A Proposal to introduce Group Stages into Super Series and other tournaments.
I know you’ve read the title and are thinking “oh god, after what has went on recently, this guy is deluded” but hear me out!
The introduction of group stages into the Olympic Games was primarily done to give countries that are not prominent on the badminton scene more exposure to international competition. It was also done to ensure that these athletes would not travel from far and wide just to play one match.
It got me thinking “Why has this not been implemented on the Super Series Circuit?”
Badminton players who compete in international competition spend a fortune getting to tournaments. If you are not supported well by a national association then you often have to make sacrifices to the comfort of your trip. This can only have a negative outlook on your play. You can travel to the other side of the world for what is only a 20 minute game. This I can only imagine, would leave you feeling dejected, all that money and effort and that is all to show for it?
With the introduction of groups into tournaments, it gives players more experience, more match time, and makes the long journey feel probably a bit more worth it. I personally feel it would encourage more competitors to take part, and would help them improve their game by playing a wide range of different players.
So I hear you ask, how do you implement these changes into competition? What would you need to do to change it? Can it be done?
Well my proposal is this:
In Super Series competition, 8x4 groups giving 32 players in total. Play takes place over 4-5 courts. Qualification rounds involve 4x4 groups giving 16 total. Qualification is played in the duration of one day (i.e. all matches completed in the one day) on the Tuesday as already decided. The winner of each group progresses into the main draw. Group matches are played on the Wednesday, Thursday and possibly for some events, Friday morning. In my opinion, it is not unrealistic to expect a professional athlete to play two matches in one day. 1 player from each group progresses into the Quarter Finals to be played on Friday Evening.
Furthermore, players from the same country cannot be placed in the same group, unless there is 25%+ that make up the draw. The Quarter Final draw is done after the completion of the group stages, only the 1 and 2 seeds will be separated in the draw. From then on in the competition, it is straight knockout.
The only changes needed would be that there is a time where a player will have to play two matches in the one day, which in my opinion isn’t a big deal. There would be no need for an additional day to be added. As far as I can tell, there would not need to be any significant/major changes required to adapt to this system. So in my opinion, it could be implemented.
I have thought of more, but I am too tired to type right now, let me know what you think and please suggest what could be done to improve this. This could also apply to Grand Prix and Grand Prix Gold events as well.
Two matches a day for the QF won't go down well with the players, but should be acceptable at the group stage. By the time the players reach QFs they are usually the stronger contestants/contenders and if their semi-final opponent is expected to be a top seeded one, they would feel disadvantaged or not at their best physical shape to have a fighting chance even though their opponent is in a similar situation, that's what I feel.
You haven't taken those who play 2 disciplines into account here. 4 matches a day will be killer.
Then surely don't play two events then? These are professional athletes, they shoul be able to handle this amount of effort. An if they can't, it opens up space in the draw to other pairs who wouldn't usually get a chance to compete in the tournament. Gives greater participation and representation.
You're forgetting that at International Challenge level, it's not uncommon to play 4 matches in a day, even sometimes for 2 consecutive days.