The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has approved the use of synthetic feather shuttlecocks at all their international tournaments of all levels from 2021. The shuttlecock manufacturers can now seek approval under the BWF Equipment Approval scheme for different varieties of their synthetic feather shuttlecocks.
The federation said in a statement that the first synthetic shuttlecock approved by them has been developed with the technological cooperation of Yonex in a way that it will increase sustainability within the game.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said in a statement that the main idea behind welcoming synthetic shuttlecocks is to ensure sustainability of the game.
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“The vision is to ensure the long-term sustainability of badminton and become less dependent of using natural feathers for shuttlecocks. We heard from some of the elite players involved in the testing of the Yonex synthetic feather shuttlecock that they were able to adjust to the slight variances between the synthetic feather version and the traditional natural feather shuttlecock quite quickly, so that is great news for the performance of the shuttle.”
Lund also extended his gratitude to Yonex, who have been helping the sport since the past five years.
“We are naturally thrilled by the outcome of the project and we look forward to the synthetic feather shuttle evolving even further. A big thank you must go to Yonex for their hard work, innovative thinking and dedication to the cause over the last five years. We believe this leads to greater acceptance and widespread use of synthetic feather shuttlecocks from 2021 and beyond.”
Pullela Gopichand, coach of the Indian badminton team, told the Times of India that the sport could become more power reliant and adaption will be key. Without testing it, I cannot comment on how it behaves,” he told TOI. “But I feel the skill aspect of the game may be lost. We may not have the soft touch, cuts or drops. It will be a different shift in the sport. The game may be more power reliant. We need to adapt to it, there is no other way.”