What is the Instant Review System in badminton?

Technological advances since the late 20th century have refined the manner in which sports are governed and monitored. Decision review systems in sports have improved the manner in which every event is judged in an unbiased manner. In the early 2010s, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) added one such technological headway in its laws. This was the Instant Review System.

The Instant Review System, unlike the Hawkeye technology, is not a graphical system. Its essence is the placement of cameras at various areas on the court that have the ability to capture the motion of the shuttlecock in a magnified and frame-by-frame motion. Such a system helps the players in challenging line calls made by the umpire.

In every match, a player gets two challenges. If a player reviews a line call made by the umpire which eventually turns out to be correct by the umpire, then the player loses the review. Once the player has two unsuccessful challenges, they can no longer avail the services of the Instant Review System. However, if the review is in the favor of the player, then the player retains the review.

In order to use the benefit of Instant Review System on a call, a player has to loudly and clearly say “Challenge” to the umpire. They have to raise their arm by doing so in order to indicate that they have opted for the review.

The 2013 Indonesia Open was the first to use the Instant Review System. The system helps in encouraging the players as they feel a sense of power in challenging the court officials’ call. Moreover, the BWF also felt that review systems instigate a sense of drama for both spectators and television viewers.

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