Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) will test a new scoring system in the coming months that has five games of 11 points each with no setting.
The current system sees players competing in three games of 21 points each, setting at 30.
Following the BWF Council meeting May 30 in New Delhi, it was agreed to invite tournament hosts to trial this scoring option, starting from August. While no decision has been made on whether a new system will be adopted, the Council has determined that there is enough interest in the matter to consider alternatives and how these would alter badminton for players, fans and other stakeholders.
“Following consultations with players and BWF delegates about various scoring systems, there is merit in testing alternatives and we have chosen to test the 5×11 option which is significantly different from what we have now,” said BWF President Poul-Erik HÃ¸yer.
“In recent years, the increasing time span of matches and long lead-up to the end of games and matches, especially where there’s a big points difference, has somewhat compromised the level of excitement. The 5×11 scoring system is aimed at creating more excitement and interest while reducing match time.”
The 1996 Atlanta Olympics gold medallist explained further on the new format.
“The testing will show to what extent this can be achieved while maintaining the many positive elements of the present scoring system. However, we are not ruling out other possibilities and will continue engaging our stakeholders and seeking their feedback.”
The BWF are involving players, member associations, commercial partners, media and other badminton-related entities to help take this significant decision.
“If things go well, we may take things further but that decision has not been made yet. We have a Council meeting in November at which time we will evaluate the feedback and data that we get from this testing,” added HÃ¸yer.
Testing may take place at Level 3 and 4 tournaments — including Grand Prix events — and given the number of tournaments scheduled between August and November, there is a sizeable testing pool.
This is the first formal discussion of the scoring system since 2006 when BWF introduced the current system.
The BWF will also launch an online poll to gather opinions from fans. These views will also be considered at the Council’s year-end deliberations.
If there is to be a change before the Rio 2016 Olympics, this would have to be decided before the Olympic Qualification period which starts in May 2015.