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  1. #103
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Hi LJ Defender, as a badminton fan I wish to express my thanks for your services as a linejudge.

    Indeed you "defended" your position very well. On top of being a volunteer and having to spend time and money to officiate at tournaments, a linejudge or an umpire could be a most demanding job as a wrong decision could cause the loss of a match and the ambition of the victim.

    On the subject of how the eye can deceive one's judgement, I am sometimes bemused how a player on the far court can stoutly claim that his shot is "in" when the shuttle lands near his opponent's baseline or for that matter very close to any line. Thankfully this normally happens during social games.

    I just hope there will come a time in the not too distant future when the BWF will be able to financially compensate officials like you for your love of the game. Afterall, badminton has turned professional many years ago.

    There has been talk that the Video Review System currently employed by BWF is not as transparent compared to tennis, as players and fans are unable to view what the judge is seeing on his video before he makes his decision. Has this anomaly been discussed and if so, when can we expect a better version to emerge?

  2. #104
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    i thought Umpires get paid. Am I wrong?

  3. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcll99 View Post
    i thought Umpires get paid. Am I wrong?
    Ha ha ha, yes we do, but a day's pay will get me lunch and dinner and that's about it. We do get travel expenses paid for. Line judges on the other hand, I believe they do not get their travel expenses paid. Most line judges are from their home country.

  4. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by CantSmashThis View Post
    Ha ha ha, yes we do, but a day's pay will get me lunch and dinner and that's about it. We do get travel expenses paid for. Line judges on the other hand, I believe they do not get their travel expenses paid. Most line judges are from their home country.
    line judges do not get paid?

  5. #107
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcll99 View Post
    line judges do not get paid?
    I think each national association has its own compensation/payment policy.

    As badminton is different from professional football or tennis, badminton being relatively in a much lower income league, it is not unusual that the respective national badminton associations offer a token allowance to cover cost of meals and transport, which may not be sufficient to the official depending on his circumstances.

  6. #108
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    Firstly, thanks to Loh for his kind words. Secondly I thought it would be helpful to give you the facts about expenses for umpires and line judges. Umpires who are invited (whether by BWF or other National Governing Bodies) to overseas tournaments, have their airfares paid for (although one Association to my knowledge requires a small contribution). They are always put up in decent hotels and sometimes get a daily allowance too. They will also usually be provided with food and refreshments that they don't have to pay for. For the most part, umpires are not out of pocket to any great degree.

    Line judges are less lucky but are still treated more kindly than they used to be. The real turning point came, I believe, when BWF made it a rule that for all major tournaments (Superseries etc) there had to be a minimum of 6 line judges to a court. For Grand Prix level this was at least 4 to a court. Up to this point National Bodies could argue that line judges were not necessary for the running of a tournament and didn't deserve the same treatment as the umpires even though, in theory, only a referee was necessary to run a tournament. This gave more power to the arguments made by national line judge associations who could argue that without their members there would be no experienced and professional line judges. BWF also decided to form an elite squad of International Line Judges (called International Technical Officials or ITOs) to ensure they had a number of non-local line judges who could provide neutrality. This is now in its 4th year of existence.

    ITOs are treated differently from National line judges in that they get a good daily allowance which helps subsidise their expenditure while at a tournament. A good standard hotel must be provided (in practice it is usually the same one that is provided for the umpires). They do not, however, have their airfares paid at present by BWF. As you can imagine, if you live in Europe, paying for flights to the Far East is very expensive. Some National Bodies make a contribution to those fares, and at least one I heard about paid the whole fares for its ITOs this year but the majority have to fund the fares themselves. The daily allowance paid by BWF doesn't cover the whole airfare in most cases, so the ITOs are always out of pocket to some degree.

