By Paul Osborne

A new scoring system in badminton will not be introduced before Rio 2016 ©Getty ImagesA new scoring system will only be introduced after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has confirmed.

A 5x11 scoring system has been under evaluation by the BWF since August with the new format being tested at a number of level 3 and 4 tournaments, which include Grand Prix events.

It is hoped that the system, which sees matches of five games rather than three with games played to 11 points instead of 21, will create more excitement in badminton matches, especially towards the end of games when one player is considerably ahead of his opponent.

There was a possibility that the system could be introduced ahead of Rio 2016, however, the BWF has concluded that more testing needs to be done over the next year, ruling out the possibility of it being introduced in time for the Olympics. 

During a recent Council meeting in Lima, the BWF agreed that two new setting options should also be trialed over the next year.

Between February and April 2015, organisers of BWF level 3 and level 4 tournaments will again be invited to test the 5x11 system, either with setting to a maximum of 15 points or with a three-point decider if the score reaches 10-all.

There will also be just a one-minute break between games.

Testing of a 5x11 scoring system had been underway over the previous few months but the BWF has ruled that more evaluation must be done including testing of two new setting options ©Getty ImagesTesting of a 5x11 scoring system had been underway over the previous few months but the BWF has ruled more evaluation must be done including testing of two new setting options ©Getty Images

"We believe these tweaks in testing can bring us closer to what we want to achieve: to improve our sport and make it more exciting and entertaining in the ever-evolving sports industry, particularly for youth who like more fast-paced, dynamic sport - both when watching high-level badminton and when participating in the sport," said BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer.

"At the same time, we must of course heed the reservations which have been expressed by a number of stakeholders, especially players.

"So we will engage in more testing - with setting options - which will give players more time to get familiar with the 5x11 option and then we will consider the feedback and data which we receive from those tournaments."

Following analysis of the data next year and further deliberations with BWF stakeholders, the President said Council may consider placing the matter on the agenda for the 2016 Annual General Meeting, with a view to implementation thereafter.

"Nothing has been decided about implementation but we believe we are moving in the right direction," he added.

"As the world-governing body, we are the guardians of badminton and we must always act responsibly but, at the same time, progressively to ensure our sport continues to appeal to its current fan base while also attracting new fans in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

"The idea of change in anything will always evoke debate, doubt and naturally some resistance and we expected these but we are also encouraged by the positive comments about the proposed alternative and the related analysis."

The tinkering of badminton's scoring system has faced some opposition from high-profile athletes including five-time world champion and double Olympic champion Lin Dan of China.

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