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Voting for competing answers (Sportsmanship badge)

my understanding of the Sportsmanship Badge (for up voting 100 competing answers) is that your answer must have a positive score and not be deleted.

Sometimes I answer a question at roughly the same time as another user, and the other person put in more details, so I delete my answer in favor of the other. On occasion, this will happen after we both get voted up.

Less often, but not uncommon, I'll answer a question, get a few up votes, then some one comes along and types out a beautifully detailed answer that encompasses mine and goes far beyond it. In some of those cases, I'll delete my answer since that answer makes mine obsolete.

My suggestion for the badge rules is that if you delete your answer that has a positive score and vote up a subsequent answer, then that should count towards the sportsmanship badge.

Any thoughts?

1 Answer 1


By requiring that competing answers have a positive score, be associated with the user's name, and be open to ongoing voting, the badge rules ensure a certain minimum quality level to prevent gaming.

While your use case is entirely appropriate and defensible, allowing deleted answers to count towards the Sportsmanship badge would create a loophole for less responsible users. By simply throwing weak opportunistic answers at fresh questions, waiting a bit, and then deleting them whether they get upvoted or not (and of course upvoting competing answers) somebody could earn the badge relatively quickly without having any of those bad answers open to scrutiny. The answers won't be associated with their name and the answers won't be eligible for further voting.

So to earn the Sportsmanship badge, you must be proud enough of your answers to let them stick around and the answers must be good enough to stay above zero until you get the badge. Relaxing these restrictions might unfortunately encourage a handful of badge-greedy people to post a lot of mediocre answers with little or no consequences.

  • I hadn't considered the point that votes are frozen on deleted questions. However, I think that a user trying to game the system for this badge isn't likely to delete an answer that earned him 10 points (from the up vote), so I wonder how valid that concern is. Still, you make a very good point.
    – PengOne
    Jul 21, 2011 at 20:36
  • 1
    Does not sound as a rational behaviour to me, too. Jan 12, 2012 at 2:28

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