The Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced on Monday it will adopt a new structure for its world team championships in an attempt to bolster the sport’s global television appeal.
Under the format to start in 2014, the Thomas and Uber Cups the men’s and women’s world championships will be expanded from 12 to 16 teams, with qualification based on a new world rankings system rather than regional championships.
“There is a two-fold strategy,” BWF Secretary-General Thomas Lund said in a statement on Monday. “First, we believe that the sport is now ready to be taken to a new level of global exposure, where we want to take the highest quality competition of the sport to the biggest possible worldwide television audience.”
“The expansion to showcase 16 high-quality teams will make the event potentially attractive to an increased number of television markets and viewers.”
The 16 teams, including the title holders and the host nations, will be divided into four groups of four teams.
A minimum three teams each from Europe and Asia will automatically qualify to compete for both championships based on their world rankings.
The highest-placed teams from the Pan-American, Oceania and Africa regions will also qualify for the biennial event.
“Moving from a regional qualification process to a world ranking determination process sets our member associations in motion to adopt a long-term development strategy,” BWF deputy president and events committee chairman Paisan Rangsikitpho said. “This shift will cement the Thomas and Uber Cups as an elite showcase of nations who have effortlessly nurtured their talents with a focus on sustainable development.”
Keywords: Badminton World Federation