Kuala Lumpur: As the coronavirus global pandemic has literally refrained everyone in the world from doing their regular activities, forcing Badminton World Federation (BWF) to suspend a string of tournaments which would undoubtedly affect the players’ rankings, the world governing body for badminton has chosen to freeze the rankings points of all players.
BWF announced on Tuesday that they would use the standings as on March 17 to be the basis for entry and seeding when it restarts the international calendar.
Below was the official statement from BWF:
“The Badminton World Federation (BWF) can announce it will freeze World Rankings and World Junior Rankings until further notice.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the badminton community has experienced an unprecedented suspension to international tournaments from mid-March 2020 to the end of April 2020.
At present, it is difficult to predict when the next international tournament will take place with further tournaments also expected to be suspended in May and June.
The freezing of rankings will be backdated to Week 12, which is the week following the last international tournament that was played – the YONEX All England Open 2020.
The ranking lists issued on 17 March 2020 will serve as a basis for entry and seeding into the next international tournaments – although it is difficult to say at this stage when this may be.
BWF will provide more information in due course regarding the process as to how the rankings will eventually be ‘unfrozen’ following the commencement of the international circuit.
However, it is difficult to outline the exact procedure until we have an exact overview of what the international calendar will look like once play resumes and suspended tournaments have been rescheduled.
We are seeking to define a solution to unfreeze the rankings in a staggered way to avoid any extreme drop off of points from previous tournaments causing an extreme impact on the ranking structure.
BWF is liaising closely with the Athletes’ Commission on the unfortunate impacts of the COVID-19 situation upon players.
The Athletes’ Commission fully supports the freezing of the BWF World Ranking lists from Week 12, and agrees that the exact procedure for unfreezing the rankings will need to be determined based on more exact tournament calendar information presently under review.
BWF hopes to communicate more information on rescheduled tournaments in the coming weeks, which will also provide more clarity on the unfreezing of rankings once it is deemed safe to resume tournaments.
Following yesterday’s announcement to reschedule the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 23 July to 8 August 2021, BWF will now also initiate a review process to confirm any impacts on the Olympic qualification system.
Please note that the consequences of freezing the World Rankings will not apply to the Olympic qualification system.
This review process is expected to take several weeks upon which BWF will make a further announcement once all circumstances have been carefully considered.”
Meanwhile, BWF also in discussion with Spain to reschedule the 2021 World Championships after Tokyo Olympics were rescheduled to July 23 to August 8 of 2021.
“BWF is aware of the need to reschedule the World Championships 2021 normally staged in August with suitable alternatives being discussed with hosts Spain,” said BWF in a statement.