Badminton World Federation (BWF)

Players hit out at new ruling at German Open as BWF service law causes consternation

Chinese star Lin Dan is among the players to criticise the new law

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 March, 2018, 3:30pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 March, 2018, 11:01pm

Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan slammed the experimental service rule saying it does not come from the players and the coaches but “a few people in a room”.

The Chinese star is currently playing in the German Open in Mulheim where the new rule is being used by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for the first time and is expected to run until year-end.

“I have played major and small tournaments for more than 10 years and trained more than three decades and now the world body comes to teach us how to serve,” said Lin on Weibo. “To be honest, this is really absurd.”

The new rule states the whole of the shuttlecock must be held at a fixed height of 1.15 metres from the surface of the court at the instant of being hit by the server’s racket.

Before, players were not allowed to serve above their waist. World number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, who missed the tournament due to a surgery, is another top player that has spoken out against the new rule as the 1.94-metre towering player would be too disadvantaged to serve from that height.

Lin said many players at the German Open, including himself, were disadvantaged under the new rule and the focus of the match was no longer the players but match officials who could now decide the match. And the Beijing and London Olympic Games men’s singles champion went on to criticise the world governing body as the new rule has little scientific aids.

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“I would have thought the world body would use new technology to help implement the rule, but in the end it’s the judges who use their eyes to decide if your serve is foul or not. There is nothing like the ‘hawk eye’ which is so convincing,” he said.

“I’m not attacking the judges as this is their job responsibility, but I just want to ask the world governing body: what do you want to achieve? What’s the meaning of changing the rule? Is it for the sake of the better development of badminton? From the bottom of my heart, it is not!”

Lin, the second seed, will meet Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka-long in the quarter-finals of the tournament. The duo last met at the Hong Kong Open in November when Lin prevailed after three tough games in the second round.