Playing rules tweaked for Indian Badminton League

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The rules of the upcoming Indian Badminton League (IBL) have been tweaked to make the game more competitive and attractive for the spectators.

Unlike international rules, where the victor needs a two-point gap to win the match, in IBL the player who first reaches 21 points in the first two games will win the match, irrespective if the opponent is on 20 points.

But if the match goes into the third and deciding game, it will be an 11-point game instead of 21. Here too, the winner will not need a two-point gap to triumph.

Also, there will be two one-minute breaks in the first two games when either shuttler reaches the 7-point mark and the 14-point mark first. In the third game, there will be a 60-second break when a player reaches the 6-point mark first.

There will be an additional two-minute break between the games.

"This is a new format and should be interesting. The slots will be used to show advertisements to generate revenue and the players will also get a break," a Badminton Association of India (BAI) official told IANS Sunday on condition of anonymity.

To add to that, all the five matches in the tie will be played out during the group stages even if one team routs the other 3-0 in the first three matches. However, the same won't be the case in the knockouts, where the team to win the first three matches proceeds to the next round.

Former national champion U. Vimal Kumar seemed excited about the new format.

"It will be interesting. This could bring up a few surprises. You can see some small player topple a big name because the pauses could also break the momentum of any player," said the Olympian, who has been roped in as the coach of the Banga Beats.

Delhi Smashers coach Rashid Sidek, of Malaysia, however, disagreed that the new rules will affect the game.

"I don't think it will make much of a difference. All top players like Lee Chong Wei have the ability to stay focussed, otherwise they wouldn't be where they are. Surprises are a part of the game. It is certainly interesting and we will see how it goes," the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bronze medallist told IANS.

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