BWF’s 11×5 format receive mixed responses from players and coaches

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Hendrawan takes wait-and-see attitude toward the 11x5 scoring format. (photo: BAM)
Hendrawan takes wait-and-see attitude toward the 11x5 scoring format. (photo: BAM)

Kuala Lumpur: In May 2018, Badminton World Federation (BWF) failed to pass its best-of-five 11-point games format proposal at its annual general meeting, when it received 129 votes that agreed to the change, but 123 votes that opposed the amendment; which less than two-thirds majority required to implement the new scoring system.

However, the 11×5 format has recently become a hot topic again after BWF’s president Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen’s latest attempt to replace the existing 21×3 scoring format, citing the 11×5 scoring format would make the sport shorter and more exciting. Larsen’s suggestion has drawn mixed reactions from players and coaches from the Malaysian national team.

Malaysia’s national men’s singles chief coach Hendrawan said that changing the scoring system would benefit players with attacking playing style.

“If it does happen, we are going to see a lot surprising results with new players emerging to the top quickly while it would also prolong the career of older players,” said Hendrawan.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann was also quick to point out that the reason for the 11×5 system was similar to the 7×5 format which was introduced back in 2002 aiming to shorten the length of a match. However, the 7×5 format was a disaster and only lasted almost a year before the 15×3 system was reinstated.

“I have played the 7×5 format and before you even get into your rhythm, the match was over. Sometimes, it took less than 20 minutes if the match was won in three games,” said Wong.

Nevertheless, Malaysia’s Rio Olympics mixed doubles silver medalist Chan Peng Soon thought the 11×5 scoring system could deliver something positive elements to the sport of badminton.

“We have been using the 21-point system for a while, it’s time to try something new,” said Chan.

“The fans, coaches, and players are going to be excited, and will be trying to figure out the best playing style for the new format,” added Chan.

In 2018, then World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen was strongly against the 11×3 format as he said the 11×5 format could disrupt the physically grueling aspect of competition and make it less interesting to watch.

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