a rule-governed, democratic institution we can trust.

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    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    Wow.................

    I'm not going to challenge any of the substantive content of what you've written here Karsten.

    But, I'd gently suggest you take a minute and closely read some good definitions of the words/ phrases:

    1. Modesty
    2. Patronizing attitude

  15. #15
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftofcenter View Post
    Wow.................

    I'm not going to challenge any of the substantive content of what you've written here Karsten.

    But, I'd gently suggest you take a minute and closely read some good definitions of the words/ phrases:

    1. Modesty
    2. Patronizing attitude
    The IIHF's most important mission objective is to promote ice hockey internationally. Every member of this board has a keen interest in this issue. And in the Jason Holland case which touches upon the very core of how the IIHF is governed, it is not a matter of being modest and having a patronizing attitude. Given that the media don't seem to care, the arguments need to be put as forceful as possible. Otherwise they will not get through.

  16. #16
    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    Firstly, an excellent text! Very interesting reading.

    Then I have a minor correction:

    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Scenario C: Norway beat Germany. Slovakia beat Finland

    The final ranking if no-forfeit would look like this:

    TABLE 4
    1. Slovakia 6
    2. Finland 5
    3. Norway 4
    4. Germany 3

    The points transferred to the QR would look like this: Slovakia 3, Finland 2, Germany 1

    If forfeited, the final rankings would like this:

    Table 5
    1. Slovakia 9
    2. Finland 5
    3. Norway 4
    4. Germany 0

    The points transferred to the QR would look like this: 1. Slovakia 6, 2. Finland 3, Norway 1
    I believe the correct points to QR would be the following:

    Table 4:
    Slovakia 6, Finland 2, Norway 1

    Table 5:
    Slovakia 6, Finland 2, Norway 1
    "Lord Baelish, what you suggest is treason."
    "Only if we lose."

    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

  17. #17
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shardik View Post
    Firstly, an excellent text! Very interesting reading.

    Then I have a minor correction:


    I believe the correct points to QR would be the following:

    Table 4:
    Slovakia 6, Finland 2, Norway 1

    Table 5:
    Slovakia 6, Finland 2, Norway 1
    This doesn't change the conclusion, but thanks for the correction.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    left of winger, though you are raising a few interesting questions, most of your comments have no relevance for the line of reasoning in my writing. If you want to trivialize my arguments, you need to challenge the very logic of my reasoning.

    You don't have to be a lawyer or judicial expert to see that the IIHF made a wrong decision. As for the judicial aspects of the case, all you need to recognize is the undeniable fact that all IIHF decisions must be accordance with the IIHF Statutes and Bylaws. The rest is a matter of deductive logic, examining whether the conditions in the exceptional clause (§204, 2, a) could be applied.

    The exceptional clause is very detailed in that it specifies four conditions that must be met before it can be used. Two of these conditions are substantial:

    a) The team at fault (Germany) must not benefit at the expense at other teams if the games are not forfeited
    b) Non-faulted teams must not benefit at the expense of other non-faulted teams if the games are forfeited.

    My writing proves that the Council ignored the first very important condition, and that the second condition would not have been relevant if the first condition had been met.

    As I see it. there is therefore not a shadow of doubt the Council erred in its decision. If you want to argue, I urge you to challenge this conclusion.

    As for my comments on the politics of IIHF, I have repeatedly stated that they are irrelevant for the argument, that the full story remains to be written and "as long as high ranking officials of the various federations do not speak up in public, rather than off-the-record, it cannot objectively be verified whether these rumours are true or false".
    However, I don't think what am writing is false. Among hockey historians, it is well-known fact that the IIHF's history is paved with dirty politics, and the rumours that Rene Fasel have close ties with the German federation and less than friendly ties with other federation is also wellknown by close observers of what goes on in Zürich. I am sure that Marc (Branchu) can confirm this.

    Kun, how long did it take to write? About three hours, but the content have developed in back of my mind for a longer time.

    Jukka, yes you are right. The case bears close resemblance to the Miroslav Sykora case of 1987. I didn't have time to find out whether the ineligibility rules were different at the time.

    An interesting question, not addressed in my writing, is whether it is at all possible to imagine a scenario (i.e. a combination of outcomes of the games in Group C) where the IIHF could have used the exceptional clause. Otherwise, it would be redundant.

    The answer is confirmative. It is in fact possible to envisage such a scenario. And here is a little challange for all of you: see if you can find this combination of outcomes.

    As pointed out above, two requirements must be met: a) a no-forfeit must not benefit the team at fault (Germany), and b) a forfeit must not benefit a non-faulting member country at the cost of another.

    In order to help you a little bit, I will give you a hint: In the scenario in question, Jason Holland only played the first game (vs Finland). He didn't play the second (because he was either injured or scratched).
    First of all this is a very good analyisis of the case - great job Karsten.

    Two things from my side:

    I see that the hint toward the political running of the IIHF and the attitudes of leading players are irrelevant for your reasoning and furthermore, I (without having any specifiv knowledge of the IIHF) think that this is more likely to be true than the contrary. Still I'd suggest if you want to have this case study being material for an academic journal you either will have to skip these parts or back them up with sources beyond rumours.
    In other words, if I was a referee for the journal I would demand a revision which deals with these parts accordingly.

    The next point concerns the part of your text I have highlighted bold (your condition "b" when a game may not be forfeited). This is something game theoretic. I'd say that the IHWC is a tournament in which the teams taking part compete against each other to achieve the best possible result in the final ranking. Each position in the ranking is unique therefore the tournament as such qualifies as a zero-sum game as it is a system of zero sum games that has complete rivalry in the domain of the final outcome (in fact due to the nature of the point allocation rule it is a system of constant sum games but constant sum games can be aequivalently transferred easily into zero sum games by a small algebraic manipulation). If we accept this (and game theoratically there is no doubt) requirement b is extremely hard to fulfill. It can only hold if the faulting team was the only one carrying the burden of the forfeit which restricts the scenarios in which a forfeit is possible dramatically.

    In the current case the logic is the following. Ceteris paribus forfeiting the GER-SVK game would make SVK (a non-faulting team) strictly better off (qualification round instead relegation round) but this benefit comes at Norway's (a non-faulting team as well) expense as they would still go to the qualification round but carrying only 1 instead 4 points with them which makes them worse off then they are now (this again would make the teams from the other prelim group that forms the qual. group with prelim group C better off and so on). Furthemore also Finland (also a non faulting team) would be made worse off. Therefore requirement b would call against forfeiting GER-SVK.

    To make clear, I do not question the essence of this requirement (it makes sense) but in this strong formulation it can hardly ever hold (it could hold imho only in a stage of the tournament where there is only pairwise interaction, such as in the elimination parts of the tourney).
    Therefore, additional assumptions and qualifiers of what the domain in which we are measuring benefits and losses (points, positions in the interim ranking?) is and partitioning the set of teams in sets of ones either directly or indirectly affected by the forfeit need to be taken in order not to make forfeiting of a game impossible by requirement b even in cases where common sense calls for doing so (like the current one).

