WORLD CUP: FOUR RULE CHANGES TO BE TESTED
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July 30, 1997 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - The International Badminton Federation will
be testing four changes to the way top badminton matches are played at the
upcoming World Cup tournament scheduled for Jakarta from August 20 to 24. The
experiment with the rule changes was revealed by Datuk Punch Gunalan of
Malaysia who heads the federation's Open (competitions) committee.
The rule changes include a 90-second break after the eighth point and
after the game point is scored in the first game, and also after the eighth
point is scored in the third game, if the decider is played. (In women's
singles, the 90-second timeout will take place after the sixth point is scored
in all games plus another 90-second break after game point in the first game).
The present rule allowing a five-minute break between the second and third
games will be continued. Under current rules, play in a match is continuous,
except for this five-minute timeout.
Coaching will be permitted during the 90-second breaks as well as the long
timeout between the second and third games. As of now, coaching is only
allowed during the 5-minute interval.
One coach for each player or pair will be allowed to sit at courtside during
the match. Under current rules, coaches have to sit away from the playing area
usually among the spectators. Situating the coaches at courtside will allow
the players to easily obtain advice during the shorter breaks.
Coaching during a match though will continue to be illegal, except during
the 90-second and five-minute breaks.
The last rule experiment involves the setting, badminton's equivalent of
tiebreak or overtime. During the World Cup, setting will only be at 14-all
with the game going to the first player or pair to score three points (In
women's singles, setting will be at 10-all with the game going to the player
to score two points).
The badminton federation is continuing to experiment with timeouts in order
to accomodate television commercials. The coaching-related changes as well as
the timeouts are intended to improve the quality of play, although badminton
purists say that the timeouts will benefit the less-fit among the players.
The experimental change to the setting is in response to comments by newer
badminton fans who get confused with the current rules where setting may be
at 13-all for 5 points or 14-all for 3 points (9-all for 3 points and 10-all
for 2 points, in women's singles).
According to Datuk Gunalan, these rule changes will also be tried at all
tournaments in the Asian Badminton Federation satellite circuit.
A more radical change to badminton tournaments where matches are played on
a best of five nine-point games - the so-called 5 by 9 - will continue to be
tried in Europe, particularly in Norway.
COPYRIGHT 1997 by NEW SHUTTLENWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.