New scoring system best of 5 to 11

This week, at the Belgian Open in Leuven, I played my first tournament with the scoring system 5 games to 11. At the request of BWF this scoring system is tried out at 20 events between August and October. BWF has the intention to replace the present scoring system of 3 games to 21 by this new system because they want to shorten the matches. Long lasting matches wouldn’t be interesting enough for the spectators, for the same reason the media would have difficulties with it and above all it wouldn’t be exciting enough for the public because a game would only become attractive at a score of 18-18. (n.b. not my opinion but the BWF’s)

Considering the above mentioned arguments it is rather peculiar that the new system is being tested at future series (the lowest tournament level), at International Challenge level and a grand total of 2 Grand Prix tournaments!! At all these events you are lucky when there are a 100 people on the tribunes not to speak of the media who are hardly interested. BWF, what’s this all about? Why not testing the system at Super Series (Premier) level where you are assured of large crowds and a high attention of the media. And if you really want to try it you should confront the best players in the world with it at the most prestigious tournaments where thousands of fans and all the media are present.

Why should there be a change again in a scoring system which has been more than satisfactory for a great number of years? A soccer match lasts 90 minutes and at tennis the scoring system has been unchanged for many decades. And above all the experiment with the 5 games to 7 system, which was introduced in 2002, was a complete flop and abandoned not long after it had been introduced.

Besides the fact that I disagree with BWF about this system I really experience this points system as a setback for our sport because Badminton is no longer the very heavy sport where also endurance and fitness can make the difference between winning and losing. In the new system the emphasis will be on the mental aspect of the sport, the underdog will have a bigger chance to win and rallies will be shorter as the stress level will be higher. Last but not least the badminton player leaves the court after a match with a feeling of having barely played. In my view all these aspects imply a deterioration i.s.o. an improvement. It will be clear that I am AGAINST the introduction of this system.

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