Technical Officialstechnical officials

Technical Officials (TOs) are a critical part of the game and the BWF is committed to developing and maintaining skilled and well qualified TOs for its signature events and for the sport at the international level.

The BWF is also committed to developing training materials / guidelines for referees, umpires and line judges and ensuring fair and transparent processes of assessment,nomination for BWF major tournaments.

The coordination and management of TOs for the BWF is the responsibility of the Events Committee, supported by the Technical Officials Commission and the staff in the Events Department. 

Roles and responsibilities - Referee, BWF appointed Tournament Director and Technical Delegate

In BWF major events, SS and GPG the referee will work closely with the BWF appointed Tournament Director (appointed by the BWF Secretariat to each Tournament), and in multi-sports events the referee will work with one or more TD’s and the relevant BWF Staff. It is the responsibility of all to share information, cooperate, and share responsibility, as every decision may be crucial and will have to stand up to scrutiny. Any mistake may reflect badly on badminton in an international and exposed environment.

The Referee is in overall charge of the tournament competition.  The referee shall ensure that the tournament is conducted in accordance with the Laws of Badminton, the Rules and Regulations of the BWF and any other regulations pertinent to the specific competition.  He/she shall ensure that the players are given facilities (including practice) and playing conditions of an adequate standard and safety, approval of the programme of play and practice schedule, ensuring an appropriate transport setup and overall monitoring of matters related to the fair an proper conduct the tournament for the players. The referee shall also ensure that there is an adequate panel of technical officials of requisite ability and appropriate international representation.

The BWF Tournament Director is in charge of the commercial aspects including the presentation of the game. When the sporting and commercial/presentational areas touch, there will be a grey area, where it is important that common solutions are found and defended towards any outside party. The order of play for the last rounds is typically a such area, where good cooperation is crucial. The BWF Tournament Director will have the final decision in matters affecting the implementation of BWF commercial and media rights contracts including the presentation of the field of play.  The BWF Tournament Director will provide the referee with a recommendation based on consultation with the various stakeholders (broadcasters, hosts etc.) on the order of play on televised courts, which the referee shall normally follow.

All parties shall always work within the boundaries of the regulations.

The Technical Delegate, TD. In Multi-Sport Games the OC will ask for the appointment of a TD. There may be regulations concerning the TD’s role and responsibilities in the Games statutes and they may vary from one Multi-Sport Games to another. Generally, the TD will take over the activities concerning preparation of the badminton event of the Multi-Sport Games, which a referee would normally take responsibility for. The TD should keep the referee (when appointed, often much later than the TD) informed about major issues related to the preparation of the event. The TD will then hand over responsibility for the delivery of the event to the referee in connection with the Team Managers meeting, which will be conducted by the Referee. The TD will keep close contact with the referee during the event and advise on any matter, in particular with relation to protocol, to the OC and to other sports.  

The TD will liaise closely with the BWF Events Chair, Secretary General, Events Director and the relevant Events Department Team in connection with the general preparations of any Multisports Event on a World, Continental and Regional level. Any overall principle matters outside the normal oversight of technical matters should be referred to the BWF Secretariat and appropriate replies should be sent from the BWF Secretariat. The roles and delegations between the TD and the Events Staff team will be coordinated and decided from time to time and may vary depending on the nature of the Multisports Event


The Umpire has authority over a particular match and shall be in charge of the court and its immediate surrounds.  The Umpire shall ensure the match is conducted in accordance with the Laws of Badminton, the Rules and Regulations of the BWF and any other regulations pertinent to the specific competition.  The Umpire makes rule calls regarding service faults and other player faults or lets.  The Umpire keeps the match score which he or she announces after each point.  The Umpire also keeps a record of any incidents of misconduct and reports them to the Referee.  The Umpires jurisdiction shall exist from entering the court before the match until leaving the court after the match and they shall report to and act under the authority of the Referee.

Umpire Training Manual (January 2015) - Click on link HERE.

Umpire Training Tips (June 2015) - Click on link HERE.

Umpire Scoring Tablet - Instruction Manual - Click on link HERE.


line judge small

The linejudge is responsible for a service, side or baseline during a particular match and decides whether the shuttle has landed in or out of court.  Linejudges call the shuttle ‘in’ or ‘out’ using the appropriate verbal call and hand signals. If they are unsighted they signal to this effect and the Umpire shall make the decision or if no decision can be given a let shall be called.

There is currently no Accredited / Certificated categories for Line Judges. All invitations for Line Judges are sent to  Continentaion Confederations who then nominate Line Judges for BWF events, copying in their respective Member . These nominations are forwarded to the Events  Committee who make appointments for the events

Technical Officials Levels

The BWF has two levels of Referees and Umpires together with an Assessment Panel for each.


Technical Officials Magazine

BWF publishes a quarterly magazine for its Technical Officials, called "COC-Tales". Please find copies of the most recent versions below for download:

Key Staff Contact

Chris Trenholme, Technical Events Manager: c.trenholme@bwfbadminton.org