Wanna hear a tale of sport at its absolute dumbest? In December 2015, two clubs competing in the regular season of EuroLeague — Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv and Turkey’s Darüşşafaka S.K. — found themselves in a bizarre situation. One of them would advance to the next round of EuroLeague, an that outcome depended on the result of not just the game they were playing, but a prior game Darüşşafaka had won by 11 points. A Maccabi win would tie them in the standings, and aggregate head-to-head scoring would be the tie breaker. Thus, Maccabi needed not only to win, but to win by 11 or more.
With less than a minute to go in the game, the score was tied. Maccabi realized they didn’t have enough time to build an 11-point lead, but they also realized that if the game went to overtime, they’d have an extra 5 minutes with which to maybe accomplish that goal. Thus, they began playing not to win, not to lose, but to tie. It got weird, and it was complicated by a rule forbidding scoring on your own basket, which has a story of its own.
Find out the whole story of Maccabi’s strategy (which — spoiler — obviously didn’t work) above and check out more episodes of Weird Rules here. And if you’re interested, there’s some footage of the actual occasion on YouTube as well.