NEW DELHI, April 19 (PTI): A new rule which makes wearing skirts on court mandatory for female shuttlers has created a furore in India with former and current players saying such an �unfair� move could discourage girls from taking up the sport.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has introduced a new dress code, which requires all female shuttlers to wear skirts from May 1. Players may continue to wear shorts if they wish to but it has to be underneath a skirt.
India�s most successful doubles player Jwala Gutta and her doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa and a few like them prefer wearing skirts on court but even they feel it should not be made compulsory.
BWF�s new rule is a step to glamourise badminton like tennis and Jwala said though she is all for boosting the glamour quotient, wearing skirts should not be mandatory as it might affect a player�s freedom.
�I have always been comfortable in skirts but forcing players to wear them is not right. A player can wear a skirt if she is comfortable but making it mandatory is not right,� Jwala told PTI.
�Players come from different background and different countries, some of the countries are pretty conservative and have different culture, so some players might not like the idea.
�There can be other ways to make the game attractive. In badminton, the sponsors such as Yonex and Li Ning can come out with designer on-court outfits,� she added.
Ashwini, who won the Commonwealth Games gold medal partnering Jwala, said personally she doesn�t have a problem but feels it would be unfair to force it on players.
�I personally feel happy about it because I am quite comfortable wearing it. But I know a lot of girls would not be comfortable with it. It is quite interesting for those who like it,� Ashwini Ponnappa said.
�A lot of Indian girls like wearing shorts as they have always played with shorts but even in skirts, you can wear shorts underneath it, so it would take a little time for them to get used to it,� she added.