The new rule of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) of asking female shuttlers must wear skirts on court has triggered heated disputes at the ongoing Surdiman Cup.
BWF had planned to introduce the new dress code on May 1, but had to postpone it until June 1 after receiving objections from China, Indonesia, Denmark and some other countries.
Many female players did wear skirts on court at the Sudirman Cup held in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, but they said it was inappropriate that BWF made compulsory rule on girls' dressing.
"I have always been comfortable in skirts but forcing players to wear them is not right. It should be female players' own choice," Ilse Vaessen, mixed doubles player of Netherlands, told Xinhua on Wednesday.
Some female players, especially from Asian countries, have been used to wearing shorts on court, so the new regulation will be a headache for them, Ilse said.
"Does our badminton performance or our dress really matter? If the dress does, should we also need to wear makeup in concert with the mandatory skirts?" a Chinese shuttler stated on her microblog.
Beliasov Zilberman, coach of the Israeli team, had been playing badminton in skirts for 35 years. "I prefer wearing skirts, but I really don't know what to say on the compulsory rule over girls clothing," Beliasov said with smiles.
"Players come from different backgrounds and different countries, and some traditional cultures are pretty conservative in clothing. Therefore, BWF should not enforce all of them to do this," said a netizen with the alias of "free bird".
However, Luo Guohui, coach of the Seychelles team, told Xinhua that he supported the rule and his team will carry it out when it is implemented.
"Female shuttlers in skirts look like more beautiful and skirts are also comfortable, so we support it." Luo said.
Paisan Pangsikitpho, vice president of BWF, told media at the Sudirman Cup that the new clothing rule was part of a large campaign to enhance the presentation profile of badminton.
"The rule aims to attract a wider target group amongst both younger and older people, and among both women and men," Paisan said.
"It was nonsense. How could players in skirts promote women badmintion?" said Berben Bruijstens, coach of the Dutch team. "If it works, why not all sight spots just have girls in skirts standing there?"
Saber Afif, men's single player from Netherlands, said, "No good result, then no media, no TV and no commercial. Shuttlers don't make big money, so few parents would like to have their children to learn badminton," Saber said.
Thus, asking female shuttlers to wear skirts will certainly not help it out, he said.
BWF council would discuss whether to abort the rule or not at the organization's annual general meeting on May 28 in Qingdao.