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Badminton body bans new 'spin serve' for May games

KUALA LUMPUR - A new style of launching a shuttlecock in badminton has been temporarily banned by the sport’s organising body, saying it could “negatively impact” games.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said Friday the “spin serve”, which involves a player spinning the shuttlecock before serving it, was banned effective immediately until May 29.

“Any failure to adhere to the experimental variation to the law will result in a fault being called,” the federation said in a statement.

The temporary ban will take effect at all BWF games this month including the Sudirman Cup Finals in Suzhou, China and the Perodua Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur.

BWF President Poul-Erik Hoyer said the new serve, first seen at the Polish Open in March, was “disallowed” after feedback from the sport’s community.

While welcoming players’ experimentation, Hoyer said the new serve could potentially “disrupt competitions”.

He added the ban would be imposed until the federation’s council meets again on May 29.

Badminton Association of Malaysia secretary-general Kenny Goh said the serve could “kill” the game.

Receiving players would find it difficult to handle an incoming bird as the method creates “an irregular flight, so sometimes the feather would go in front instead,” he told AFP.

While agreeing with the ban for now, he said the association wanted to study the new style further. AFP