Changes to the Laws
Only a handful of small changes were made to the laws, but you will be pleased to know that these included the strange wordings introduced some time ago that had us all a bit flummoxed!
In particular, Law 13.3.2, which previously stated that it is a fault if, in play, the shuttle fails to pass over the net between the net posts, has had "between the net posts" removed. This will please those who saw the "between the posts" as literally between the actual physical posts, which would mean that no shot is technically legal. It will also please those who argued that, from the umpire's perspective at the side of the court in line with the net, it would be totally impossible to know or judge whether a shuttle that appears to pass over the net near the sideline actually passed between the posts or over the post or outside the post.
Also, Law 16.7 has been changed to remove the strange wording: "One such fault followed by a warning ... shall be considered to be a persistent offence". As you know, a side cannot receive a warning (yellow card), followed by a fault (red card), followed by another warning (yellow card). If they have been issued a yellow, and then a red card, the next infringement by the side should illicit another red card, which used to be the definition of a persistent offence. In the past it was only for a persistent offence, a flagrant offence or a breach of Law 16.2 (intervals) that the umpire was obliged to call the referee onto court and report the incident. Now, the referee should be called on the first red card, so the need for the "persistent offence" wording has evaporated.
Please note that the wording of the whole of Law 16.7 has changed around a bit, so be sure to go to our Laws page and look at how it is written now. In particular, there is now a 126.96.36.199, which talks about flagrant offences and breach of Law 16.2, and the old 16.7.2 (which previously spoke of flagrant offences, etc.) now refers to the reporting of an offending side to the referee.
Changes to the Appendices
Many of the changes recorded on the BWF documentation for this section relate to regulations and so do not fall within our remit. However, there are two sets of changes that do affect umpires.
Appendix 7 of the Laws, which was introduced not too long ago, deals with tournaments where the Instant Review System (IRS) is in operation. Within England, this (currently) only applies to the All England Champs, but for those umpires travelling to other BWF-sanctioned tournaments, you may have more exposure to this. Most of the changes in this section are minor, correcting typographical errors and the like. Officially, it is no longer the automatic job of a referee to monitor the IRS, as the wording has been changed to "nominated technical official". As with the All England this year, it is most likely going to be a third role for umpires! The experiment, that has been taking place since the end of last year, to allow two rights to challenge per game of the match has now been formalised.
The only other change that we umpires need to note is in Section 3.7 of the RTTOs - the section on Misconduct. However, the changes here are only correcting the misnumbering that crept in previously! There are no new recommendations, and none have been removed.
Other Things to Note
There were a number of other things that apply to BWF and/or Continental Confederation officials specifically, or that apply generally but are not going to affect most of us (too much!) with our local events. They include:
- BWF and BE (Badminton Europe) certificated or accredited umpires are no longer allowed to bet on any badminton match at any time, whether or not they are officiating at the tournament where the match is being played.
- From 1st July 2016, player names on the backs of player shirts must match the Last Name / Family Name as entered in the BWF Player Database.
- The two-minute warmup must now start at the conclusion of the coin toss and end with the announcement "Love all – Play", and umpires may give players a 30 second warning (by announcing "Ready to play") prior to the end of the two-minute warmup period so that players are ready to play when called.
The last two points will largely affect those umpiring at the All England Champs, but Referees at other events in England may choose to enforce one or both. If you are required to strictly restrict the warmup period to two minutes, as above, be aware that you will have to fit your entire announcement into that time too, as well as allowing the players their "practice serves". On this basis, you might like to consider just giving them one minute before announcing, "Ready to play"!
The official BWF documents that announced these changes can be found on our BWF Notifications page.