Badminton Before Squash
After a test period covering three tour events (Canadian Open, German Open and the recent Swedish Open) the International Racketlon Federation today announces a change in the official order in which the sports are played.
Before this decision the official rules dictated the order Table Tennis -> Squash -> Badminton -> Tennis. The change means that the positions of squash and badminton are switched so that the new official order now reads:
Table Tennis -> Badminton -> Squash -> Tennis
The best way to remember and explain this new order is to note that it goes from smaller to bigger rackets. But it can, in fact, also be seen as going from smaller to bigger courts if one counts the half of the court a player has to cover. (From that perspective a badminton court (6,7x5,18) is actually significantly smaller than a squash court (9,75x6,40).)
The change was preceded by a thrilling IRF vote during which the new order won by the closest possible margin of one single vote. The votes were allocated between the IRF member nations as follows:
B - S
Bulgaria (no vote registered)
Total: 10 11
(According to the IRF statutes half of the voting power (11 votes) is distributed according to the principle of "one country-one vote". The other half is distributed proportionately according to how many players a country has on the world ranking.)
Major arguments for the new order include a better balance of advantages between squash and badminton specialists; and a better practical sport center flow (given that table tennis is often played near badminton - if not even on badminton courts).
World no.2 Lilian Druve. A badminton specialist that might gain from the new order.
A further argument used by the Finns in the debate preceding the decision was that the "new" order is actually a return to the original order that was used in Finland at the very beginning of Racketlon history in the mid 1980:s. Later the Finnish started to play in random order, which is still practiced in Finland to this day. The "squash before badminton" order was introduced in Sweden at the pre-historic time when full regular matches were played in each sport according to the rules of each individual sport. At that time a racketlon match took two days with two matches being played each day. Since table tennis was considered the lightest sport from a physical perspective and squash the heaviest they were groped together on the first day while badminton and tennis were grouped together on the second day. The underlying intention was to make for a good balance between the two days so that each of them would be about as physically demanding as the other.
For a comprehensive account of the discussions had on this matter, see the IRF Analysis.