    As far as hotels are concerned for National local line judges whether at home or abroad, the treatment varies. They may be put up in the same hotels as the umpires at certain events (the Dutch Open is one such example). Often they are put in communal accommodation such as dormitories holding several beds (not great if you need your sleep and your room mates are noisy). In other cases such as the All England accommodation is not provided. The local line judges association has to make arrangements and the line judges pay for their rooms themselves, although there is a daily subsidy that partly covers the cost of the room. Food or meal vouchers are provided along with refreshments during the tournament. The general provision for volunteers by Badminton England during the tournament is good and line judges are well treated and appreciated. There may be other allowances for local line judges such as a mileage rate or parking paid for if they drive in.

    It will be obvious from what I have written that line judges are still treated as inferior and less important than umpires in many countries. Having said that we are still hugely better off than we used to be. I can remember turning up at one of the biggest tournaments in the world many years ago where no refreshments, rest facilities or even lockers were provided. We have some way to go before we achieve equality with the umpires (if we ever do), but we have been prepared to put up with a lot over the years for the love of the game and will probably continue to do so while still striving to improve our situation even more.

  7. #109
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    just curious, can umpire overrule line judges now? thanks.

  8. #110
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    I am surprised you are asking but yes they can and unfortunately some umpires think it's almost a necessity to find an excuse to do so just to prove they can. The rule is that the shuttle has to be clearly out but I have seen certain umpires be influenced by a player's reaction. The worst one was when an umpire obviously thought a call was correct and called the score in a major Mens Singles final, one player then protested and the umpire then overruled and changed the score. Outrageous. On the court where the Instant Review System was in place there was not a single overrule. Says it all!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LJ Defender View Post
    I am surprised you are asking but yes they can and unfortunately some umpires think it's almost a necessity to find an excuse to do so just to prove they can. The rule is that the shuttle has to be clearly out but I have seen certain umpires be influenced by a player's reaction. The worst one was when an umpire obviously thought a call was correct and called the score in a major Mens Singles final, one player then protested and the umpire then overruled and changed the score. Outrageous. On the court where the Instant Review System was in place there was not a single overrule. Says it all!!

    thanks. I asked because I thought with the Instant Review System now in place, umpires now do not (or cannot) overrule line judges. i guess i am wrong. but thanks.

  10. #112
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    I suppose now the onus is on the players to call the video review challenge instead of the umpire calling the over rule if there's a doubt about the line call.

  11. #113
    Regular Member craigandy's Avatar
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    @LJ Defender Do you think in time if everyone is satisfied with how the instant replays pans out, the ITO's will be out of a "job"? It will probably be less/un necessary to go to all that cost when there is a challenge system now, your thoughts?

    Although it is totally essential to have line judges for the sport and it would look totally amatuer without any, I have never understood what drives line judges to do it? Is it just for the front row seats(i know to busy concentrating) or what reasons containing much more substance?

  12. #114
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    At present I can't see any way that BWF would dispense with the ITOs, in fact they doubled the size of the squad this year. To start with, as long as the cost of the Instant Review System is too high to use on more than one court, there will be at least 2 courts in action until the final of any major competition with one not covered. The system is labour intensive in that it has to have the operator looking at the screen and working the controls non-stop, plus there has to be a referee sitting beside the system, also at all times. Imagine the situation if the system was installed on all 5 courts at a major tournament. You would need at least 6 referees and 5 operators plus additional operators to relieve the working ones from time to time.

    There will, therefore, always be a need to have a neutral team of line judges available. In addition, the players have only two challenges per match, unless they retain more through successfully challenging. Once a player has lost both challenges, there will continue to be a need for ITOs to provide a high level of experience and professionalism to ensure that impartiality and accuracy is maintained throughout the match at major tournaments.

    As for what drives line judges to do the job it is probably a variety of reasons. I started almost by accident as someone I played against in a local league was line judging at the All England and suggested I volunteer. The first time I ever stepped out onto a court was at the All England with a large crowd. After the initial fright I was hooked. There are lots of reasons to do the job but being so close to the action is one of the main ones. There is also the fact that one gets close to the players, gets the chance to experience different countries, meet other line judges at home and overseas and form friendships. Also, it is probably the peak of achievement for anyone interested in sport to be involved in major tournaments, in particular the Olympics, and to have reached that goal made everything worthwhile. It is a rewarding thing to do as long as you can accept the fact that you will inevitably make mistakes on occasions and not let that put you off, because you know you are performing a valuable job for the players and the sport.

