A sneak peek at BWF’s new service fault detection device

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The new service fault detection device may be a convenient tool for service judge to call service faults, but not flawless. (photo: Weibo)
The new service fault detection device may be a convenient tool for service judge to call service faults, but not flawless. (photo: Weibo)

Kuala Lumpur: After the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Council meeting that was held in Jamaica last month, the badminton’s world governing body has decided that they are going to implement a new service rule where the shuttlecock must be below 1.15m from the surface of the court at the moment the racket hits the shuttlecock.

The new rule will be used at the 2018 All England Open Championships in March and will also start testing the new rule in prestigious tournaments, including BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals in Bangkok and BWF World Championships in Nanjing next year.

All Grade 1 events – except the BWF World Junior Championships – will be fully tested as will Grade 2 events (the new BWF tournament series) and continental championships in April.

The previous rule, on the other hand, indicated shuttlecock must be below players’ waist when it is hit. In other words, the maximum height should be at the players’ lowest ribcage.

A sneak peek of the new service fault detection device, instead of relying on modern technology such as laser beam detector or sensors to measure distances and heights, it is just a metal stand (see picture 1 and 2) with a piece of transparent plastic and has a black line indicating the distance of 1.15 meters from the ground, which could still subject to human error.

During the serve, the service judge would have to look through the transparent plastic to ensure players’ racket do not exceed the black line (see picture 3).

Meanwhile, BWF has promised to provide sufficient device to every country’s badminton association in January 2018 so that they could facilitate BWF’s new service rule and host tournaments as two of such measurement devices are required at one court.

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