    So if you need a terror... äh theorist to back your great work up in that domain let me know ;-).
    Last edited by RexKramer; 10-05-2008 at 16:35.

  19. #19
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Hi W,

    Since the issue at hand is very much related to game theory, and you are the expert in this field, I was hoping that you would comment. I'm delighted you stepped in.

    No, at this point I am not considering to publish the article in an academic journal. My field of study is international trade law and politics. As I said, my idea is to publish it on our news site. However, it still needs much work, and I would like to get your input. That's why I have posted the draft here.

    Leaving this aside, I very much agree with with your argument. In fact, when I read the IIHF's press release, my first thought was that it is impossible to think of a scenario where one or more teams do not gain at the expense of others. That this is a trivial issue, and the Directorate should therefore only be concerned that Germany (the team at fault) should not benefit from a decision not to forfeit.

    Quote Originally Posted by karsten
    I can't possibly see that this case is exceptional, and the argument that "awarding a 5-0 forfeit score would unfairly impact the other particpating teams in future rounds" is based on the thinnest cup of tea I have seen for a very long time.

    In that case,
    - why does the IIHF have the 5-0 forfeit rule? The use of it always impacts on the other participating teams. That's a natural consequence, isn't it?
    http://forums.internationalhockey.ne...6&postcount=29.

    I believe this is the essence in your message:

    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer
    If we accept this (and game theoratically there is no doubt) requirement b is extremely hard to fulfill. It can only hold if the faulting team was the only one carrying the burden of the forfeit which restricts the scenarios in which a forfeit is possible dramatically.
    If this is really true, and I have little reason to doubt you, then a softer interpretation of the exceptional clause is needed.

    However, from a judicial point of view, this hardly changes the essence of my conclusion.

    From a judicial point of view, there is little doubt that forfeiting is the Directorate's first line of action.

    This is supported by two pieces of facts:
    1) If a player is declared ineligible after the world championship, his team will automatically be disqualified, regardless of the number of games he played, and the ośtcome of all other games in the championship. The impact of the disqualification on other teams does not matter. The disqualification is automatic, and the exceptional clause does not come into play.
    2) §204, 2a) states that deciding not to forfeit is only allowed in exceptional circumstances.

    From this we can read that ensuring that the team at fault does not benefit from a non-forfeit must be the primary concern. Hence, under the more soft interpretation of §204, 2 a), condition a) logically takes precedence over condition b). This also makes common sense.

    Going further into this judicial logic, if the opposites hold true, that is if b) takes precedence over a), implying that the main concern is not to benefit other teams at the expense of others, then the Directorate is first line of action would be not to forfeit. What is more, if your game-theoretic argument is correct, it would be the Directorate's only line of action.

    The consequences of this would be interesting since there would be a huge discrepancy in the line of actions taken by the IIHF depending on whether a player is caught during or after the championship: If he is caught during the championship, the only sanction imposed would be to suspend the player: if he is caught after the championship, the whole team would be disqualified (and relegated to 1 or 2 division).

    This implies that would be no proportionality between the sanctions imposed in the two cases. Following a game-theoretic line of reasoning, it would also invite to opportunistic behavior. The teams would be tempted to select ineligible players as it would have no serious consequences if they are caught during the championship. If they are detected during the championship, all the teams have to do is to admit they have used ineligible players before the championship ends.

    For these reasons, there can be little doubt that b) does not take precedence over a) and that the Directorate cannot ignore condition a) as it did in the Jason Holland case. This also supports my initial thought, the the Directorate was dealing with a clean cut case and there was no reason even to consider not to forfeit.
    Last edited by Karsten; 12-05-2008 at 02:56.

  20. #20
    IHF Member Toni's Avatar
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    I think in this "exceptional" scenario a) and b) would be fulfilled:

    Day 1
    A-D 1-0 A +3P
    B-C 6-0 B +3P

    Day 2
    A-B 6-0 A +3P
    C-D 1-0 C +3P

    Day 3
    B-D 1-0 B +3P
    --------------------

    Standings before the last game:
    A 6 +7 (points, goal difference)
    B 6 +1
    C 3 -5
    D 0 -3

    The last game played is C-A. For team A it would make sense to dress a not eligible player and let the game be forfeited, as a 5-0 loss would lead to an automatic position 1 in the final standings.

    C-A 5-0 C +3P (f)

    A 6 +2
    B 6 +1
    C 6 +0
    D 0 -3

    If the real game ended 7-0 for for team C a forfeit could/should be abandoned.
    C 6 +2
    B 6 +1
    A 6 +0
    D 0 -3

  21. #21
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Thanks, Toni.

    This scenario corresponds to the scenario I asked for in post #12. Well done!

    Now, according to my calculations there are in fact 9 combinations of results leading rankings that fulfill both criteria. The total number of scenarios is 4,320 (including scenarios where J. Holland played either 1, 2, or 3 games).

    The statistical probability of facing a scenario where both conditions are fulfilled is thus

    9/4320 x 100% = 0.2%. Statistically, thus, we are dealing with a very exceptional scenario,

    The problem with all this, is that it is rather meaningless since the scenario where both conditions hold true would call for a forfeit,

    The exceptional clause in §204, on the other hand, specify the circumstances where the games should not be forfeited.

    As I have argued, forfeit remains the Directorate's default decision whenever a player is found ineligible.

    We now come to the way I think the exceptional clause should be interpreted.

    As ElTres points out, the IIHF's exceptional clause can be traced back to the Miroslav Sikora case in 1987. The Sikora case is included as IIHF's story #29 on its list over the 100th biggest events in the history of the IIHF.
    http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/the-ii.../story-29.html

    This article, however, doesn't go into details on what really took place. Fortunately, I have already written extensively on the case:
    http://forums.internationalhockey.ne...ghlight=Sikora

    This allow me to quote the most interesting part of the story:

    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten
    The West German hockey federation was aware of the problem and asked the IIHF whether Miroslav Sikora would be eligible to play for W. Germany in the world championship. The IIHF, which had a West German president, Günter Sabetzki (!), said "no problem".

    In the round robin, West Germany then went on the beat Finland and Switzerland. This send Finland outside the medal round and made it very difficult to avoid relegation since W. Germany's 3-1 win over Switzerland was also transferred to the relegation round.

    However, Team Finland soon became aware that Sikora had played for Poland during the U20 World Championships and that he was not eligible to play for West Germany according to IIHF's regulations at the time. What IIHF forgets to mentions in its newsletter is that the federation obviously made a mistake when it gave Sikora the green light to play.

    Now, Finland officially complained, and Switzerland obviously followed suit. This set in motion a nightmarish circus. Should West Germany be send home and what then about the already sold tickets for West Germany's games in the relegation round? These were the lesser problems. The biggest problem was that if the IIHF gave in to the Finnish complaint, then Sweden would be send out of the medal round. The president of the Swedish federation, Tommy Sandlin loudly complained about Finland who had "made a circus out of this and insisted they were right".

