Badminton Life

BWF Tapping New Sponsors While Looking at Hawk-Eye Technology

With badminton's inaugural Super Series Grand Final yet to be played five months after its scheduled date, the world governing body is hoping that it can boost confidence in the sport's mainstream circuit.

As such, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) is talking with a potential new sponsor for the Super Series. They are also pondering the possibility of introducing the hawk-eye technology for badminton in the near future.

With last year's Grand Final now appearing to be lost, BWF is looking ahead for the next edition. Secretary general Stuart Borrie said there is some interest in sponsoring the remaining tournaments this year as well as 12 events next season.

"As for last year's Grand Final, the federation decided that it would not be organised. However, with a new title sponsor, the grand finals for this year and next year will be held as scheduled," Borrie told journalists.

The Super Series was launched in January 2007 while being billed as a new era for international badminton, with players able to earn higher prize money and tournaments being organised in a more professional manner.

However, sponsorship was difficult to secure and not all tournament organisers were able to fulfill their obligations, with different countries producing various levels of success.

It resulted in the embarrassing loss of the Grand Final, originally scheduled for the Middle East but eventually scrapped because of the lack of sponsorship.

Borrie also said that BWF is looking at the hawk-eye technology to decide line-calls closely. This follows a nasty incident at January's Korean Open where there were some disputed line-calls in the final where local player Lee Hyun-il defeated China's Lin Dan.

"We have had discussions with the holders of the rights of the hawk-eye during the All-England in March and conducted a feasibility study," said Borrie.

"We found that it was possible to implement it in badminton. We have accepted the system and working towards introducing it into the sport."

The introduction of hawk-eye as well training of line judges will help to boost the standard of refereeing and judging across the board, he said.

"We have currently implemented neutral line judges, umpires and referees in all events to ensure there's no conflict of interest between host countries and shuttlers," said Borrie.

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