BWF optimistic of fixed-height service rule

Updated 2018-03-23 10:59:05 Xinhua

The Badminton World Federation is optimistic that the experimental service law can help make service judging "simpler and more objective" amid some players' complaints.

BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said Thursday on its official website that, after testing the fixed-height (1.15 metres) service at two events so far, the world-governing body has received initial feedback from technical officials which has been positive and informative.

"Feedback from umpires suggests the introduction of an instrument to help them in service-judging has helped," said Lund.

"We have also noted some singles players have said they had no problem serving," he added.

The experimental rule mandates that "the whole of the shuttle shall be below 1.15 metres from the surface of the court at the instant of being hit by the server's racket".

A couple of high-profile players, including 2012 Olympic champion Lin Dan of China and Denmark's world champion Viktor Axelsen, have expressed opposition publicly and Axelsen, 1.94 metres in height, posted a video on social media, in which he mocked the rule by serving on his knees.

"Obviously, any time change is proposed – especially to such an essential aspect of a sport – there will be a wide range of views. We will take all of these into account." Lund responded to the complaints.

"There have long been complaints regarding the service laws in badminton and BWF wants to ensure greater fairness in service judging and that's how the laws are applied," he said.

He also stressed that before the experiments, there had been detailed consultation with "top coaches from a number of badminton's powerhouse countries".

Following the Badminton Association of Malaysia's proposal last year to try fixed-height serving, to which BWF member associations agreed, BWF started the testing at the German Open on March 6, followed by last week's All England Open Badminton Championships.

Testing is expected to run until the end of the year.

According to Lund, BWF will determine "if 1.15 metres is the correct height or if it should be slightly higher" depending on further feedback.

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