Tue, 04 Sep 2001

New scoring system fails to invite ads: Official

JAKARTA (JP): The badminton's new scoring system, which the Asian countries have asked badminton's world governing body, the IBF, to drop, has failed to lure advertisements as expected, a top official of the organization says.

"One of the reasons behind the inception of the new scoring system was that a game would be shorter and that there would consequently be more opportunity for commercial breaks between sets," IBF Vice-President Justian Suhandinata told reporters here on Monday.

"A game is wrapped up in 20 percent to 25 percent less time now than under the old scoring system," Justian said, adding that although there were more breaks during a broadcast, the sport was far from luring sponsors.

"The game has become uninteresting, especially in the men's doubles as it finishes too soon. The (doubles) players have even complained about this," Justian said.

Justian talked to reporters after briefing the media on the history of Tangkas Bogasari badminton club that he is leading, in line with the club's 50th anniversary.

The new best-of-five-game scoring system, in which a game is not sealed until a player has won three sets, was introduced in June and was first played at the Swiss Open.

The new system requires 7 points, compared with 15 previously, for one set.

Apart from the assumption that the new system had been inspired by European members in their attempt to shake Asia's domination of the game, tournament results have justified the Asian players' invincibility.

However, the Asian Badminton Confederation (ABC) countries, led by China, South Korea and Malaysia, have objected to its continuation and have demanded that the old one be reinstated.

In its meeting in Manila, the confederation voiced its objections, saying that the new system had failed to live up to expectations.

Justian said that the IBF, which had not been officially notified, would discuss the issue at its annual meeting in Lima, with a date to be announced later.

"We will talk about it at the board meeting. It will be discussed further by the tournament commission and a decision will be taken at the plenary meeting, probably in Manila," said Justian, who is a member of the five-strong tournament commission.

While he was sure that Asia's voice was strong enough, given the fact that 11 of the 25-member counselors are from Asia, he refused to speculate yet on whether the IBF would accommodate ABC's demand. He said only that IBF would accommodate ABC's aspirations.

"I'm not taking anyone's side. I merely want to say, is it not too early to express an objection? Why do they not allow more time for it to be tested, before they decide if it is suitable or not?" he said. (01)