BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer says the proposed innovations to the sport ultimately have the players’ interests at heart and can collectively improve their futures in diverse ways.
Presenting an infographic – Focusing on Our Players – of the positive impacts which enhanced rules could have for players, he listed shorter matches, less physical pressure, longer playing careers and increased earnings among the primary benefits, especially for those competing at elite level.
“As outlined in our Strategic Plan 2016-2020, players are at the centre of our decisions and a significant part of our mandate is to provide the optimal environment in which they can flourish as professionals. At the same time, we must ensure badminton continues attracting and exciting fans in the competitive and cutting-edge sports-entertainment industry,” noted Høyer, urging stakeholders to absorb the detailed information which the BWF Council has circulated on its plans to upgrade the sport.
This latest step, he pointed out, is in keeping with BWF’s many initiatives to continuously advance badminton, including upgrading sports presentation, improving broadcast production, introducing innovative technology and increasing the sport’s commercial value. Elaborating on the three specific elements which the Council is seeking its membership’s approval to change, he reasoned that an enhanced scoring system (5×11); a reduction in on-court coaching; and a fixed-height service law will combine well for a more enriching player experience in addition to boosting the spectacle of the sport.
“Shorter matches will sharpen badminton as a commercial product and make it a more attractive television product. That translates into higher revenues and the resulting effect of that is higher player income.”
Regarding the fixed-height service law – currently being tested at BWF tournaments – Høyer stressed it is integral to ensure the greatest fairness possible in service judging and the ongoing experiment is a critical step in the right direction.
“This is another important matter for players and we want to find the best solution,” said the BWF President.