The Badminton World Federation announced on Tuesday that the World Rankings and World Junior Rankings are frozen until further notice.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, tournaments have been suspended from mid-march 2020 to the end of April 2020.
Backdated frozen rankings from 17 March will be in place from 31 March 2020, until the freeze ends.
At present, it is difficult to predict when the next international tournament will take place with further tournaments also expected to be suspended in May and June. The freezing of rankings will be backdated to Week 12, which is the week following the last international tournament that was played – the All England Open 2020.
“The ranking lists issued on 17 March 2020 will serve as a basis for entry and seeding into the next international tournaments – although it is difficult to say at this stage when this may be,” a statement by the BWF said.
“BWF will provide more information in due course regarding the process as to how the rankings will eventually be ‘unfrozen’ following the commencement of the international circuit. However, it is difficult to outline the exact procedure until we have an exact overview of what the international calendar will look like once play resumes and suspended tournaments have been rescheduled,” the statement added.
We are seeking to define a solution to unfreeze the rankings in a staggered way to avoid any extreme drop off of points from previous tournaments causing an extreme impact on the ranking structure.
Following Monday’s announcement to reschedule the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 23 July to 8 August 2021, BWF will now also initiate a review process to confirm any impacts on the Olympic qualification system. The federation added that the consequences of freezing the World Rankings will not apply to the Olympic qualification system.
BWF is also in talks with hosts Spain to reschedule the 2021 World Championships after the Tokyo Olympics were pushed to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Huelva, a city in south-west Spain, is scheduled to host the 2021 Badminton World Championships in August but with the Tokyo Games now rescheduled, BWF is looking for alternatives.
“BWF is aware of the need to reschedule the World Championships 2021 normally staged in August with suitable alternatives being discussed with hosts Spain,” the governing body said in a statement.
World Championships is an annual event with the exception of the Olympic year. PV Sindhu had won the World Championships title at Basel, Switzerland in 2019.