Comparison of the average game playing time in different scoring systems in badminton
Resumen average game playing time in different scoring systems in badminton
In a new era every sport is trying to adjust to new media and market demands in order to make the sport faster and more interesting for the spectators. Badminton is not an exception and there has been recent change in a scoring system from conventional 3 games to 15 points (3×15) with counting points on change service to 3 games to 21 points (3×21), with every rally counts for a point, format. The aim of this study was to compare duration of the average game playing time in four different categories (men and women singles and men and women doubles) in the old scoring system and in the new one. 152 games from Olympic Games 2004 and 119 games from Thomas and Uber Cup 2006 including the matches from the quarter finals, semi finals and the finals were analyzed. Results of the t-test showed statistically significant decrease in average game playing time in men singles (22.91 vs. 18.44 minutes) and women doubles (22.89 vs. 16.38 minutes). For men doubles there was no significant decrease in average duration of the game (20.72 vs. 18.04 minutes). For women singles, statistically significant increase of average game playing time (14.25 vs. 18.22 minutes) was found. In the old scoring system women singles was the only discipline that was played to 11 points per game, while the other disciplines were played to 15 points per game, so this could partially explain the increase in average set playing time in this discipline. Proved changes in the average game playing time should affect physiological, psychological and tactical approach to training and competition.
There is a unanimous statement from one badminton official saying : «Badminton is the best kept sport secret in the world.» There are few sports, and badminton is one of them, that are so interesting to watch and play but on the other hand so underrated in worldwide TV coverage. Despite well know popularity of badminton it is very rarely on TV channels. One of the reasons were long games with many rallies that would be interested to an expert but not to ordinary TV audience. Furthermore, long playing time, without many breaks is challanging for the athlets but very unpopular for sponsors that would like their IV Congreso Mundial de Ciencia y Deportes de Raqueta commercials to be seen between the games. The duration of the games was not easily predictable and live telecast was notoriously hard to schedule. The International Badminton Federation (IBF) has already tried to change something in past. There was a worldwide experimental change in scoring system in 2002. from conventional 3 games to 15 (3×15) to 5 games to 7 (5×7). The study that was analyzing this system showed decrease in total match playing time (Pearce, 2002). The experiment was not well taken and IBF decided to go back to the old system. New experiment was started in the May 2005. and it involved tournaments sanctioned by IBF. Conventional 3 games to 15 points (3×15) with counting points on change service was changed to 3 games to 21 points (3×21), with every rally counts for a point, format. There was some controversy in badminton public, but more positive reactions and IBF decided (May 2006, Tokyo) to adopt the new scoring system as official. This change will definitely affect many aspects of badminton game. The players and coaches will have to adjust to the new way of playing and coaching the game. It remains to be seen who will benefit from the new system the most, but there is a general opinion that something in tactics has to be changed. Whether the training should be changed as well, and in which segment, remains to be seen also.
Subjects and methods
In order to establish differences in average game playing time in the old scoring system and in the new one totally 271 games were analyzed. Only the matches from the quarter finals, semi finals and the finals were included. 152 games (thereof 36 men singles, 40 women singles, 37 men doubles and 39 women doubles games) from Olympic Games 2004 were used to represent old scoring system. 119 games (thereof 34 men singles, 49 women singles, 23 men doubles and 13 women doubles games) from Thomas and Uber Cup 2006 were used to represent new scoring system. All data was collected on official web pages of above mentioned events. To make comparisons across subscales of games, descriptive parameters (mean, standard deviation, minimum, maximum and range) and 99% confidence intervals for the mean for each subscale were calculated. Normality of distribution for each variable was tested using Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. Differences between average game playing time in old and new scoring system were evaluated by t-test. All analysis were done with Statistica, version 7.1.
Results of the t-test showed statistically significant decrease in average game playing time in men singles (22.91 vs. 18.44 minutes) and women doubles (22.89 vs. 16.38 minutes). For men doubles there was no significant decrease in average duration of the game (20.72 vs. 18.04 minutes). For women singles, statistically significant increase of average game playing time (14.25 vs. 18.22 minutes) was found.
Table 1: Descriptive parameters and 99% confidence intervals for means.
Table 2: Normality of distributions – results of Kolmogorov-Smirnov test.
Table 3: Differences between means – results of t-test.
Figure 1: Differences between means – men single – Olimpic Games and Thomas Cup.
Figure 2: Differences between means – women single – Olimpic Games and Uber Cup.
Figure 3: Differences between means – man doubles – Olimpic Games and Thomas Cup.
Figure 4: Differences between means – women doubles – Olimpic Games and Uber Cup.
Discussion and conclusion
In our study we concentrated on time frame of the matches comparing old and new system. It is exact, available information for analysis and we decided to compare two big events, Olympic Games 2004 and World Team Championships 2006 for men (Thomas Cup) and for women (Uber Cup). We chose matches from quarterfinals to the finals on both tournaments because we believe that the level of play in the closing stage of both tournaments was similar. Needless to say, there are many players who participated on both events, although we did not compare the data on individual basis for the need of this study. There were 152 games from Olympic Games 2004 and 119 games from Thomas and Uber Cup 2006 that were analyzed. It would be more convenient to use the same tournament in different scoring system but such analysis was not feasible. Decrease in average playing time in men singles was expected and since it is maybe the most popular discipline we believe the change will be the most prominent. The concentration is now expected to be high in every rally and it will be psychologically more demanding than before. In the old scoring system women singles was the only discipline that was played to 11 points per game, while the other disciplines were played to 15 points per game, so the result of statistically significant increase of average game playing time was not unexpected. In this discipline players and coaches are facing different challenge. Since the game is longer the philosophy of the game is different, the stress is on stamina of the players.
Men doubles show no significant decrease in average duration of the game but this could be biased with a small sample of matches that were analyzed. This should be examined further on a bigger sample. Unfortunately, World Team Championship was not an ideal competition for the analysis of doubles because in many team matches the tie would be already decided in single matches and therefore the doubles would not be played at all. Women doubles showed decrease in average duration of the game that was most prominent among our results. This result, although statistically significant, also has to be verified on a larger sample to avoid possible bias. But this result is very encouraging for the discipline that was notorious for long duration and being less popular than other disciplines in the past. We found that all disciplines in the new system last almost equally long, comparing to old system, when some disciplines were much longer than the others. This will certainly help organization of the tournaments and possibly improve live TV coverage of badminton. Proved changes in the average game playing time should affect physiological, psychological and tactical approach to training and competition of every discipline. We hope that all changes that were made will help badminton to become more popular without losing its attractiveness for the players worldwide.
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