The new calendar announced by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) is set to witness a grueling schedule, with 12 top-tier events including two major championships lined up after the Tokyo Olympics.
The headliner events include the Sudirman Cup (Sept 26-Oct 3), Thomas & Uber Cup (Oct 9-17), Denmark Open (Oct 19-24), French Open (Oct 26-31), Indonesia Masters (Nov 16-21), Indonesia Open (Nov 23-28), World Tour Finals (Dec 1-5) & World Championships (Dec 12-19).
Most of the tournaments will be held in Europe, where COVID-19 restrictions have significantly eased and witnessed major sports championships like the EURO 2020 going ahead successfully.
The Sudirman Cup will take place in the city of Vantaa, Finland while the rescheduled Thomas & Uber Cup will remain at Aarhus, Denmark.
Both the Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open and the World Tour Finals will be held at the island of Bali, which is set to reopen its borders to visitors in July.
The season finale World Championships will return to Europe in Huelva, Spain.
A new world rankings cycle will also begin after the Tokyo Olympics.
The Malaysia Masters, Malaysia Open and Korea Masters are still categorised as postponed, with the respective national bodies wishing to explore options to stage them.
BWF secretary-general Thomas Lund said the new calendar “represents an assessment of what the most feasible tournaments to take place in the coming months”.
“Europe is seen as a more feasible region to conduct tournaments at this present time with higher rates of vaccine implementation and less travel restrictions.
“While a number of tournament hosts in Asia are eager to stage tournaments, the general feedback surrounding Covid-19 restrictions and the uncertainty of the situation there has meant it’s likely only a few tournaments could possibly take place,” Lund said.
He added the world body will be working with the Badminton Association of Indonesia to present a comprehensive plan for a three-week bubble style setup in Bali, similar to the Asian leg in Bangkok in January.
National mixed doubles shuttler Goh Liu Ying reacted to the new calendar with a hint of hesitancy.
“It’s going to be a busy November and December. You think we are safe to go?” she posted on social media.
Danish women’s singles shuttler Mia Blichfeldt, meanwhile, reposted the tournament schedule with the caption “this tournament schedule is crazy.”