Badminton World Federation issues an interim ban on new ‘spin serve’

Representational Photo
Representational PhotoFile/ GK

Kuala Lumpur, May 12: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday issued a temporary ban on a new ‘spin-serve’ that has had the attention of the world’s top badminton players recently.

The new spin serve was first implemented in tournaments at the Polish Open 2023 in March by Danish doubles player Marcus Rindshoj in the second round of the tournament. Since then, the innovative trick created a rage in international badminton with players across the globe trying their hand to learn this new technique.

“BWF Council has approved a proposal for an experimental variation’ to the Laws of Badminton to forbid the use of the new spin serve’ effective immediately until 29 May 2023,” the statement from badminton’s global governing body read.

“The amendment to 9.1.5 of Section 4.1 of the BWF Laws of Badminton now states that the server shall release the shuttle without adding spin, and the server’s racket shall initially hit the base of the shuttle. Any failure to adhere to the experimental variation to the law will result in a fault being called,” it added.

The interim ban takes effect immediately at all BWF-sanction international tournaments until May 29, 2023.

In the spin serve technique, the server traps the cork between the middle finger and the thumb and tries to put a spin to it with a carrom strike motion before sending it across the net with the racquet. By spinning the cork before hitting, it produces an unthinkable spin which makes it difficult for the player on the receiving end to pick up.

Speaking on the decision of banning the sin serve, BWF chief Poul-Erik Hoyer said that the new spin serve is similar to the Sidek serve or S-serve, which is banned.

The S-serve involved slicing sideways across the feathers of an inverted shuttle, making it spin chaotically so that the receiver had difficulty controlling his return. The S-serve was so effective that many people felt it was ruining the game; eventually, the serve was banned by the international governing body for the sport on July 1, 1982.

“BWF welcomes players creating innovation in our game and experimenting with techniques to create competitive advantage on court. However, we have received several points of feedback from within the badminton community, including the BWF Athletes’ Commission, expressing that this spin serve’ could have a negative impact on the game.

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