    However, the IIHF had nothing else to do than to declare that Sikora was ineligible after all. W. Germany's victories over Finland and Switzerland were converted to losses and this propelled Finland into the medal round and West Germany down to the B-pool.

    The case didn't end here, however. First, Sweden's hockey federation threatened a court case that would put the West German IIHF president in jail. Meanwhile, West Germany took the case to the Austrian civil court. Here a judge named Fritz Kelbermass, who knew little of ice hockey and perhaps even less of the IIHF regulations, made the infamous Salomonic decision that Sikora should be banned for playing more games, but Germany should keep the points harvested in round robin!

    The court decision was made only one day before the medal round started. The IIHF panicked and withdrew its second decision, and the Finns complained loudly calling the whole thing for "a muppet show, a farce, and a circus".

    The rest is history so to speak. Sweden went on to win its first gold in 25 years. Had the IIHF stucked to the rules, tre kroner would have ended up in the relegation round.
    The essence of the Sikora story is this:

    • The team at fault, Germany, did not benefit from the non-forfeit, decided by the Vienna Court. Hence condition a) is fulfilled in the exceptional clause

    • A forfeit, however, would have a tremendous impact on the standings of other teams as it would propel Finland into the medal round at the expense of the higher ranking team, Sweden.

    On these grounds, the Vienna court decided to ignore Finland's claim that Germany's games should be forfeited.

    Having looked into this "negotiating story" which shed light on how the exceptional clause should be interpreted, we in the Jason Holland case conclude that

    • Germany must not take benefit from a non-forfeit, and

    • it must have serious consequences for the ranking in Group C (and perhaps in the qualifying round) if Germany's games were forfeited.


    Neither condition were fulfilled in the Jason Holland case:

    - Germany did obviously benefit from a non-forfeit as it avoided being send down to the relegation round

    - Apart from sending the team at fault (Germany) to the relegation round to the benefit of Slovakia, a forfeit would not have a dramatic impact on the standings in Group C. Finland would still win the group and add 5 points to the QR regardless of the choice made by the Directorate. Norway would also go the Qualifying Round, but only transfer 1 point rather than 4. The difference in points would go to Slovakia.
    If one believes that Norway's loss of 3 points was enough to justify a non-forfeit decision, this begs the question why Norway voted against and loudly complained about the Directorate's decision in the media. The Directorate didn't exactly listen to Norway's claims (or Slovakia's for that matter)

  22. #22
    IHF Member Acroni767's Avatar
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    Bad thing for all involved here.Still IIHF should check which players could play for the teams and which don't BEFORE THE GAME,not after it.
    JE !! SE !! NI !! CE

  23. #23
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    In order to help you a little bit, I will give you a hint: In the scenario in question, Jason Holland only played the first game (vs Finland). He didn't play the second (because he was either injured or scratched).

    If he only played one game, the exceptional circumstance clause would work out well if Holland didn't actually dress for the second game vs Slovakia, because the team would have had a fully-eligible roster in their win over SVK.
    The only game they then could have forfeit would have been the one they had already lost anyway, and so the standings would not have changed due to any foreiting of games.

    In this case the "IF" has no meaning because Holland did in fact play in teh second game, and the fault was not discovered until after that game had been won and lost.

  24. #24
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    If one believes that Norway's loss of 3 points was enough to justify a non-forfeit decision, this begs the question why Norway voted against and loudly complained about the Directorate's decision in the media. The Directorate didn't exactly listen to Norway's claims (or Slovakia's for that matter)
    The answer to that question is that, from what I've gathered, the decision was made before the third prelim-round game and the Norwegians didn't know if they would be able to defeat the Germans.
    In the end they were, but if they had lost to Germany, it would have been Norway in the relegation round.
    With that very distinct possibility in mind (especially on paper), Norway's vote makes perfect sense.

  25. #25
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    Karsten, I can tell you that tournaments like these (which aggregate points earned in pairwise comparisons to a ranking of teams) are extremely complex to work with in game theoretic analysis. This is due to the sequential nature and the discreteness of the problem which gives rise to a very big (but finite) number of scenarios. I am researching such issues since quite some time (I think I told you about a paper I have in that field - it is very intuitive but very hard to tackle formally) so I can tell

    Furthermore we also have the problem how to model the tournamnet especially what to assume about the objective function of the teams (what do they maximize?).

    Next, if we consider interim events (forfeiting a game during the course of the tournament) we have to evaluate benefits and losses on an ex ante basis which implies that one has to make an assumption on the risk attitude of the teams and on their belief on their relative standing compared to the other teams (this can be highlighted nicely in the current case: Norway would be stupid to object the non forfeiting of the Germany games given their win against GER. But before NOR-GER the Norwegians did object the non forfeiting because apparently the benefit of a forfeit -2 points being enough for NOR to go on to the quali stage- weighed more for them than the costs -taking only 1 point with them GIVEN they actually beat GER in regulation time and move on to the quali round).

    Another issue we have to be aware of is that the (unkown) real playing strength of the teams can imho not be part of any argumentation on behalf of the deciding body (in the sense that we think of team x getting a weaker/stronger opponent as a consequence of a forfeiting verdict). Realisticly this makes a big, big difference and plays an important role in the strategic behavior of the teams but because of "non-discrimination" of teams "the truth" to argument with can not be any other than what is revealed by realized outcomes of games within the current trournament.

    If we stick to this according to the (weak) monotonicity of the function that maps from game results (points earned in games) into the utility domain (= the final overall ranking as I assume) your requirement "a" is always fulfilled (exception: forfeiting a game that the faulting team has lost by a margin greater than 5...;-).
    That is by definition of which teams are worse or better (those who have earned more points are to be judged better than those who have earned less) because then taking away points can not bebeneficial for a team. So imho no worry with requirement "a" as long as we do not get into lines of argumentation that rely on the belief that the interim ranking within the tournament is not consistent with the "natural" or true ranking of the teams. Again, I think that such beliefs are tremendously important for strategic decisions (just think of one of B-A's decision in Turin respective to the "choice" of the quarter final opponent ;-) but these can not be taken into account by a judicative body (because they can't be verified objectively).
    If we do not stick to this and extend the analysis by the incorporating real team strengths we get into hells kitchen with respect to modeling the situation.

    Remains to check requirement b. As I lined out in the previous post I think that requirement b is indeed a very strong one. In the current case in the narrow meaning of the phrase it would rule out forfeiting the Germany games as I have lined out before (making SVK better of makes NOR worse off - the definition of requirement b rules out trading off benefits for one team with costs to another, although it makes sense to do so that's why you have introduced the term proportionality Karsten I guess).
    What really determines if it can be fullfilled or not is how strongly the game result of A versus B enter determining the ranking (utility) of an arbitrary team C (or essentially the ranking of all other teams). The bigger the number of games that enter the ranking (or generally the utility) of the teams the smaller the number of scenarios in which a forfeit only affects one (the faulting) team negatively. In that sense my statement depends crucially on the rules of the tournament but I think for the current one it will be very hard to construct a scenario where you can forfeit a game without violating b (as it is in the narrow sense).

