Primastuti Handayani, The Jakarta Post, Madrid
The International Badminton Federation has announced plans to hold 12 Super Series tournaments starting next year, each offering prize money of at least US$200,000. The season-ending Super Series Masters Final tournament is also on the calendar, with a minimum prize budget of $500,000.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF), which changed its name from the International Badminton Federation on Sunday, will sanction two tournaments in China and one each in England, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Switzerland.
Why is China getting two tournaments? Because they have been hosting five-star tournaments for the past three years and it is our policy to hold the Super Series only in countries that have hosted that level of competition, BWF Events Committee chair Paisan Rangsikitpho said Saturday.
The federation has also appointed Sports Media Promotions of Malaysia as its marketing partner for the events. There have been calls to improve the refereeing, including through the use of technology.
We're looking to improve, Rangsikitpho said. It's costly, so we're watching tennis right now to see what they're doing.
At the just-concluded World Badminton Championships, the umpires used touchpad notebook computers. The technology provides digital scoresheets and a scoring system. The new technology, Rangsikitpho said, would be used for the Super Series tournaments.
Competitors at the championships in Madrid raised concerns about the refereeing, especially that of the service judges and linesmen.
Indonesian men's singles star Taufik Hidayat, who got only a slap on the wrist for walking off the court to protest the line calls at the recent Hong Kong Open, has suggested the adoption of an instant replay system like that used in tennis. His suggestion was supported by Malaysian Lee Chong Wei, who had similar complaints.