Kuala Lumpur: After receiving constructive criticism from world’s top badminton players such as Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei, Viktor Axelsen, Carolina Marin, Saina Nehwal and many more about the crazily congested 2018 schedule that required world’s top 15 players in the singles events and top 10 pairs in the doubles to play a minimum of 12 tournaments, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said it would review the 2018 schedule during its Annual General Meeting in Bangkok in May.
The new BWF tournament structure called “World Tour” that was designed to replace the Super Series and Super Series Premier, made it compulsory to top players to play in at least 12 of the Super1000, Super750 or Super500 tournaments.
Vishu Toolan who is also the BWF Vice President – Pan America division acknowledged that they would review the schedule after hearing feedbacks from the players.
“We are listening to the feedbacks from the players. We would be reviewing it. At the same time, we have brought in some really big sponsorships. We want to establish a viable tour from which all players can benefit. We have to try to maximize their earning potential by exposing them to more matches,” said Toolan of Jamaica.
“Badminton is growing and HSBC is our commercial partners, there would be more money coming for players and we have some responsibility to our sponsors and public to make the game more attractive and faster.”
“We are also not going to sacrifice the players. BWF meets twice a year and we would be looking at it be in May at Bangkok. I am not saying that we would change it but it will come up for discussion,” added Toolan.
“We had Super Series for 10 years, it’s a long time. We need to change it because we don’t have a perfect system or a perfect solution.”
Toolan also briefly touched about the proposed 11×5 point system, he said: “The 11 point system is on the cards and it is something that’s been discussed. We would listen to the players and see if it is possible to do that.”
BadmintonPlanet.com think BWF is at a crossroads, where it is trying to spread the popularity of badminton to locations such as North America or European countries too much and hopping to see the impact in a short under an unrealistic time-line.
To make a sport popular, BWF has to understand that it takes time, money and some form of popular cultural representations. Since the sport is so popular and most of the top badminton players are from Asia, when these players starting to play passively (because they have to, or they’ll face fine from BWF), BWF is at risk of alienating fans and corporate sponsors even further in Asia.
If BWF let this mess continue to evolve in unforeseen ways, the interest in the sport will eventually dwindle, and badminton will slowly become a dying sport that no one wants to play or watch.