    But I will think of the matter further, maybe I will be able to get to more general statements it is a very interesting issue (at least for nerds like me) and if my could be proven for a wide class of tournaments it would have quite important implications for the design of rules as a plausible principle would hampern the ability to sanction faulting teams (giving rise to the moral hazard problems you have pointed to).
    Last edited by RexKramer; 10-05-2008 at 23:03.

  26. #26
    IHF Member indulgeo's Avatar
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    thanks for taking the time and putting it down (and also explaining the whole thing in the other thread).

    btw. who can appeal to the cas? only the individual national federations?

    [just a minor correction: in scenario b - it should be svk instead of slo]

  27. #27
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    I imagine Slovakia could appeal the decision after the tournament, and in case of success rules would force the relegation of Germany. (Karsten, would that be right?)
    In that case, I imagine Slovenia would stay in the elite division based on their preliminary round standings and the Battle Of EBEL next year would be in full force.

    I'm just disappointed that the situation has taken this turn in the first place.

  28. #28
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    Further remarks on requirement b:

    What we are looking for when trying to construct a combination of game outcomes in which a game can be forfeited according to requirement b is a symmetric scenario. I will line out below what I mean by symmetric and by the opposite.

    Exkurs: I assume the games can end with one of the following 4 events for the home team (it is arbitrary which team in a game is treated as such): {win, loss, ot win, ot loss} . Thus, there are 4 raised to the power of 6 different combinations of game results we have to consider. That's 4096 imho (how did you calculate Karsten?). If we stick to the case of an ineligible player who has played either 1, 2 or all 3 games of his team then the total number of cases to look at is

    4096*7=28672

    as we have to distinguish between which particular games the ineligible player played. This is the grand total number of cases and some of them are not relevant.

    Note that there are 4! different final rankings (like A first, B second, C third and D fourth) and each of the 4096 combinations of game outcomes leads to one of those whereby there are cases which are indeterminate without making assumptions on the tie breaking rules or on the goal difference in the single games if one takes the tie breaking system of the IIHF (there's no avail doing so as the number of cases to look at would explode into millions).

    Let's call the faulting team A and the others B,C and D. In a simple setting (ignoring that there is a further stage where a subset of teams we look at has to qualify for and can take points with which makes matter even further complicated) the requirement means that the rank order relation between any pair of teams not involving A must be the same before and after the forfeiting of games from A.

    Obvious candidates for this are the completely symmetric cases where all games involving A ended the same way (W, L, OTW, OTL) and all of them are forfeited. In these cases the point scores of the teams B, C and D get are added the same number x which clearly leaves the ordering preserved. So this are 4 cases with respect to the game outcomes of team A where there's no doubt that forfeiting A's games is not to the expanse of any oher team. in total this means we have no worries with requirement b in 64*4 = 256 of 28672 cases.

    Furthermore, (ignoring ties which are resolve by goal difference) all cases where games which team A has lost in regulation time are to be forfeited do not contradict requirement b. This is trivial as the opposing teams' point scores are not altered they got the three points anyway... Note that one of the cases falling under this rule has been covered already in the previous point.
    The number of cases where this applies equals the sum of the numbers of cases where A lost either one, two or three games multiplied by the number of all possible combinations of outcomes for the other teams games not involving A (3*4^5+3*4^4+1*4^3 = 3072 + 768 + 64 = 3904

    So not counting the cases where A lost all games (and these are forfeited) twice the numbe rof cases where there is clear that requirement b is not violated by forfeiting games is imho 4096 (again, the magic of numbers ;-) out of 28672.

    All other (asymmetric) cases in which either not all games of team A that are supposed to be forfeited ended with the same event or only a subset of the games involving A which were not lost by A in regulation time are supposed to be forfeited are candidates for a violation of requirement b.

    Mathematically this looks the following:

    let a, b, c and d be the point scored by the teams without forfeiting games of A.
    let da, db, dc and dd the change in point score induced by forfeiting games of A.

    A case is asymmetric iff at least one of the following relations are true:

    dx not equal dy with x and y being a,b,c,d and x not equal y (it is easy to check that this is violate in the paragraphs lined out above).

    The number of those cases is of course 28672-40896 = 24576

    Not all of those however might eventually violate requirement b. The logic is that even if the absolute numbers of points of teams B, C, and D are altered DIFFERENTLY (or maybe not altered at all for a subset of {B,C,D} while altered for the complementary subset...) the final rank relation of any pair of them need not be changed as the gap in points between any pair of B,C,D could be sufficiently large to leave the ordering unchanged by altering the points through forfeiting games. This has also to do with the tie breaking procedures. Here comes the tedious part - checking in which of these cases the final ranking is insensitive to forfeiting is cumbersome as one has to check each and every one of them. The cases where this is most likely involves forfeiting games that A lost in OT (as you change the opponents point score just by the minimum of adding 1). On the other hand when A won in regulation time it gets critical especially if there is inhomogeneity between the game outcomes of A vs. X with X being either B or C or D.
    My suspicion is that in these "asymmetric" cases you will just find a small number of cases where forfeiting games of A makes A the sole loser.

    If we however define the objectives of the teams not ordinally (teams care about their final rank) but cardinally (they care about the point differences to the other teams) than EVERY asymmetric forfeiting of games neceessarily violates requirement b.
    In the IHWC prelim round I consider this to be appropriate as points most likely matter because they are carried on to another stage of the tournament for a those teams who qualify. In that light I conclude that requirement b is too hard as it only allows forfeiting games of a faulting team in either trivial cases (the faulting team has lost the game anyway) or in the case of all games of the faulting team being forfeited and all of these games having ended with the same outcome (which is very rare).

    Hope I didn't make any mistakes but imho that's the structure of the problem. It is quite obvious that requirement b is too tough ti have it in the narrow sense as a necessary condition. A clause that allows some well defined trading off of benefits and costs imposed on non faulting teams by forfeiting games of a faulting team needs to be included imho. But that's what Karsten said anyway.
    Last edited by RexKramer; 11-05-2008 at 14:20.

  29. #29
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    Wolfgang, thanks for your lengthy and interesting game theoretic interpretation. In the more political analysis of the Jason Holland case, I am sure one could incorporate a number of your points.

    I think it is important that we don't lose track of why the IIHF faulted in the Jason Holland case.

    So please allow me clear things up:

    Deductive logic is indispensable, but when interpreting muddy paragraphs (article 204 is muddy in one regard: what are "exceptional circumstances"?, see further below), international law experts usually refers to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 which provides guidelines for how international agreements should be interpreted.

    • According to §31 section 1 of the Vienna Convention, "A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its objective and purpose".

