Kuala Lumpur: Despite good intentions, from constant efforts to change the scoring system of badminton to the “smart idea” of US$400,000 Player Incentive Scheme introduced by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday, in a bid to make the sport more attractive; these moves showed just how out of touch with reality BWF really is.
The scoring system was changed from 15×3 serve points to 7×5 serve points in 2002; back to 15×3 serve points before the existing rally system from 2005.
On May 22, folks in BWF again were discussing three new scoring-system options: a best of five games of nine points, best of three of 15 points and first two games of 21 points followed by an 11-point decider if required.
In addition, BWF launched a Player Incentive Scheme yesterday, with cash payouts to players who participate in various activities held concurrently with the Superseries, such as some pre-tournament shows, socialization with media, photo and autograph sessions, blah blah blah.
This was what BWF president Poul-Erik Hoyer said at the press conference. “Players are the key to badminton, we want to reward them for their help in promoting World Superseries through engaging with the media, fans and sponsors – these are all main factors in promoting professional sports.”
Let me tell you this – Poul-Erik Hoyer: First, the most important thing for players like Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan during each tournament is rest (you were in their shoes before,you should know this better than anyone else). Players need a lot of rest especially if they just finished a hard-fought match; Second, they need focus, they need to start preparing for their next match asap based on their game schedule and their next opponents; Third, players like Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan don’t really care about your bonus and extra reward points, they already made enough money and earned enough points. Unless these are quick and short activities, otherwise, it’ll take a toll on the shuttlers.
Badminton will get a lot of media coverage automatically if BWF could make its prize-money structure the same or pretty close to Tennis, Formula One or Golf. I felt really sad when I read about Nguyen Tien Minh learnt badminton by watching Youtube and learned that some European players are struggling financially because badminton’s prize-money just couldn’t cover their living expenses.
Lastly, I have been watching Badminton since I was a kid, I love this sport very very much. I was hoping before I die, Badminton could one day evolve into an internationally prominent sport like Tennis. However, with these guys at BWF, I’ll have to bring this hope with me to my next life. BWF, contact BadmintonPlanet.com if you need help in promoting Badminton!