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BWF: Premier Super Series mandatory for top shuttlers

It is often the organisers and sponsors who are at the losing end when the stars do not turn up. But this will not be the case when the Premier Super Series, billed as the ‘Grand Slam’ of badminton, takes flight next year. It is often the organisers and sponsors who are at the losing end when the stars do not turn up.

But this will not be the case when the Premier Super Series, billed as the ‘Grand Slam’ of badminton, takes flight next year.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) will make it mandatory for all the top 10 singles players and doubles pairs under the world rankings to play in all five Premier Super Series and a minimum of four Super Series tournaments from next year.

The BWF, during their council meeting in May, announced that five countries – South Korea, England, Indonesia, Denmark and China – will host the Premier Super Series for three years from 2011 to 2013.

The Korea Open, which will be held after the season-opening Malaysia Open in January next year, will offer a handsome US$1.2mil in prize money.

It will make it the richest-ever badminton tournament in history.

Indonesia will offer the second highest prize money of US$600,000, followed by the All-England, Denmark and China Opens at a minimum of US$350,000.

Also making its debut in the Super Series is the India Open in April.

The India Open replaces the Swiss Open, which has dropped to a Grand Prix Gold status tournament.

BWF events director Darren Parks, in response to an e-mail query, said the top 10 players in the world rankings on a given date by November this year would come under this ruling.

“This is to ensure that these events have the greatest possible quality and consistency to benefit spectators in the arena and television viewers alike.

“The November date is chosen so that they have plenty of time to put in their entry for the first Super Series of the year in Malaysia and the first Premier Super Series in South Korea.

“Additional players who come into the top 10 in the world rankings at a given date later in the year, approximately at the half-way point in the year, will also be obliged to play in the remaining Premier Super Series and minimum of three Super Series,” he said.

And BWF are drawing up a more stringent penalty for any world top 10 player who fails to turn up without a valid reason.

“There is a US$5,000 withdrawal penalty, which the disciplinary committee who review the case may wish to add to.

“The player may avoid paying this fee by travelling to the tournament concerned to take part in media functions, similar to the ATP Tour for tennis.

“But the disciplinary committee may also choose to waive the fee if strong evidence is presented that the player is unfit to travel.

“BWF will not put the players’ health at risk in any circumstances.”

Courtesy of The Star

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