    • Article §32 of the Vienna Convention states that "Recourse may be had to supplementary means of interpretation, including the preparatory work of the treaty and the circumstances of its conclusion in order to confirm the meaning resulting from the application of §31, or to determine the meaning when the interpretation according to article 31 (a) leaves the meaning ambiguous or obscure; or (b) leads to a result which is manifestly absurd or unreasonable

    What article 31 and 32 informs us, in short, is that article 204, 2a) of the IIHF's statutes must be interpreted in the context of its objective and purpose, and if this interpretation leads to an ambiguous or manifestly absurd or unreasonable conclusion, we will have to look back to the circumstances that coursed a revision of the IIHF player eligibility rules.

    Now, first and all, we need to understand the objective and purpose of IIHF's player eligibility rules. To get a clear idea, we have to read the set of rules as a whole plus the preamble of the Statutes and Bylaws.

    The context of article 204 2a) comprises the Statutes and Bylaws' player eligibility rules as a whole plus the preamble of the Statutes and Bylaws.

    The most important information the preamble provides is that the objective of the IIHF is to "govern, develop and promote ice and in-line hockey throughout the world". The introduction to set of player eligibility rules further specifies that "it is the objective of the IIHF that national teams competing in IIHF championships shall reflect the status and standard of the sport as currently played in the country concerned".

    If the teams were free to import dual nats prior to the championships and competitions arranged by the IIHF, this would completely undermine a number of the key objectives, the IIHF wish to accomplish. For this reason, it can come as no surprise that the Statutes and Bylaws are taking a tough approach on the ineligible use of dual nats. The sanctions stipulated in article 204 are among the toughest in the IIHF's set of rules.

    Article 204, 2 makes clear that "the player and the member national association registering a player for an IIHF championship...are at all times fully responsible for the player's eligibility with all the disciplinary consequences for the member national association and the player".

    As for the sanctions, article 204, 2 distinguishes between the time when a player was found to be ineligible. If he is found ineligible after a championship, his team will be disqualified from the tournament. Within the world championships, this implies relegation to a lower division. Article 204,2 b) and c) leaves no ifs and buts as for the implications for the next year's championship (e.g. the economic and marketable implications if the team in question was to host the championship) or whether the national federation when selecting the ineligible player. According to the rules, the sanction is automatic.

    Article 204, 2a) covering the situation where a player is found ineligible during a championship must be understood in this context. Section 2a) stipulates "If the ineligibility of one or more players is proved during a championship then the games played by the team with an ineligible player shall be forfeited and the ineligible player dismissed from the tournament."

    The text leaves it open whether the team will forfeit all its games or only those games in which the ineligible player played. Using article 32 of the Vienna Convention as a guide for interpretation, the latter seems to be the most reasonable sanction, and has indeed also become standard practice.

    Unlike when a player is found ineligible after a championship, the team penalty is not automatic if the ineligibility is discovered and reported during a championship. A decision to forfeit games always disturbs and ongoing competition and this must be taken into consideration before a decision to forfeit is taken.

    The exceptional clause included in article 204, 2a) second indent describes the conditions that must be observed before a decision to deviate from the default rule (forfeit) can be taken. It may be practical to recall the text:

    In exceptional circumstances, the Directorate may vary the application of this clause in the best interests of the competition applying the principle that the team at fault should not take benefit of any ranking and with the objective not to disadvantage, even indirectly, other teams taking part in the competition. Any decision taken by the Directorate in this respect shall not be regarded as a precedent.

    What the clause says in layman's terms is that in exceptional circumstances where forfeit would have disadvantaged other teams in the competition, the Directorate may decide not to forfeit in order to serve the "best interests of the competition". However, "the principle that the team at fault should not take benefit from any ranking" must in all circumstances be applied.

    The Directorate cannot ignore the latter fundamental principle at will. As I have argued this would also have been absurd as this would not only render the primary clause (that team's should forfeit the games they play with ineligible players) meaningless, opening the possibility that non-forfeit becomes the rule rather the exception, it would also repeal the correspondance to the sanctions called for in section 2b) and c). I refer to the Vienna Charter for the correctness of this interpretation (which should also make common sense).

    Thus, the Directorate could under no circumstances have chosen to ignore the fact that Germany benefitted from a decision not to forfeit. As Germany had gained 3 points by beating Slovakia, I was initially shocked when I heard about the Directorate's decision as it was clear for me we were dealing with a clean cut case.

    In this thread, I extended the argument by looking at logic of the Directorate's argument that a decision to forfeit "would unfairly impact the other participating teams at the championship in future rounds", I concluded that this argument was illogical as "having looked carefully at all imaginable outcomes of the last round in Group C, it [was] impossible to imagine a scenario where a forfeit would unfairly impact the other participating teams.

    In my opinion, there is therefore not a shed of doubt that the Directorate could not take recourse to the exceptional clause in the Jason Holland case.

    Under what circumstances, the exceptional clause can be used is another question. The clause says that it can only be used in "exceptional circumstances", that the team at fault must not benefit from any ranking, and that a decision not to forfeit would disadvantage other teams in the competition.

    As we have discussed, a decision not to forfeit is often costly for other teams, but not always. In fact, the Jason Holland case constitutes one of those relative rare cases where a decision to forfeit would have no impact on the relative ranking among the other teams (cf. Scenario C in my first post). This is what makes the Directorate's decision really absurd.

    Still, if a decision not to forfeit, often impacts negatively on other teams in the standings, when can the exceptional clause then be used, given that the team at fault must not take any benefits in the rankings?

    Here, the only clue, the clause provides is "in exceptional circumstances".

    Since "exceptional circumstances" is an ambiguous term, we need take recourse in the Vienna charter art. 32 which advices us to look back to the events that led to the formulation of the clause. I have not been able to check up on this, but I believe ElTres is right that it was the Miroslav Sikora case that led to the revision.
    From this case, we are informed that the exceptional clause only applies to scenarios where other teams are disadvantaged dramatically from a decision not to forfeit, or more precisely when a decision to forfeit alters the rankings in such a way that a higher ranking in team is not able to reach a more advanced stage in the tournament.

    So much for the judicial aspects. I think I have explained it as precisely and simple as I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer
    Next, if we consider interim events (forfeiting a game during the course of the tournament) we have to evaluate benefits and losses on an ex ante basis which implies that one has to make an assumption on the risk attitude of the teams and on their belief on their relative standing compared to the other teams (this can be highlighted nicely in the current case: Norway would be stupid to object the non forfeiting of the Germany games given their win against GER. But before NOR-GER the Norwegians did object the non forfeiting because apparently the benefit of a forfeit -2 points being enough for NOR to go on to the quali stage- weighed more for them than the costs -taking only 1 point with them GIVEN they actually beat GER in regulation time and move on to the quali round).
    Moving on to the the more political aspects of the Jason Holland case, your game-theoretic analysis makes a number of good points. Rational choice analysis (incl. game-theoretic analysis) is valuable when we don't know exactly what was said at the meeting in the Directorate or if we don't trust that the participants were sincere (cf. the concealed preference problematique).

