Badminton skirt rule delayed by a month

NEW DELHI:The Badminton World Federation has deferred the implementation of new rules requiring female players to wear skirts on court in major tournaments after protests from some shuttlers.

The new dresscode was set to be implemented on May 1, but it has been pushed back a month and will now come into force for the first time for the Singapore Open, which begins on June 14.

“BWF have for many years encouraged both badminton clothing manufacturers and players to produce and wear clothing that would enhance the presentation of the game in general,” BWF Deputy President Paisan Rangsikitpho said in the statement.

“We are, however, always willing to listen to the players, which is why we have decided to delay the implementation date slightly to June 1 to be able to advise and have a dialogue with the players on the guidelines,” he added.

The BWF said it would consider feedback from players, but it underlined that the skirt requirement does not “in any way discriminate against any religious or other beliefs and respects women”.

The ruling had evoked mixed reaction from players and fans, with most saying the problem was not so much with wearing skirts but making the dress code mandatory.

“You cannot make it compulsory for everyone to wear skirts,” said India’s doubles specialist Jwala Gutta.

“It depends on each individual and their comfort level. I am not sure people will like being told what to wear and what not to.”

A few Chinese and Indonesian players had also expressed reservations, saying they preferred to play in shorts instead of skirts.

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