BWF Council has approved a proposal for an ‘experimental variation’ to the Laws of Badminton to forbid the use of the new ‘spin serve’ effective immediately until 29 May 2023.
The amendment to 9.1.5 of Section 4.1 of the BWF Laws of Badminton now states that the server shall release the shuttle without adding spin, and the server’s racket shall initially hit the base of the shuttle.
Any failure to adhere to the experimental variation to the law will result in a fault being called.
The interim ban takes effect at all BWF sanction international tournaments including the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023 starting Sunday 14 May 2023 and the PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2023 presented by DAIHATSU the following week.
The new ‘spin serve’ was first implemented in tournaments at the Polish Open 2023 in March.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said of the decision: “BWF welcomes players creating innovation in our game and experimenting with techniques to create competitive advantage on court.
“However, we have received several points of feedback from within the badminton community, including the BWF Athletes’ Commission, expressing that this ‘spin serve’ could have a negative impact on the game.
“It’s also been observed internally that this ‘spin serve’ has many similar characteristics to the ‘Sidek serve’, which is not allowed.
“An expert panel, therefore, recommended to disallow the ‘spin serve’ until further consultation could take place with the membership at the upcoming BWF AGM on 27 May 2023.
“BWF also wanted to avoid a scenario where the upcoming TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023, and other international tournaments, could be platforms to test the new ‘spin serve’ and ultimately disrupt the competitions.
“As such, BWF Council felt it best to impose this experimental variation to disallow the ‘spin serve’ until BWF Council convenes again on 29 May for further discussion and deliberation.”