    However, I am not sure I agree with your analysis on Norway's motives for voting against a decision not to forfeit. I believe Norway's motives were more complicated:

    If the story of Tommy Jakobsen holds true, Norway's strategy did not go exactly according to plan. The strategic plan was to file a protest about the Jason Holland's ineligibility if (and your game theoretic analysis would say "if and only if) Norway lost to Germany. It is reasonable to believe that the Norwegian federation was convinced that the Directorate had no other choice than to forfeit all Germany's games. This would propel Norway to the qualifying round at the expense of Germany. In the event, Norway would bring along 1 point to the qualifying round. The Norwegian federation did not even think about starting with 4 points in the QR since this was not feasible if Germany's games were forfeited. Given that Norway was seeded in the toughest group in the IHWC, getting to the qualifying round, it should be stated, was in itself an accomplishment of the Norway's main objective.

    Unfortunately, after being informed about the situation, the German federation moved first, triggering an emergency meeting in the Directorate [i]before[i] the last round in Group C. The standings at this point looked like this: 1. Finland 5 points, 2. Germany 3 points, 3. Slovakia 3 points, 4. Norway 1 point.

    Slovakia's preference for a forfeit was trivial, as this would add 3 points to Slovakia's tally at the expense of Germany. Since a decision to forfeit would not add further benefits for Slovakia (SVK would in all circumstances bring 3 points + points gained in the later game vs Finland), it is safe to say, at least from a game-theoretic view, that Slovakia's primary objective was to avoid the relegation round. If Germany's games were not forfeited, Slovakia would end up in the relegation round if Norway beat Germany in regular time and Slovakia didn't earn any points vs Finland. As we all know, this nightmare scenario eventually became a reality for the Slovaks.

    Germany's preference for a non-forfeit was also trivial as it would maximize Germany's chances of avoiding the relegation round (if Finland, the favourite, beat Slovakia, Germany would likely not be send to the relegation round even if they lost to Norway).

    Though I haven't been informed about it yet, I believe Finland voted for the proposal not to forfeit. According to a rational choice perspective, this was not surprising, since non-forfeit would maximize Finland's chances of taking 6 points with them to the Qualifying Round. All Finland had to do was to beat Slovakia and hope that Germany would beat Norway. It didn't quite turn out that way, but Norway's victory over Germany was at time a minor surprise.

    Norway's motives for voting against a forfeit are more difficult to understand. The question is: what did Norway hope to achieve with a forfeit? In absolute terms, Norway would not gain any extra points (since J. Holland was not allowed to played in GER's last game vs NOR). In relative terms, however, Norway would be 1 point up against Germany before the final battle of avoiding the relegation round. The fact that a forfeit would propel Slovakia comfortably out of the relegation round zone was, apparently, not a concern for Norway, since Norway's chances of avoiding the relegation round were not depending on the outcome of FIN-SVK. In any event, Norway needed to beat Germany as to avoid the relegation round. From a game-theoretic, and perhaps also from a practical view, this extra point may be enough to explain Norway's motives for voting against a non-forfeit. If Germany's games were forfeited, Norway "only" needed to beat Germany in OT rather than in regular time (as in the non-forfeit scenario).

    But it doesn't explain the fact that Norway had a very strong preference for forfeiting Germany's games. 1 point up (corresponding to a 1-0 lead) can hardly be said to be a strong lead in a hockey game. I therefore suggest that we need to look beyond a game-theoretic analysis if we want to understand Norway's fierce resistance at the proposal not to forfeit Germany's games.

    At the Directorate meeting, Norway was represented by Petter Salsten, NIFH's assistant general secretary, but there is little doubt that it was NIFH's strong and flamboyant president, Ole-Jakob Libęk who pulled the strings.

    Having served many years as president of the Norwegian hockey federation, Ole-Jacob Libęk is one of the most experienced member federation representatives in the IIHF. He is also known for his despise for dirty politics. This was one of the reasons why he, after 10 years absence, was reelected as president to clean up the NIFH, which had become increasingly dominated by personal animosities and bad blood between those who wanted to serve the interests of the professional clubs and those who wanted to promote hockey as a general sport in the interests of the amateur clubs. Over the years, Ole-Jakob Libęk has taken a keen interest in IIHF affairs. In 1986, it was in fact Libęk who submitted a proposal to the IIHF to arrange a world championship for women. The proposal was quickly endorsed by Canada and USA, but Libęk still hard to climb a steep hill before the conservative hotshots of the IIHF were finally convinced. Besides his moral character, the top ranking IIHF officials' stubborn opposition to Libęk's vision in the second half of the 1980s is a reason why Libęk has never been a member of the IIHF's "inner circle".

    Given this, I was not surprised about what he said to Norwegian television after the Directorate meeting. Even if Norway didn't stand to lose a lot, Libęk was furious about the Directorate's decision.
    Libęk said "a small majority decided to take recourse to the exceptional clause, despite the fact that the rules were crystal clear!". "But I can see no reason why this was a "special case"; Libęk said. "Those who believe in this are only interested in maintaining a favourable ranking [karsten: a hint to Finland, I believe] or escaping a conflict with the powerful Germany". "In this situation", Libęk added, "only Canada and Norway managed to keep cool insisting that the rule book be respected".
    http://www.nrksport.no/ishockey/1.5605105
    http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/sp...cle2412994.ece

    I will take a closer look on your last post tomorrow.
    Last edited by Karsten; 12-05-2008 at 00:49.

  30. #30
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    Hej Karsten

    I'm more the guy for the maths and let you do the politics.... ;-)

    But as a I understood the Germans went public with the case after the 2nd round trying to minimize the damage done, right?

    Then from NOR perspective it makes sense to call for a forfeit because this would lift Slovakia against whom they have lost the head to head to 2nd place (and out of the relegation zone) and any win against Germany would do for them to avoid relegation.
    But if the Germany games were not forfeited only a 3 point win could lift them over SVK (given that SVK doesn't earn a point against Finland but in this case it would have been the Germans to end up fourth). This is what I think motivated (or at least should motivate a rational selfish utility maximizer who gives a sh** for rules and such stuff ;-) to be pro forfeit. However after the accomplished fact of them actually beating GER in regulation time (with big help from the ref) the situation changed and an ex post forfeiting of GER's games would have cost them 3 of their points for the race for the 1/4 finals so that's why I suppose they should/would not pursue the matter further.
    But I agree with you I guess they didnt even think about that and were mainly concerned to maximize the probability to avoid the play-downs.

