BWF introduces new format for Thomas and Uber Cup
KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — The Badminton World Federation (BWF) will introduce a new format for the Thomas and Uber Cup that will see an increase in participation based on the world-ranking list.
The new format, to come into play during the 2014 edition, will see an expansion from 12 to 16 participating teams, and earning qualification based on world ranking points instead of competing in the regional qualifying tournaments.
BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said the 16 teams will then be divided into four groups of four teams each, including the cup holders, the host and the highest placed teams on the world ranking.
He said a minimum three teams from Europe and three teams from Asia will automatically qualify to compete for both cups based on their world rankings, while the highest-ranked team in the Thomas or Uber Cup from Pan Am, Oceania and Africa will be given a guaranteed ticket to the event.
“If the hosts are also the cup holders, an additional place will be filled from the world rankings,” he said in a statement posted at the official federation’s website here, today.
The current format sees 12 nations competing for the coveted titles upon qualification in their respective regional team championships.
The decision to reformat was first taken by the BWF council in December last year in Queenstown, New Zealand, and then finalised at the BWF Congress held in Wuhan, China, recently.
Lund said the decision to showcase 16 high quality teams would make the event potentially attractive to an increased number of television markets and viewers.
“TV broadcast interest of the event reached a new high at the recently concluded 2012 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Wuhan, enabling fans worldwide to have increased access to the biennial event.
“This stands as a testament to the strength of the competition and the potential it holds,” he said. — Bernama