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  1. #1
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default IBF New Super Series

    IBF's proposal to introduced a new series of tournaments some time ago will become a reality in 2007. This had been agreed in principle by the IBF Council as announced by IBF Deputy President, Punch Gunalan yesterday.

    The tournaments will be divided into four levels:

    1st Level: Major events which offer the highest world ranking points like the Olympic Games and World Championships.

    2nd Level: The SUPER SERIES, which will be the most important to the professionals and will see big changes.

    The minimum prize money will be US$200,000 but the hosting countries can attract better players will more money.

    There will be 12 tournaments.

    The number of participants to the main draw will be limited to 32 players to ensure better quality and performance. Four will qualify from the qualifying tournament and the host country will be given two wild cards.

    Eight Asian and four European countries have been selected, but the final decision on the details will be made this September during the World Championships in Madrid, Spain. They will include the following familiar major Opens and an A-graded event, presumably to be played on a monthly basis in the following order:

    1. Malaysia (To start off the SS on January 16-21.)
    2. Korea
    3. England (All-England)
    4. Switzerland
    5. Singapore (Qualification points start for Beijing Olympics 2008)
    6. Indonesia,
    7. China (China Masters)
    8. Japan
    9. Denmark
    10. France (formerly A-graded only)
    11. Hong Kong
    12. China (again)

    (A pity that Germany has missed out instead of Switzerland in terms of players' performance in the past.)

    The Singapore Open in May will be the first tournament for players to gain points to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (I'm sure the world's top players, including LCW, LD and TH will not want to mss the SO once again as they did this year)

    3rd Level: Grand Prix Gold with prize money above US$125,000 and equivalent to the previous 4-star Open tournaments. (Just wonder whether the SS players are allowed to participate in this. But without some of them, this level seems a little boring.)

    4th & Lowest Level: Tournaments will be organized in different continents to cater to junior players.

    Punch Gunalan said that this restructuring was part of IBF's two-pronged goal to ensure that badminton remains as an Olympic sport and the world's best racquet sport by 2030. The old method of IBF tournament set-up of star rankings (which did not quite conform to the real ability of some players) will be dscarded.

    I must say that this IBF Tournament Restructure looks promising and allows for a fairer distribution of resources and incentives. Professionals who aspire to be part of the SS must really work hard to qualify for the more attractive prize money. On the other hand, the green horns and the juniors will still have a chance to win some good money at levels three and four.

    I personally hope it will succeed!


    The Star report:

    The Star Online > Sports
    Tuesday July 4, 2006

    One up for Malaysian Open

    BY RAJES PAUL

    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian badminton received a big boost when the Malaysian Open was selected to kick-start the International Badminton Federation (IBF's) new Super Series next year.

    Yesterday, the IBF deputy president Datuk Punch Gunalan said that the world body have changed their tournament structure by introducing four new level of tournaments for 2007.

    The first level involves major events like the Olympic Games and the World Championships, which offers the highest world ranking points.

    But it is their second level of tournament - the Super Series - that will see big changes.

    The Malaysian Open is one of the 12 selected under the Super Series, which offers a minimum prize money of US$200,000.

    Instead of holding it in July every year, the Malaysian Open, which has been won by national men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei for the last three years, has been moved to Jan 16-21.

    It will be followed by the Opens in Korea, England (All-England), Switzerland, Singapore, Indonesia, China (China Masters), Japan, Denmark, France, Hong Kong and China again.

    For France, who used to host A graded and one-star tournaments, their inclusion in the Super Series is certainly a huge boost to their stature.

    The Singapore Open in May, will also be important as it will be the first tournament for players to gain points to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

    Gunalan said that the re-structuring of the calendar was part of the IBF's two-prong goal – in remaining as an Olympic sport and becoming the world's best racquet sport by the year 2030.

    “We will do away with the old IBF tournament set-up of star rankings and introduce four different level of tournaments,” said Gunalan yesterday.

    “The council have agreed in principle and we have finalised the details. This new structure will be implemented next year subject to the board's decision during the World Championships (in Madrid from Sept 18-24).”

    According to Gunalan, the Super Series will have limited participation of players and hence better quality in term of performances.

    “We have identified eight Asian and four European countries for the Super Series. The main draw will be limited to 32 players. Four will qualify from the qualifying tournament and we have agreed to give two wild cards for the hosts,” said Gunalan.

    “The hosts may increase the prize money to lure the players for their tournaments.”

    In the third level, IBF have introduced the Grand Prix gold. Tournaments under GP gold, rated as the four-star tournaments under the old structure, will offer prize money above US$125,000.

    The fourth and the lowest level will see the distribution of tournaments organised in different continents. This fourth level will be ideal for the junior players to strut their stuff.

  2. #2
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    The world best racquet sport in 2030.... I hope they did as what they said so that I'll live long enough to witness badminton stars posters outside Nike's shops other than tennis stars and football stars

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    Surprised that Germany Misses out in place of France, since Germany seems to be a rising force, and this will surely stunt its growth.

