The Badminton Association of India will introduce a multi-level tournament structure at the senior level with a total prize money close to Rs 2 crore as part of its process to revamp the domestic tournaments set-up with a performance-oriented approach, it said in a release on Monday.

The decision to this effect was taken at the Executive Council meeting held on Sunday in Hyderabad.

The revamped structure will have three levels of tournaments with Level 3 having six BAI Series badminton tournaments in a year with Rs 10 lakh as prize money for each tournament. With no restriction on entry in qualifying, 30 singles players and 15 in paired events as per the BAI rankings will get direct main draw entries. While the first three tournaments will be held from May to June, the next three will follow in November.

In Level 2, four BAI Super Series badminton tournaments will be held with a prize purse of Rs 15 lakh each. The top 48 singles players and 24 doubles pairs as per the BAI rankings will get direct main-draw entry and players with ranking points from Level 3 tournaments will also be eligible for the qualifying draw. The first couple of tournaments at this level will be in July with the last two in December.

“BAI’s goal is not only to unearth the best talents who can sustain a high level of play at international tournaments, but to also create a sustainable domestic structure backed with sizeable prize money to benefit players,” said BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The highest level will have a prize purse of Rs 25 lakh and will be called the BAI Premier Super Series tournaments. These events will have restricted-entry and will have no qualifying. In a league-cum-knockout format, the top eight singles players in the BWF rankings and the top four pairs in the BWF rankings below 100 BWF Rank are eligible for direct entry. Besides, the top 24 singles players and 12 teams as per BAI rankings will also get direct entry. The Senior Nationals will be part of the Level 1 tournament with a INR 50 lakhs prize money.

“This rejig of the entire structure will test the very best and will help us to get the cream of players who can be groomed for international tournaments for the biggest titles,” said BAI general secretary Ajay K Singhania.