The Badminton World Federation's Major Incident Review Team (MIRT) met during the Yonex All England Open Championships in Birmingham to conclude their investigations and into the developing controversy over line judge calls
The investigation was prompted by incidents during the Korean Open in January but especially in the men's singles final between Lin Dan of China and Lee Hyun-ll of Korea.
The Team - led by Anne Smillie (Scotland), Chair of the BWF Sport Committee, and including Robin Bryant (Australia) and Torsten Berg (Denmark) - considered the evidence and examined reports received from tournament officials. A fourth member of MIRT, Roger Johannsen (Sweden), was unable to attend but was kept fully informed about the discussions and contributed to the recommendations.
Anne Smillie said: ?It was a sad fact that the evidence did show that some line judges were not basing their decisions on the facts. The evidence, particularly from the Korean event, led to the conclusion that line calls were in favour of local players.?
As a result, the Team will recommend to the BWF Council, meeting in May in Jakarta, that for all major BWF events, including the Olympics, independent line judges must be used.
For Super Series events, organisers should use independent line judges on the major lines.
The Team felt it important to remind all court officials, the tournament referee, umpires and line-judges that they have two paramount responsibilities.
Firstly, they should reassure the players that the competition is run in a fair way.
Secondly, they should demonstrate that court officials are there to give players their best possible chance of performing to their optimum level.
Anne said the Team would not be calling for disciplinary action against Lin Dan or any of the coaches following the Korean incident. But she added: ?We are determined to ensure that coaches have a clear understanding of their responsibilities when courtside.
?We are all agreed that Lin Dan's behaviour was unacceptable but, given the way in which the situation was handled at the time by the Umpire and Referee, it is not appropriate to impose further punishment.?
However, Torsten Berg added: ?It is important that the Korean Badminton Association recognise that the issue reflected badly on their event and on the image of Super Series. The Koreans must address the problem otherwise players might not be interested in playing in their tournament in the future.?
In an attempt to reduce the number of disputed line calls, the MIRT members met Dr Paul Hawkins' Hawk-Eye company during the All England to examine how effective the technology would be in resolving disputed calls.
The Team, well aware of the technology's success in other sports, will submit a report to Council on the possibilities of introducing it for badminton and BWF will continue to examine the possibilities.
But Robin Bryant said: ?While the technology could be useful, it would not be the complete answer. Building up a code of ethics for line judges, ensuring proper training and establishing a core of internationally-qualified line judges remains as big a priority for BWF.?
While in Birmingham, Bryant addressed the Badminton Line Judges? Association and encouraged them to work with BWF to raise standards and to recruit new members. He said: ?There?s a large number of people interested in traveling to and working at events and I urge the Association to grasp this opportunity.?