Why New Rule Changes in Badminton Are a Big Threat to The Sport 

Changes in the scoring system, a standard height for serves and compulsory events for top players are what BWF want.

2 min read

International badminton. The rivalries, the competitiveness, the quality of the sport, are all under threat from the very people who run it.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is apparently so worried about the future of the sport that they are in the process of making some big changes to ‘increase competitiveness’ and ‘enrich the fan experience’.

Here are a few of the changes, some that have already been implemented and some that may find their way to the circuit, if passed, at the Annual General Meeting this May.

  • The scoring systems of all matches could see a big overhaul. The BWF President has proposed to switch from the current best-of-three-games 21-point format and move to a best-of-five format with the winner closing the game at 11 points.
  • Starting with The All England Championships in March this year, all players’ serves will need to start no higher than 1.15 metres above the court. No matter their height. So a 6 ft 4 tall Viktor Axelsen will have the same height limit for his serve as a 5 ft 4 Saina Nehwal.
  • 2018 onwards, a new rule has been implemented by the BWF, which makes it compulsory for the top 15 players to play at least 12 events a season or else face heavy fines. The 12 tournaments though do not include the CWG or Asian Games and effectively leaves Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth playing almost 16-17 events a season, leaving no time for recovery or injury management.

The changes are being criticised by many as an almost ‘T20-isation’ of badminton and we explain in the video above why most could pose a major threat to the sport.

(Edited by Ashish MacCune)

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