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Monday October 22, 2012

Proposal for badminton to have its own line technology

ODENSE: After much deliberation, badminton is likely to have its own technology – similiar to Hawk-Eye in tennis – for players to challenge line calls.

And there will be an improved format for the Olympic Games badminton competition too and an introduction of another new re-packaged badminton series – the Grand Prix Gold series which will offer lucrative money for the second echelon players.

And if the proposal to introduce the technology to minimise questionable line calls and other programmes get the thumbs-up from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) council next year, then 2014 will see badminton notching another milestone.

Yesterday, the BWF’s deputy president Paisan Rangsikitpho, who is also the chairman of events committee, said they had come up with a few proposals after several meetings, including the introduction of instant replay technology.

In the past, players had complained about many dubious calls by linesmen that had affected the quality and standard of the game and even led to arguments and tense situations.

“We are finally making the proposal for the use of this technology. We are not adopting Hawk-eye but are looking into investing in similiar technology – a combination of human and new scientific methods by an American company.

“It will involve huge costs but I believe it will be worth it. If the council approves, we will start by testing it in a few tournaments. We will start with one court and monitor it from then on.”

Paisan said that next year’s Olympic Games format would see some changes. There was a big uproar when BWF punished four women’s doubles pairs for throwing their matches during the London Olympic Games. Some acknowledged it as a good move but some questioned BWF’s rationale in creating a format that allowed the players to manipulate the results.

“We went through it thoroughly and decided that we are not scrapping the format completely but we will make some changes. We will stick with our group format as it was successful as we saw many quality matches,” he said.

“However, we are proposing for a fresh draw to be conducted after the group matches, so that there will not be any more loopholes for players to manipulate.”

Paisan, however, is more excited with the re-branding of their Grand Prix Gold. They are now looking at the GP Gold series, similiar to the Super Series. There will be 10-12 legs and the prize money will be increased.

“The GP Gold event usually see the participation of second tier players but we want them to make good money too. We will increase the prize money. We have reaped great success with our Super Series and we hope to create the same excitement in our GP Gold events,” he added.

Other proposals the committee also looked into are the strengthening of the world ranking processes, building better rapport with the players, looking at ways to promote the sport and encouraging more people to play badminton.

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