BWF asks for more feedback after getting positive initial response to new service rule experiment

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BWF asks for more feedback after getting positive initial response to new service rule experiment

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SportsCafe Desk


The Badminton World Federation received positive feedback to the new fixed-height service rule experiment that was recently introduced on an experimental basis. While asking for more feedback, the BWF has decided to use the rule until the end of the year in all Grade 1 and 2 events of the BWF.

The Experimental Service Law (Fixed Height) states that “the whole of the shuttle shall be below 1.15 metres from the surface of the court at the instant of being hit by the server’s racket”. The rule was first used at the German Open earlier this month, and that was followed by the All England Open Badminton Championships. While some players openly criticised the rule, the BWF said in a press release that most feedbacks are positive and they are optimistic that the ongoing testing is the first step to making service rules simpler and more objective.

“The reaction from the global badminton community has been quite interesting. Feedback from umpires suggests the introduction of an instrument to help them in service-judging has helped. We have also noted some singles players have said they had no problem serving,” said BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund, reported Scroll.

The process of experimentation to know if it actually helps the game or not will also go on till the end of the year in all Grade 1 events – with the exception of the BWF World Junior Championships – and all the Grade 2 events (the BWF World Tour and Super 100 events), and continental championships.

While stating that the rule mostly got positive responses from various players, the governing body of the sport also acknowledged the critical views expressed by some players – especially the lanky shuttlers – on the new law, who complained that the new fixed height was too low for them. Some of the world’s top players including Viktor Axelsen and Lee Chong Wei have also criticised the new rule.

Among Indian shuttlers, the likes of PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Chirag Shetty, and Sikki Reddy have not been happy after the initial round of the experiment. Apart from players, coaches like Pullela Gopichand and Denmark’s Kenneth Jonassen have also criticised the rule.

“However, BWF cannot disregard years of feedback from players that there are problems around the consistency of service judging under the existing rules,” the release said.

“BWF generally agrees that existing service regulations provide a challenge for service judges to rule on all faults and this does not ensure the fairness which BWF is seeking to achieve,” it added.

However, the governing body is expecting more responses as the experimental period progresses till the end of the year and depending on further feedback, the BWF will rule whether the fixed height of 1.15 metres will be retained or will it be slightly higher.

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