    Having that said I surely admit that this is only the incentives they were facing in the narrow sense of pushing their team's fortunes in this very tournament. Other factors surely play a role as well - the big picture. Maybe you can shed light on that, you got the knowledge and the connections. The nerd I am I concentrate on the details...looking at the requirements in the special context of a tournament it is a an interesting problem by itself (checking what a plausible and compelling sounding principle of what a penalty should do and should not do implies about the possibility to use the penalty at all).
    Game theoretically this is a very interesting and rich environment. I'm pretty sure I am on the right track with my analysis still there is surely the one or the other error...and I'm sure one could work out everything much more general. Maybe I'll do that later, now I got still something to read ;-)

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    As we have discussed, a decision not to forfeit is often costly for other teams, but not always. In fact, the Jason Holland case constitutes one of those relative rare cases where a decision to forfeit would have no impact on the relative ranking among the other teams (cf. Scenario C in my first post). This is what makes the Directorate's decision really absurd.
    Hmmm, that I don't get. Your scenario C has Slovakia beat Finland but that wasn't the case.
    I have a look at it from the perspective of the preliminary round being over (ex post).
    Given the results we have seen the standings without forfeiting the first two GER games are:

    FIN 8
    NOR 4
    GER 3
    SVK 3

    points carried to quali round FIN 5, NOR 4, GER 0

    With forfeit (everything else unchanged):

    FIN 8
    SVK 6
    NOR 4
    GER 0

    points to quali round: FIN 5, SVK 3, NOR 1.

    So forfeiting the games hurts GER (which is ok), it helps SVK (which is ok too) but it also hurts NOR (they lose 3 points to carry with them, in fact they also drop one place in the ranking but this is irrelevant as only the points to be carried with are). This may not be according to the narrow definition of requirement b as you have written it down because in that way any trading off of benefits and costs of non-faulting teams is ruled out.

    But I guess I know where it comes from that you still say the directorate was wrong (which I support!).


    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Still, if a decision not to forfeit, often impacts negatively on other teams in the standings, when can the exceptional clause then be used, given that the team at fault must not take any benefits in the rankings?

    Here, the only clue, the clause provides is "in exceptional circumstances".

    Since "exceptional circumstances" is an ambiguous term, we need take recourse in the Vienna charter art. 32 which advices us to look back to the events that led to the formulation of the clause. I have not been able to check up on this, but I believe ElTres is right that it was the Miroslav Sikora case that led to the revision.
    From this case, we are informed that the exceptional clause only applies to scenarios where other teams are disadvantaged dramatically from a decision not to forfeit, or more precisely when a decision to forfeit alters the rankings in such a way that a higher ranking in team is not able to reach a more advanced stage in the tournament.
    Am I right to say that "dramarical" is the key word? In an (purely) economists slang I would say that the dramatical alters requirement b such that we are allowed make NOR pay the price for being able to I.) compensate Slovakia as the "victims" of the Germans breaking the rules and II.) for being able to give the Germans what they deserve according to the rules...

    I perfectly understand that and the way I see such tournaments, as an interdependent and rival system one needs to have such a rule otherwise you will hardly ever be able to use this sanction because the very narrow definition of requirement b (no trading off benefits and costs from non faulting teams, there may not be a single non faulting team that is made worse off even if it is just marginal) blocks it in too many cases.

    Jeg er tratt ;-)

  32. #32
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    Hej Karsten

    I'm more the guy for the maths and let you do the politics.... ;-)
    It is my belief that an understanding of law and politics is indispensable in this case. As I have explained, game theory can be used as a tool for the political analysis. ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    But as a I understood the Germans went public with the case after the 2nd round trying to minimize the damage done, right?
    Perhaps the Germans only went public to save face - better to admit yourself that you have cheated. We should not forget this moral aspect of the case. But I find it hard to believe that this was the only reason. As I have tried to explain Germany did (unlike Norway) have strong selfish reasons for voting for a non-forfeit as this would maximize their chances of avoiding the relegation round.

    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    Then from NOR perspective it makes sense to call for a forfeit because this would lift Slovakia against whom they have lost the head to head to 2nd place (and out of the relegation zone) and any win against Germany would do for them to avoid relegation.
    But if the Germany games were not forfeited only a 3 point win could lift them over SVK (given that SVK doesn't earn a point against Finland but in this case it would have been the Germans to end up fourth). This is what I think motivated (or at least should motivate a rational selfish utility maximizer who gives a sh** for rules and such stuff ;-) to be pro forfeit. However after the accomplished fact of them actually beating GER in regulation time (with big help from the ref) the situation changed and an ex post forfeiting of GER's games would have cost them 3 of their points for the race for the 1/4 finals so that's why I suppose they should/would not pursue the matter further.
    But I agree with you I guess they didnt even think about that and were mainly concerned to maximize the probability to avoid the play-downs.
    I am not sure I understand you here. The way I interpret the logic of this is that it would make sense for Norway not to call for a forfeit as this would maximize their chances of taking 4 points to the qualifying round. But Norway did insist on a forfeit, and very strongly. In any event, as I have explained, I think we have to move beyond rational choice (and game theory) to understand Norway's motives.

    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer
    Having that said I surely admit that this is only the incentives they were facing in the narrow sense of pushing their team's fortunes in this very tournament. Other factors surely play a role as well - the big picture. Maybe you can shed light on that, you got the knowledge and the connections. The nerd I am I concentrate on the details...looking at the requirements in the special context of a tournament it is a an interesting problem by itself (checking what a plausible and compelling sounding principle of what a penalty should do and should not do implies about the possibility to use the penalty at all).
    Game theoretically this is a very interesting and rich environment. I'm pretty sure I am on the right track with my analysis still there is surely the one or the other error...and I'm sure one could work out everything much more general. Maybe I'll do that later, now I got still something to read ;-)
    Game theory is indeed a very interesting and rich field, in particular after the institutional environment ("the rules of the game") has been incorporated into the analysis. The rules and sanctions stipulated in article 204 aims to make behavior of the participating players and member federations "incentive compatible" (to use a term from game theory). But before a game-theoretic analysis can be made, it is indispensable to have a good judicial understanding of how the article should be interpreted - as it defines the "rules of the game". Still, I think we have had a very fruitful discussion about whether article 204, 2a is indeed incentive compatible.

  33. #33
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    Sure, knowing the law and the institutions etc is essential....I don't know them so I concentrate on my "core competences" ;-)

    Again to the Norway case:

    You read it exactly opposite as I meant it. NOR should have (and actually did - for good reasons in that situation) push to forfeit the Germany games prior to the last game day because it would have made a 2 point win enough for them to survive (just as you have written, I just repeated it again). Only the accomplished fact of actually HAVING beaten Germany should have made them change their minds because of the 4 points...
    Ex ante I think they were giving much more weight to the fact that a forfeit would help them reach the quali round (even if it was just a small help) than to the fact that a non-forfeit would improve their prospect in the quali stage GIVEN that hey actually reach it (by beating GER in regulation time). That should have triggered their pro forfeit position.
    Guess we're exactly on the same pov here.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer
    Hmmm, that I don't get. Your scenario C has Slovakia beat Finland but that wasn't the case.
    I have a look at it from the perspective of the preliminary round being over (ex post).
    Given the results we have seen the standings without forfeiting the first two GER games are:
    Note again that the decision was taken prior to the FIN-SVK game. Therefore you need to look at it ex ante. In my study of the logic of the Directorate's justification for deciding not to forfeit, I established three scenarios for the outcome of the games in the last round. The conclusions reached were that

    • scenario A (Germany win over Norway, any result in the other game) did not give recourse to the use of the exceptional clause as Germany would take benefit of the decision by transferring the 3 points they had gained vs Slovakia to the QR.

