YEC Round Robin format which avoids dead matches and tanking
I've been giving this some thought and have come up with an idea that keeps the existing two groups with a round robin but I think would avoid tanking.
Basically the idea is that meaningless matches just won't be played. And the existing H2H, sets and games rules to decide when players have the same number of points should only be used for less important things like the order #1, #2 in the group. They should not be used to decide who goes through. But a series of very short matches consisting of just a longer (up to 12 points) tie breaker matches should decide this. So players can never work out in advance they only need say 4 games to go through.
Here's the detail of my proposal: We have players A, B, C & D in the group. They each play 2 matches in there group as before with 2 points for a win - but then it all depends on the score what happens next. There are 4 possible scenarios how the scores are distributed after 2 matches. For the sake of argument let's say the 4 numbers represent player A, B, C, D in that order:
Scenario 1: 4 - 4 - 0 - 0
Scenario 2: 2 - 2 - 2 - 2
Scenario 3: 4 - 2 - 2 - 0 and player A (4) has not yet played player D (0)
Scenario 4: 4 - 2 - 2 - 0 and player A (4) has already played player D (0)
Scenario 1: 4 - 4 - 0 - 0:
Let players C & D fight out who gets the wooden spoon as before.
But A & B have qualified so don't play their match. They get a well deserved rest. Use the existing sets and games rules to decide who get #1 and who gets #2 in the group. If those rules don't break the deadlock - then whoever qualified for the YEC higher gets the #1 in the group.
Scenario 2: 2 - 2 - 2 - 2:
Nothing's decided. All players play their third matches like they do with the format now. Both players who get through to the semis have to win this match - so no tanking here.
Scenario 3: 4 - 2 - 2 - 0 and player A has not yet played player D:
Player A(4) is already through and player D(0) is definitely out - so don't play this meaningless match. Player A is placed #1 in the group and gets a well earned rest. Players B & C must play as they would have to now - and whoever wins would go through with 4 points and as #2 in the group. Again no tanking.
Scenario 4: 4 - 2 - 2 - 0 and player A has already played player D:
Player A(4) must play one of the players who has won a match with 2 points. So these 3rd matches must both be played - but player A with 4 points must play her match first. Then she won't know whether if she loses there will be a 3-way tie on 4 points and a series of tie breakers to decide. So she won't tank her match but want to make sure of her place with 3 wins - 6 points.
After this match we may get:
6 - 4 - 2 - 0 or 4 - 4 - 2 - 2 which exiting rules can take care of.
But we might get 4 - 4 - 4 - 0 in which case we play tie breakers:
In these tie breakers each player plays the other two players. But all it is is a tie breaker up to say 12 points (more than 7 anyway).
After these tie breakers we may get:
2 - 1 - 0 and have resolved who is #1 #2 #3 in the group. Or:
1 - 1 - 1 in which case look to the players with the greatest number of points in their losing tie break match to get a provisional order for the 3 players:
Let's say A >= B >= C - note there may be equalities. All three players may have won 5 points in the tie break they lost.
If there are equalities just use there place they qualified for the YEC to resolve them.
That give say A > B > C but that we won't define the order in the group yet otherwise players could have played to lose their tie break when they had won sufficient points.
Having got A > B > C - the top 2 play:- so A plays another tie break against B and whoever wins is #1 in the group. But whoever loses will still get another chance. Say B loses. B now plays C in a tie break and whoever wins goes through as number #2 in the group and whoever loses doesn't make it. So A & B both get 2 chances to go through but C only gets one chance.
With this system it never pays to lose. In the end you must win either a match or a tie breaker to go through. You might sometimes get another chance if you lose. But you cannot go through if in the last match or tie break you play you lose.