Just months after introducing the World Tour calendar, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) is now planning to introduce further tweaks to the sport, which includes changes to the scoring system and a reduction in on-court coaching.
File photo of BWF logo. Twitter: @bwfmedia
A special edition of the BWF newsletter has been distributed to outline the rationale behind the proposed changes, including the goal of building greater suspense in badminton; shortening the length of matches and reducing physical and mental stress on players. Under the banner 'Enhancing Badminton's Future', the document also highlights other considerations regarding boosting badminton's commercial value and sports presentation. The proposals will come up for discussion and voting at BWF's Annual General Meeting, scheduled to be held on 19 May in Bangkok.
The current 21x3 scoring format was introduced in 2006. However, the BWF feels that the matches are becoming too long. Perhaps television has a role to play as the governing body has been experimenting the 11x5 scoring system since 2014 in various tournaments and now it seems they will use this for all major events. "Changing the scoring system " with the specific focus on elite international tournaments " is an essential part of this strategic, multi-dimensional plan to innovate our competition rules," BWF president Poul-Erik Hoyer said in a release on Wednesday.
"Our aim is to enhance and enrich our sport with wide-ranging initiatives that will realise badminton's vast global potential; taking it to unprecedented heights in all spheres. It's time for change: time to bring in new peaks, more excitement and increase broadcast and fan appeal," he added.
At the AGM in Bangkok, it is believed that the members will discuss the governing body's proposal for reducing the on-court coaching at length. The BWF is planning to pitch the 'time-out' options for the shuttlers and will approve the new service rule with a fixed 1.15-metre height, which is set to be introduced as an experiment at the forthcoming All England Open in Birmingham next month. Furthermore, the presentation adds that the key objective of the proposed system includes building suspense quicker, increasing the excitement and shortening the length of matches to optimise television broadcast.
Should the BWF members approve the changes, they could come into force for the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification process in 2019. Last month, BWF came out with a rejigged schedule for the 2018 season, with banking group HSBC replacing MetLife as a principal global partner. Guangzhou was named as the host of the newly-named World Tour Finals.