Players at this year’s Indonesian Open will have an instant review system at their disposal for the first time in badminton history.
Following a vote by the Badminton World Federation Council last week to amend regulations to permit the introduction of a challenge structure, it has been decided the Jakarta event in June will be the “live” debut of instant reviews which will allow players to contest line calls.
BWF Deputy President and Chair of the Events Committee, Paisan Rangsikitpho, explained this will be a progressive development for the BWF World Superseries and badminton overall.
“There will be a test set-up at next month’s Sudirman Cup in Kuala Lumpur and thereafter the intention is to go live at the Indonesian Open. We are obviously still in an experimental phase so we will likely not implement instant-review technology in all tournaments right now.”
BWF, he noted, is keen to ensure “complete fairness” when it comes to line calls in the fast-paced sport.
“We are certain players will welcome this news as BWF continues its quest to be innovative and advance badminton. We have already received the full support of the BWF Athletes’ Commission which represents players.
“What we are doing is similar to other sports – the rules and principles are essentially the same as sports such as tennis, though the technology and process may differ slightly. At the end of the day we want to further enhance the integrity of match play and the decisions which are made,” said the Deputy President of the decision which was first revealed in the BWF quarterly newsletter, Shuttle World.
Reacting to the news, Chair of the BWF Athletes’ Commission Emma Mason hailed the instant review system as “an important development for our players and for badminton as a whole”.
“The inclusion of such modern technology brings badminton into line with leading sports such as tennis and football which are already using or implementing this type of system. The Athletes’ Commission looks forward to working closely with the players and the BWF to ensure the instant review system is a successful and valuable introduction to our sport,” she said.
While various review technologies are available, Rangsikitpho stressed BWF is focusing on how the challenge system will work while the world-governing federation “continues to look at the technologies on the market”.
“This decision is more about the rules than (about) the exact technology. We are still considering various options but it will be a camera-based system which makes it possible for a line-call referee to reassess the call with slow-motion technology.
“We want to get the mechanics of this operation working properly and ensure that both players and match officials understand how it should be done – step by step. That’s our priority right now,” he said.
Text by Gayle Alleyne | BWF