Of lighting problems and umpiring goof-ups

The players complained that the power failures upset their rhythm. “When we are in between a point and the power goes off, it’s quite irritating. We lose concentration and it can be distracting waiting for the lights to come on,” said one of players, echoing the sentiments of most of the shuttlers in the championship.

The PET Sports Complex, where the meet is being held, has a generator. However, while it takes two to three minutes to get started, it can support only one fourth of the 45 halogen lights in the stadium. That effectively means that even with the generator in operation, the players have to continue in poor light.

“We have only limited funds which is not enough to run the generators through the day,” said N C Sudhir, secretary of the Karnataka Badminton Association. “This year, we haven’t got any major sponsor which is the reason for lack of funds. We had requested the electricity board to provide us supply without interruption. But they said it was not possible. However, for the semis and finals we will provide uninterrupted power,” he added.
There were also quite a few errors in officiating, causing anguish to the players. Out of the 18 referees here, only five have passed grade I and grade II exams. The rest are grade III trainees seeking to become grade II level officials.

Admitting the mistakes, referees’ assessor Girish Natu said: “Yes, there were lot of umpiring errors. This is because many of them are training to get into grade II from grade III. They need some meets to learn and improve,” he said.

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