BWF proposes suite of changes to ‘enhance badminton’s future’
The Badminton World Federation, the sport’s international governing body, has revealed a range of proposed changes that it hopes will enhance the sport, as part of continued efforts to commercialise badminton.
The main enhancements, put forward by the BWF Council, include the introduction of a new scoring system that will consist of five games to 11 points, rather than the existing format of three games to 21.
In addition, the council has proposed that should there be a reduction in on-court coaching and a fixed height for serves.
The proposals will be put forward for approval at the BWF’s annual general meeting in May.
The BWF said today that it wants to “build greater suspense in badminton”, shorten the length of games and reduce the physical and mental stress on players.
The federation has sent out a document to its members detailing the proposal titled ‘Enhancing Badminton’s Future’.
The document sets out a “strategic, 360-degree approach” that will cover the following elements:
• Enriching fan experience – attracting new fans
• Raising the profiles of stars and emerging talent
• Increasing the commercial value of badminton
• Strengthening badminton’s global recognition as a cutting-edge sport
• Enhancing the quality of its broadcast product
• Innovating competition rules
The BWF’s latest bid to further commercialise its competitions follows the recent launch of a rebranded World Tour.
At the beginning of this year, the BWF unveiled its new World Tour series which features five levels of competition and “million-dollar” prize money in each of the top four events.
HSBC, the international banking giant, has signed on to become the title sponsor of the tour for the next four years.
The BWF has chosen Guangzhou in China as the host of the next four editions of the new season-ending World Tour Finals from 2018 to 2021, and Lund expects most commercial rights deals to cover that same four-year cycle.