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Badminton World Federation Council mulls over changes in scoring system

The sport is currently undergoing a lot of changes in a bid to increase its quality and fan experience.

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News 15 Feb 2018, 00:03 IST
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The sport is currently in a phase of change

In a bid to enhance the fan experience and the quality of the sport, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Council is mulling over a few changes that will ensure that the shuttle sport remains competitive in the dynamic cutting-edge sports-entertainment industry. The world body has drawn up a list of changes that will be discussed at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) of members in Bangkok on May 19.

Three of the main proposals which will require the AGM’s endorsement are:

i) regularizing a new scoring system of 5 to 11,

ii) reducing on-court coaching; starting time-out options for players,

iii) introducing a fixed height for serves to bring in uniformity and minimize errors from service judges.

In a powerpoint presentation that details all the proposals, the BWF noted that the sport has had significant growth from 2010-2018 and now has viewership in 600 million households with 135 million shuttlers playing worldwide. But there are still challenges that the federation is facing, namely, longer matches and the increase of injuries of late.

To find a solution to these problems which have been plaguing the sport, the Council is looking to bring about the above-mentioned changes, which will contribute significantly to raising the profile of badminton and its players.

The 11x5 format scoring system has been in practice in the lower-tier tournaments, having been implemented on an experimental basis since 2014. Now the BWF is hoping to make it a permanent feature at all BWF-sanctioned world ranking tournaments with the World Junior Championships being the only junior event included in this.

However, not everybody has embraced the new scoring system. The Badminton Asia has rejected the idea according to reports and is keen on a 15-point scoring system.

The BWF is in the middle of innovating the system and sprucing it up before the new Olympic cycle begins in 2019. Doing away with the Superseries circuit and launching of the new BWF World Tour in 2018 was part of the plan as the world body continues to focus on optimising the presentation of badminton at the highest level.

A new service law that will have the whole of the shuttle below 1.15m from the surface of the court at the time of the serve will be tested for the first time at the upcoming All England Championships in March.

Endorsing the changes, the BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer has underlined the need to go bolder so that they can achieve the goal of realising badminton’s vast global potential.

“It’s time for change: time to bring in new peaks, more excitement and increase broadcast and fan appeal to embrace change and do what is best for badminton,” he said in a press release.

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