Filepic of Lee Chong Wei in Japan Open, June 14. The World No. 1 is having reservation on the new 11 x 5 scoring format to be introduced by BWF starting in August. - EPA
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei has mixed feelings over the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) proposal to test out a new scoring format – 11 points in a best-of-five games – from August.
The BWF have decided to experiment the new scoring system from Aug 1 to Nov 2 for all their level three and four tournaments like the Grand Prix Gold and satellite tournaments.
If the world body decide to adopt it at their council meeting in November, the format will be used at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Currently, the BWF are using the 21-point over three games format, which was introduced in 2006.
World No. 1 Chong Wei said that while the changes could be good for the sport, it also meant that seasoned campaigners like him had to come out of their comfort zone by changing their approaches.
“I have grown so comfortable playing under the 21-point format. At my age now, changes can be a challenge,” admitted the 31-year-old Chong Wei.
“I would like to get the feedback from the players about the new format and see how the players adapt to this system.”
Under the 5x11 format, there is no deuce and there is an interval of two minutes after every game.
“I have played under the 11 points before – at the China League. There is no deuce,” he said.
“It is exciting but put loads of pressure on the players. The success of a player depends on his speed and power. There are too many breaks too, which is good for older players like me.
“Old timers like me will have to change the tactical game to adjust to the shorter game. Actually, it will open up the game in the men’s singles as everyone will have to start from the scratch again.
“The BWF want to shorten the game to save time and make it television-friendly. Sometimes, the women’s doubles matches can go on and on. Under this new format, a match may not go on for more than an hour. It will be good for the spectators,” added Chong Wei.
Meanwhile, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary Ng Chin Chai said Malaysia would try out the new format system at the Maybank Malaysian International Youth Under-19 Championships in Likas, Sabah, from Sept 9-14.