Shuttlers smash proposed scoring changes

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Badminton does not need an alternative scoring system and tweaking the existing format would be "idiotic", according to a number of the world's top shuttlers.

The Badminton World Federation has opened discussion on the sidelines of the ongoing Thomas and Uber Cup in New Delhi, seeking views on a new scoring system that it hopes would make the game shorter, more exciting and television-friendly.

Under the existing format, the winner is the player who reaches 21 points, two clear of the opponent, in the best-of-three games.

The three alternatives BWF has suggested are two games of 21 following by a third of 11, three 15-point games and five games of nine points.

The proposal has already received a thumbs-down from the game's leading star and Chinese stalwart Lin Dan.

"I don't think making changes like this is good for the game," the two-time Olympic gold medallist said. "There is nothing wrong with the present system."

Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen was more forthright in his criticism of the proposal.

"I think it's a bad idea," the world number three said after his agonising 22-20 14-21 17-21 loss to Malaysian Lee Chong Wei in the Thomas Cup quarter-finals at the Siri Fort Complex on Thursday.

"You have games in 30 minutes and you also have in 70 minutes but that's the charm of the game.

"Who does not want to see us go down the stretch in a hour game? I think it's ridiculous... cutting the Thomas Cup ties is an idiotic idea."

Jorgensen pointed to his own intense hour-long fight against world number one Lee to prove his point.

"I don't see why we need that. I can see that with more exciting points but what I have played here is not exciting then I don't know what's exciting," said the Dane, still dripping sweat.

India head coach Pullela Gopichand also finds it a futile exercise.

"I don't see a need to tinker with the current format because the sport has become popular as it is," said the 2001 All-England champion.

"Neither the players nor the spectators are complaining about it, so why is it being talked about?"

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)