Trump Match for this year's PBL

The Premier Badminton League (PBL) has introduced a rule of 'Trump Card' to make the event more competitive. The 16-day event will begin on January 2. A tie will consist of five matches and every team will have the option of selecting one of these matches as their ‘Trump Match’.

A victory in the 'Trump Match' will fetch a bonus point and a loss gives a negative point. Trump matches will be applicable in the league as well as the knockout stage.

"The new format will keep each team on the edge as each day will produce a new result and might put different teams on a better position vis-a-vis the positions that they were a day earlier. So no team can take any day lightly as one wrong move will prove tables changing for them,” said Akhilesh Das Gupta, Badminton Association of India President & PBL Chairman.

According to the 'Trump Match' rules, both teams will specify which of the five matches will be their respective Trump Match along with the list of players at least one hour before the start of the tie with the referee.

After each team shares the list of players who will be playing the five matches and their choice of trump match, the order of play will be mutually decided by the technical team and Star India (telecast rights holders) before each tie to keep the schedule unpredictable, keeping in mind the criterion that no player plays back-to-back matches.

In case the same is unavoidable, then there will be a five minutes of extra gap between consecutive matches if the same player is playing them.

Another rule modification includes the consideration of best of three games with each game being played for 15 points and a sudden death at 14 all. Each tie would comprise five matches –men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, mixed doubles and men’s singles.

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