    • Scenario B (NOR beats GER, FIN beats SVK), which would leave SVK and GER each with 3 points in case of a non-forfeit did also not give recourse to the exceptional clause, and for the same reason as in scenario A.

    • Scenario C (NOR beats GER, SVK beats FIN) was the only scenario that could give recourse to the exceptional clause as Germany would not benefit from a decision not to forfeit. However, as GER in this scenario would go the relegation round, no teams would benefit from a decision not to forfeit, rendering the recourse the exceptional clause meaningless

    Given the results of the first two rounds in Group C, the "space of feasible outcomes" that fall in under the exceptional clause was simply empty if the Directorate had followed the rules by the book.

    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer
    Am I right to say that "dramarical" is the key word? In an (purely) economists slang I would say that the dramatical alters requirement b such that we are allowed make NOR pay the price for being able to I.) compensate Slovakia as the "victims" of the Germans breaking the rules and II.) for being able to give the Germans what they deserve according to the rules...
    "Dramatic" is only a word that I use. But on the basis of the Sikora case, I think its safe to say that a forfeit must have such a effect on the ranking, that it pushes a lower ranking team to a more advanced stage in the tournament at the expense of a higher ranking team. Still, the principle that the team at fault must not take advantage of a decision not to forfeit, must be respected at all times.

    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer
    Guess we're exactly on the same pov here.
    Yes, given what I wrote in #29, We are indeed. Time to go to bed.
    Last edited by Karsten; 12-05-2008 at 10:10.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    My suspicion is that in these "asymmetric" cases you will just find a small number of cases where forfeiting games of A makes A the sole loser.

    If we however define the objectives of the teams not ordinally (teams care about their final rank) but cardinally (they care about the point differences to the other teams) than EVERY asymmetric forfeiting of games neceessarily violates requirement b.
    In the IHWC prelim round I consider this to be appropriate as points most likely matter because they are carried on to another stage of the tournament for a those teams who qualify. In that light I conclude that requirement b is too hard as it only allows forfeiting games of a faulting team in either trivial cases (the faulting team has lost the game anyway) or in the case of all games of the faulting team being forfeited and all of these games having ended with the same outcome (which is very rare).

    Hope I didn't make any mistakes but imho that's the structure of the problem. It is quite obvious that requirement b is too tough ti have it in the narrow sense as a necessary condition. A clause that allows some well defined trading off of benefits and costs imposed on non faulting teams by forfeiting games of a faulting team needs to be included imho. But that's what Karsten said anyway.
    Excellent analysis. The only problem with it that you are turning the judicial implications up side down: requirement b is not too tough, but rather too soft as forfeit will always impact on other teams. This has been our suspicion all along, but your analysis clarifies the issue by pointing out that it holds true if we look at the impact cardinally.

    Given what I said about the Sikora case, I am not sure it would stand in court.

    But your analysis is still extremely interesting. We have to keep in mind that decisions to forfeit or not to forfeit is not taken by a judicial body (IIHF's disciplinary committee). It is taken by a political body (the Directorate) and this opens the gate for political manipulation of article 204.

    When studying the Directorate's decision in the J. Holland case, political scientists would, in addition to the analysis of preferences (see post #29), look into coalitional patterns within the Directorate. The reason is that a decision requires a simple majority vote. What political scientist often neglects, however, is that any political decision has to be taken within "the shadow of the law". The decision needs to be compatible with IIHF's Statutes and Bylaws.

    What your analysis informs us is that if condition a) (the team at fault must not benefit from any rankings (any ranking would also include cardinal ranking) is fulfilled, then the interpretation of condition b) can easily be manipulated by a coalitional majority so it becomes compatible with the IIHF's Statutes and Bylaws.

    Still, there are limits to what a coalitional majority can do. If it justifies a decision not to forfeit with the negative impact a forfeit would have on cardinal ranking, it would be walking the thin line. Not only judicially, but also politically. A decision not to forfeit is also taken within the "shadow of the future", meaning that the majority would also needs to consider the implications of the decision for the IIHF in the future. As the cases of 1953, 1964 and 1987 informs us, any controversial decision triggers negative atmospheric effects on the cooperative environment in the IIHF. Such decisions may also damage the credibility of the IIHF in the eyes of its external stakeholders.

    All this doesn't challenge the conclusions of my judicial analysis. Since condition a) was not satisfied, any discussion of condition b) becomes irrelevant. As for condition b) a decision to forfeit did influence the cardinal ranking at the time it was taken (i.e. the standings before the last round), but as my analysis show, it is impossible to imagine a pair of results in the last round where it would have an impact (since condition a) is only satisfied in scenario C, and in this scenario, Germany's results would not be counted in the rankings transferred to the qualifying round.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    However, I don't think what am writing is false. Among hockey historians, it is well-known fact that the IIHF's history is paved with dirty politics, and the rumours that Rene Fasel have close ties with the German federation and less than friendly ties with other federation is also wellknown by close observers of what goes on in Zürich. I am sure that Marc (Branchu) can confirm this.
    It depends on what you would want me to confirm. About René Fasel friendly ties, I really don't know.
    What is sure is that German federation & sponsors are richer than Slovak federation. Of course it matters. It's like to organize the IHWC : who will bring more benefits, thus more money to IIHF programs ? Thus, Finland instead of Sweden last year.

    About IIHF history : I don't know about Magnus leaving because of dirty politics, I didn't say that.

    My impression about IIHF history : the best moment was under (Belgian) president Paul Loicq (1922/1939, or 1946 if you want), the LIHG was a stable organization and ice hockey developed a lot.

    Then, after War, Canada who took part in creating a concurrent organization, did seize power. 1946 : they obtained a compromise in 1946 with, among other things, English as second federation language and the rotating European / North American presidency.
    1947 : the Congress becomes a war. At stake : who will be American federation ? The old - purely amateur - federation (official for IOC) or the new federation (Canada puts its membership in the balance to get it recognized). The new one is chosen, thanks to Swiss help. General Secretary Poplimont resigns because he's disgusted by politics, nothing is left from old LIHG crew.
    1948 : Olympic Games, two different American federations send two different American teams. One is now LIHG/IIHF-official, the other one is IOC-official. The Swiss organizers (OG are in St Moritz) make the first one play, though IOC threatens to cancel all ice hockey results.
    From now on, LIHG/IIHF then IIHF becomes a very political organization.
    Swiss/Canadian/"new"-American wins for now, IOC president Avery Brundage waits for his revenge...
    He will get it in 1970 when Canada resigns from world championships because of IOC amateur rules being enforced by IIHF.

    Note : there were always problems with unclear rules and team voting about formula, especially in older days, even before dirty politics. Most voted for their own interests, of course...
    That's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise

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