After yesterday’s game between Kentō Momota and Luís Enrique Peñalver at the World Championships in Basel, Peñalver indicated that he wanted to swap shirts with Momota. Momota’s reaction was a bit of an awkward smile and then turning away; no shirt swap took place.

Some Danish media outlets turned this into a bigger thing than it was, with headlines that Momota ‘snubbed’ his opponent. Now, I’m not entirely convinced that Momota even got the hint that Peñalver wanted to swap, but never mind that (see link below for a clip of the interaction).

The interesting thing to me is that the news stories also mention that

In Momota’s defence, it must be said that the Japanese badminton federation has banned players from swapping shirts.

Verdensetteren ydmygede modstander på banen – og afviste at bytte trøje

This seems like a very odd thing for a badminton federation/association to do, and I’ve heard several commentators decrying it as highly un-sportsmanship-like and detrimental to players.

But when I tried googling it, I couldn’t really find any confirmation that it’s true. There’s no source in any of the media articles I’ve found, and commentators just mentioned having been “informed” that it was so.

Looking on Nippon Badminton Association’s website (the English version of it at least), I cant even find any kind of ruleset or code of conduct for players that might confirm or deny it.

Is it actually true that NBA does not allow the Japanese players to engage in shirt swapping? And if it is true, why on earth have they enacted this puzzling rule?

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