Kuala Lumpur: The Indonesia International Challenge to be held in Jakarta between Aug 12 and 16 will be the first of the 31 badminton tournaments to test the 5x11 experimental scoring system this year.
The Dutch Open (Oct 7-12) in Almere is the highest category tournament -- at Grand Prix level -- that has volunteered for testing. Nineteen senior and 12 junior events have opted to try the new format.
No decision has been taken on whether a new scoring system will be adopted but in May, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Council determined there is enough interest in the matter to consider alternatives. The option of best-of-five games to 11 points (without setting) has been proposed as an alternative to the current 3x21 format which has been in effect since 2006.
Organisers of Level 3 and 4 tournaments have been given the opportunity to trial the system between Aug 1 and Nov 3. Thereafter, the council will evaluate the feedback and data from testing before deciding what happens next.
While there has been mixed reaction to this move, some member associations are keen to compare the two systems.
"We want our players to see how playing the 5x11 feels, what the change will be like, how they would be affected. The psychology and strategy will be different playing to 11 points instead of 21. They also need to get used to no setting if the score reaches 10-10," said Badminton Association of Indonesia`s (PBSI) International Relations Manager Rudy Roedyanto.
"We need the feedback from players to plan in case this is the new system. We want to know the reaction from players and fans and how long matches will take, especially if they are on TV."
Outlining the rationale for the decision, BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said they chose to test the option which is significantly different from what obtains now to assess whether it will create more excitement and interest while reducing the duration of matches.
He added that 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 excitement.
"We are not ruling out other possibilities and we will continue engaging our stakeholders and seeking their feedback from the testing. This is a very important and inclusive process in which we are involving players, member associations, commercial partners, media and other badminton-related entities," he said.