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BWF Hands Interim Ban On New 'Spin Serve'

A new "unreturnable" spin-serve had caught the attention of the world's top badminton players with even the Indian doubles shuttlers putting in the hard yards to master this latest skill, which many believe can give "unfair" advantage to the players.

The spin serve was first started by Danish doubles player Marcus Rindshoj.
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With the new 'spin serve' creating a flutter in international badminton, the world governing body BWF has decided to put an interim ban on the use of the experimental serve effective immediately until May 29, 2023. (More Badminton News)

"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," BWF said in a statement.

"The interim ban takes effect at all BWF sanction international tournaments, including the BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023 starting Sunday 14 May 2023 and the Malaysia Masters 2023, the following week."

A new "unreturnable" spin-serve had caught the attention of the world's top badminton players with even the Indian doubles shuttlers putting in the hard yards to master this latest skill, which many believe can give "unfair" advantage to the players.

It was first started by Danish doubles player Marcus Rindshoj, who accumulated a bunch of points with this innovative spin serve at the Polish Open last month.

This is a kind of serve where the shuttler holds the cork of the shuttlecock in between his or her thumb and middle finger and tries to put a spin to it with a carrom strike motion before sending it across the net with the racquet.

This spin serve has proved to be a handful for the opposition players, who have struggled to send it back as the shuttle twists and falls across the net.

"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."

BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said: "BWF welcomes players creating innovation in our game and experimenting with techniques to create competitive advantage on the 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.

"It's also been observed internally that this 'spin serve' has many similar characteristics to the 'Sidek serve' (named after Rashid Sidek), which is not allowed.

"An expert panel, therefore, recommended to disallow the 'spin serve' until further consultation could take place with the membership at the upcoming BWF AGM on 27 May 2023."

The apex body said it wanted to "avoid a scenario where the upcoming TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023, and other international tournaments, could be platforms to test the new ‘spin serve’ and ultimately disrupt the competitions.

"As such, BWF Council felt it best to impose this experimental variation to disallow the 'spin serve' until BWF Council convenes again on 29 May for further discussion and deliberation."

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