    On the face of it a good Idea though. But the Question springs to my mind that if the minimum prize fund must be more than $200,000 what if a tournament does not raise this? IBF makes up the difference? Tournament moved elsewhere?

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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hara^kazuko
    The world best racquet sport in 2030.... I hope they did as what they said so that I'll live long enough to witness badminton stars posters outside Nike's shops other than tennis stars and football stars
    My young friend, you must do it the other way round - make sure you live long enough, actually only a quarter of a century more, to enjoy the sights and your favourite badminton star pinups! You can even then bring your children to the Nike shops to view your stars and show them a thing or two.

    Maybe much more diffcult for me to stay that long, though!

    But seriously, you must not expect miracles overnight. For a large world organization like the IBF, with so many differing views and interests, we should be happy if step-by-step, badminton is gaining ground every year.

    If the IBF Council is more committed, united, purposeful and forthright, that goal may be achieved sooner than later!

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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesd20
    On the face of it a good Idea though. But the Question springs to my mind that if the minimum prize fund must be more than $200,000 what if a tournament does not raise this? IBF makes up the difference? Tournament moved elsewhere?
    I think the fact that they have come up with the country names in advance would imply that somehow they would be able to raise the min prize money. The SS series now appears to be more prestigious and must therefore be better sought-after for aspiring countries (like unlucky Germany for example). If they are going to limit the participation numbers so as to make the time more predictable for the advertisers and sponsors, then the fund raising will not be too much of an obstacle. But I believe that the IBF would have also set aside some prize-monies for emergencies. Or else the more deserving countries who could guarantee the min prize money will take over from those who can't.

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    Hmmm...this does make badminton a little bit more similar to tennis.

    Tennis has its Grand Slams (4 tournaments), Masters-Series for Men's (9 tournaments) and the various International Opens (from 1st tier to 4th tier).

    I thought they should make the All England as one of the 1st Level event, besides the World Championships.

    I am quite excited at this plan...let's see how it will work out.

    I hope to be in the Singapore Open yet again next year...but May is a little bit tough for me

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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badMania
    Hmmm...this does make badminton a little bit more similar to tennis.

    Tennis has its Grand Slams (4 tournaments), Masters-Series for Men's (9 tournaments) and the various International Opens (from 1st tier to 4th tier).

    I thought they should make the All England as one of the 1st Level event, besides the World Championships.

    I am quite excited at this plan...let's see how it will work out.

    I hope to be in the Singapore Open yet again next year...but May is a little bit tough for me
    Next year's SO will definitely be more exciting for Olympics points. You must make it back and enjoy with us once again.

    I'm toying with the idea of visiting the HK Open this late Aug/early Sep. Do you think the world's best will be there, at least the top three for all events? Can you get lower priced tickets for QF, SF & F, such as early bird?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hara^kazuko
    The world best racquet sport in 2030.... I hope they did as what they said so that I'll live long enough to witness badminton stars posters outside Nike's shops other than tennis stars and football stars
    We all know Badminton is the world best racquet sport right now, though it is not as high profile as Tennis!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh
    Next year's SO will definitely be more exciting for Olympics points. You must make it back and enjoy with us once again.

    I'm toying with the idea of visiting the HK Open this late Aug/early Sep. Do you think the world's best will be there, at least the top three for all events? Can you get lower priced tickets for QF, SF & F, such as early bird?
    I really hope to go back to SG...but it has to depend on my schedules. If it's the end of May, should be all-right.

    I am still not sure whether all the top ranked players will be there. First: the WC is so nearby (just 3 weeks away), so, some players may want to conserve their energy and prevent themselves from getting silly injuries.

    I will also be away at least for the preliminary rounds and will only be back to HKG probably for the QF to Finals. Let's just wait for more announcements by the HK Badminton Associations.

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    After looking at the tentative calendars, they are going to organize it as fortnight events

    January
    16-21: Malaysia Open 2007
    23-28: Korea Open 2007

    Mar
    06-11: All-England Open 2007
    13-18: Swiss Open 2007

    Apr
    10-15: Asian Continental Championships 2007 (7* MAJOR EVENT )

    May
    1-6: Singapore Open 2007 (I don't think I can go then...so early)
    8-13: Indonesia Open 2007
    15-20: USA Open 2007 (2*)

    June
    03-17: Sudirman Cup Mixed Team Championships 2007 (7* MAJOR EVENT) -- Glasgow

    July
    03-08: Thailand Open 2007 (3*)
    24-29: Philippine Open 2007 (4*, GOLD)

    Aug
    07-19: World Championships 2007 (7* MAJOR EVENT), 2-weeks event...like the Grand Slams of Tennis) -- Kuala Lumpur

    Sep
    04-09: Japan Open 2007
    11-16: Chinese Taipei Open 2007 (2*, GOLD)
    18-23: New Zealand Open 2007 (3*)

    Oct
    16-21: Dutch Open 2007 (2*)
    23-28: Denmark Open 2007

    Nov
    01-05: French Open 2007
    20-25: China Open 2007
    27-02: Hong Kong Open 2007

    Dec
    06-16: SEA GAMES 2007 (looks like no top players will be going to the SEA GAMES unless the national association forced them to participate)
    18-23: FINAL 2007 (similar to the year-end annual Championships of Tennis)

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    Q: newb question here... In the old star system, are the players' rankings affected differently when playing differently rated tournaments?

