KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are not at all happy with the way the Badminton World Federation (BWF) are making decisions without engaging member affiliates, with the latest being a move to switch shuttles.
The BWF announced on Monday that they have approved the use of synthetic feather shuttlecocks for all their sanctioned tournaments from 2021. That has caught the BAM by surprise.
“This is a big announcement as it can change the dynamics of the game but the BAM are unaware of this, ” coaching and training chairman Datuk Kenny Goh said.
“We heard the BWF conducted several tests but we were not engaged in the decision-making. We are one of the main stakeholders, but we only knew about the decision after the recent BWF statement.
“It would have been nice if we had been consulted and given more information about it.
“This is not the first time we have been left in the dark. We were also not engaged when the decision on the rally scoring format was approved before.
“Hopefully, there can be better communication in future.”
Kenny said he was not against the use of synthetic shuttlecocks. In fact, he is one of its advocates but he hoped the BWF would give their members time to test the shuttles in training sessions.
He also hoped the world body would experiment with the shuttles during some of the major tournaments after the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“Last year, it was only tested in three lower-ranked tournaments. Lee Chong Wei has tried it before but it was not during an official tournament. Testing it in top-level tournaments will give us a better idea, ” said Kenny.
It was tested at the Italian International, United States International Challenge and Indonesian International Challenge in 2018.
“Right now, everyone is focused on the Olympics (from July 24-Aug 9) but after that, I hope BWF will provide us with the new shuttles to be used during training, ” said Kenny.
“People are always resistant to change but I’m sure our players will adapt.”
The BWF’s collaboration with Yonex on developing their first synthetic shuttlecock is expected to ensure long-term sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
Traditional shuttlecocks are made from feathers plucked from live geese and are costly.
Although Yonex has had a headstart in terms of the technology, the world body have made it possible for other shuttlecock manufacturers to seek approval under the BWF equipment approval scheme for versions of their synthetic feather shuttlecocks to be used in international competitions.
“It’s important that this new synthetic shuttle is not dominated by one manufacturer. Eventually, the shuttlecock should also be cheaper for the general public, ” added Kenny.
Meanwhile, All-Indonesia Badminton Association’s (PBSI) international relations manager Bambang Rudy Roedyanto said they would write an official letter to the BWF to obtain more information.
“The PBSI are also unaware of this decision but we are supportive of it. We need time to get used to it – at least three months in training with the new shuttlecocks, ” said Rudy.
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