  13. #115
    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    @LJ Defender many thanks for taking the time and effort to participate on this thread! BTW, welcome to BC, and we hope to hear much more from you- even during tournaments that you are involved with! Your perspective and knowledge adds a great amount of "real" information and insight into how things work, and how far BWF has come along in making the sport more professional.

    If you don't mind, I would like to ask a question about the technology itself. The outsider still does not have much information on the technology that is being trialled/implemented as yet. You mentioned earlier that the cameras operate at 200fps - do you have any more information on the technology and its implementation that you could maybe share with us?






  14. #116
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    I must confess I hadn't intended to get this involved but I am glad to see that I am helping to make clearer the side of line judging that most people never see. As for the technology, it is simply cameras positioned at the ends of the baselines and sidelines (not the service lines). The cameras can pick up the shuttle from various angles and it is then down to ultra slow motion and the judgement of the referee. That's it I am afraid. Whether BWF will ever be able to afford the computer generated decisions of a Hawkeye system remains to be seen. What would be good is to have the decisions on a big screen for the audience with In or Out indicated on that screen. The audience would love it.

  15. #117
    Regular Member craigandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJ Defender View Post
    At present I can't see any way that BWF would dispense with the ITOs, in fact they doubled the size of the squad this year. To start with, as long as the cost of the Instant Review System is too high to use on more than one court, there will be at least 2 courts in action until the final of any major competition with one not covered. The system is labour intensive in that it has to have the operator looking at the screen and working the controls non-stop, plus there has to be a referee sitting beside the system, also at all times. Imagine the situation if the system was installed on all 5 courts at a major tournament. You would need at least 6 referees and 5 operators plus additional operators to relieve the working ones from time to time.

    There will, therefore, always be a need to have a neutral team of line judges available. In addition, the players have only two challenges per match, unless they retain more through successfully challenging. Once a player has lost both challenges, there will continue to be a need for ITOs to provide a high level of experience and professionalism to ensure that impartiality and accuracy is maintained throughout the match at major tournaments.

    As for what drives line judges to do the job it is probably a variety of reasons. I started almost by accident as someone I played against in a local league was line judging at the All England and suggested I volunteer. The first time I ever stepped out onto a court was at the All England with a large crowd. After the initial fright I was hooked. There are lots of reasons to do the job but being so close to the action is one of the main ones. There is also the fact that one gets close to the players, gets the chance to experience different countries, meet other line judges at home and overseas and form friendships. Also, it is probably the peak of achievement for anyone interested in sport to be involved in major tournaments, in particular the Olympics, and to have reached that goal made everything worthwhile. It is a rewarding thing to do as long as you can accept the fact that you will inevitably make mistakes on occasions and not let that put you off, because you know you are performing a valuable job for the players and the sport.
    Wow, didn't expect such a comprehensive answer, thank you massively appreciated. I was picking up everything you were putting down.

  16. #118
    Regular Member craigandy's Avatar
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    @LJ Defender - Forgot to add, You have a very interesting way of writing, you would be great at writing articles of your coming or past experiences.

  17. #119
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJ Defender View Post
    I am surprised you are asking but yes they can and unfortunately some umpires think it's almost a necessity to find an excuse to do so just to prove they can. The rule is that the shuttle has to be clearly out but I have seen certain umpires be influenced by a player's reaction. The worst one was when an umpire obviously thought a call was correct and called the score in a major Mens Singles final, one player then protested and the umpire then overruled and changed the score. Outrageous. On the court where the Instant Review System was in place there was not a single overrule. Says it all!!
    I don't know whether you saw this one on TV during the recent Korea Open involving an INA umpire.

    The umpire overruled the line judge.
    The player challenged the umpire's decision.
    The Instant Review System was activated and
    the Judge (Referee) overruled the umpire as
    The player's challenge was successful.
    Last edited by Loh; 01-14-2014 at 07:54 PM.

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