    It would seem odd to me that the star ranking system is based on the prize money of the tournie, but that it would in turn affect how many points are added to a player's rank... who would want to waste time with lower star tournies when all the loot and ranking points are with the bigger tournies?

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    Regular Member jug8man's Avatar
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    An interesting concept.

    Unless I have understood wrongly, the consequences of these changes are :-

    1) High Ranked Players protected from early emergence of strong young players as only highly ranked players can compete in the limited spaces of the Super Series which give bigger ranking points.
    --> This does extend some players 'shelf life' which is a good thing for badminton / career aspect.

    2) the 'divisions' might put 'off' top players from competing in the gold series,.... giving spaces for others to make their names with titles to show for (and money). but the opposite could still happen if the high rank view these tourney's as 'easy money'.

    3) This system really gives more meaning to Ranking Points.... something that would not benefit a player like taufik.

    4) New Generation really needs to fight to make it into Super Series. Some might be content to stay in the Gold Series if they have a comparative advantage........

    5) how much does the 4th level offer in terms of $$$ and how often???? this is a big deciding factor on future growth....... unless we just skip this and go straight to Gold Series.
    -Will nations bother sending players for these meets?
    -Will it only be for Jrs, as in U19 or U21?
    -If it is U19, will it just make the World Jr Champs Redundant???
    -Are points gained from U19 category tournaments transferable to open categories?

    6) Here's a big question ---> where does events like Europe Champs / Asian Champs / Thomas & Uber Cup / Sudirman Cup stand in all these???
    Will they become a thing of the past?

    Did I miss anything?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jug8man
    6) Here's a big question ---> where does events like Europe Champs / Asian Champs / Thomas & Uber Cup / Sudirman Cup stand in all these??? Will they become a thing of the past?

    Did I miss anything?
    NO!! In fact, these will be the MAJOR EVENTS (7*). I was quite surprised to see that the Asian Continental Championships is given the top billings next year. This will invite the top Asian players to compete for the title since it offers the same ranking points and prestige as the World Championships.

    Both the Sudirman Cup and the World Championships are now 2-week events.

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    Quote Originally Posted by badMania
    NO!! In fact, these will be the MAJOR EVENTS (7*). I was quite surprised to see that the Asian Continental Championships is given the top billings next year. This will invite the top Asian players to compete for the title since it offers the same ranking points and prestige as the World Championships.

    Both the Sudirman Cup and the World Championships are now 2-week events.
    Thanks

    Okay, I missed that...

    I don't see European Champs & other continental Champs on the list......... This doesn't seem fair or right...... Anybody with info???

    Cheers

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    Further ramblings....

    I think the All-England deserves to be given the Major Event status. In this way, we will have at least 3 major events annually: the Continental (both European and Asian) and World Championships, and All-England. I also hope that these would be the Grand-Slams of Badminton, with huge publicity and probably the highest prize-money (USD 500,000). It will also be preferable to have a 12-14 days event so that the competition days are spread out nicely. The draw size can be either 128 for singles and 64 for doubles (like the Tennis Grand Slams) or 64 for all events.

    The other 10-11 Super Series will complement nicely in terms of a 6* rating and higher prize moneys. A draw size of 32 (with a day of qualifying) will also be just right for a 6-days event.

    As for the Gold Grand-Prix, it would be nice to have at least 5-6 of them spread out throughout the entire year, in between the Major Events and Super Series. The ones already planned for next year are Philippines and Chinese Taipei Opens.

    The last would be the numerous European Internationals and Asian Satellite tournaments (A-rated events which have been pretty successful in the past 2-3 years in attracting new upcoming players) and the 2-3* Opens (already in the calendar are Thailand, New Zealand, US, and Holland Opens)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jug8man
    Thanks

    Okay, I missed that...

    I don't see European Champs & other continental Champs on the list......... This doesn't seem fair or right...... Anybody with info???

    Cheers
    The European Championship is a bi-annual event, so, the next one will probably be in 2008. As for the other continental champs, they are probably not as important as Asian and European.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hara^kazuko
    The world best racquet sport in 2030.... I hope they did as what they said so that I'll live long enough to witness badminton stars posters outside Nike's shops other than tennis stars and football stars
    I hate these kinds of year timelines... They always represent targets that never get achieved. If they want to set targets, it should be ASAP.

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