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    Default Ideas on best way to organise social baddie sessions sought

    I enjoy my local social badminton games - two hours of unstructured fun. We of course play to win, but everything else - who plays who, etc, is totally random. The only trouble, however, is the better players (not me) avoid us 'others' in search of 'proper' games. That means we have two clubs within a club, which is not ideal. My view is that if you join this social group, you do so with the aim of helping everyone to improve their game, and so lift the overall standard. Sadly, that's a view not borne by most of the better players. I discussed this with one of them, and he agreed it wasn't ideal. We agreed tho that a 'good game' could be had by working a bit harder to get equalish skill levels on both side, and that meant each side could comprise one top player and one not-top player. Its still a fight to win then!

    He also suggested having timed games. And I was wondering for info on how this might work to improve things. All games would finish at the same time, clearly, which I guess means you could more easily reform into equalish skill teams. But the same could still result - the best pair with the best? What other rules would have to be in place to make it work?

    This issue must come up all the time.

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    Interesting comment. I draw attention to this sentence.

    My view is that if you join this social group, you do so with the aim of helping everyone to improve their game, and so lift the overall standard.
    My question is how do you help your better players improve their game within your club?

    or

    How do the lower level players help the better players improve their game?


    Would pairing a good player with a weaker player improve the quality of the rallies?

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    Regular Member chris-ccc's Avatar
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    Thumbs up It is best to pair up partners of equal skill/strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Interesting comment. I draw attention to this sentence.

    My question is how do you help your better players improve their game within your club?

    or

    How do the lower level players help the better players improve their game?

    Would pairing a good player with a weaker player improve the quality of the rallies?
    .
    IMHO, It's never a good idea to pair up a good player with a weaker player.

    Why? Their opponents will direct all shots to the weaker player, and therefore the good player will be left out in the game.

    It is best to pair up partners of equal skill/strength; so that no one partner will be targeted upon.
    .
    Last edited by chris-ccc; 11-08-2011 at 11:06 AM.

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    Regular Member craigandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerardo View Post
    I enjoy my local social badminton games - two hours of unstructured fun. We of course play to win, but everything else - who plays who, etc, is totally random. The only trouble, however, is the better players (not me) avoid us 'others' in search of 'proper' games. That means we have two clubs within a club, which is not ideal. My view is that if you join this social group, you do so with the aim of helping everyone to improve their game, and so lift the overall standard. Sadly, that's a view not borne by most of the better players. I discussed this with one of them, and he agreed it wasn't ideal. We agreed tho that a 'good game' could be had by working a bit harder to get equalish skill levels on both side, and that meant each side could comprise one top player and one not-top player. Its still a fight to win then!

    He also suggested having timed games. And I was wondering for info on how this might work to improve things. All games would finish at the same time, clearly, which I guess means you could more easily reform into equalish skill teams. But the same could still result - the best pair with the best? What other rules would have to be in place to make it work?

    This issue must come up all the time.

    There is an open club where i come from where ther are 6 courts. 15minute games only just play untill time is up. The winners move up to the next court and the losers move down. After every two games you switch one partner from the opposing side with yours. It is first come first served on court at the start of the night so a real mixed bag. Good players bring weaker player up the courts so they get better games. By the end of the night the good player have usually found their way to the top courts and the worse to the bottom. This is a good way because whilst worse players are getting some matches to improve, the better players don't get bored as by the end of the night they will have worked their way to the top with all the other good players. There is a chance every week for the worse players to hold their own with the better players for as long as they can. If there are more people than courts you just have to substitute and alike.

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    Regular Member V1lau's Avatar
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    My suggestion would be to introduce some form of wagering system, with point handicaps giving by stronger players. Nothing gets people to play better than when money is involved, in my experience.

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    At some of the clubs I play at, there's a person on the club committee who takes responsibility for organising the games, exactly for these reasons. People don't get to choose their partners or opponents, they play where they're told to. Of course they can make requests--the organiser needs to pay attention to who people like to play with, who they don't want to play against, etc, so that everyone gets a fair go--but ultimately there's one person in charge. It seems to work very well. In other clubs, where games happen "at random", it's just as you say, you end up with a clique of stronger players who won't play with (and sometimes won't even talk to) anyone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by chris-ccc View Post
    .
    IMHO, It's never a good idea to pair up a good player with a weaker player.

    Why? Their opponents will direct all shots to the weaker player, and therefore the good player will be left out in the game.

    It is best to pair up partners of equal skill/strength; so that no one partner will be targeted upon.
    I disagree with this, at least with the "never" part. You should sometimes do this (but not too often), so that the weaker players have the opportunity to be challenged and to learn (they can learn from the opponents and from their partner). I used to be one of the weaker players in my club, and I'm grateful to the stronger players who were willing to teach me a lesson in some of our games.

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    Regular Member chris-ccc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexh View Post
    I disagree with this, at least with the "never" part. You should sometimes do this (but not too often), so that the weaker players have the opportunity to be challenged and to learn (they can learn from the opponents and from their partner). I used to be one of the weaker players in my club, and I'm grateful to the stronger players who were willing to teach me a lesson in some of our games.
    .
    I think you have misunderstood me. What I am saying is - It is best for players of the same skill/standard/experience to partner each other. I am not talking about how strong or weak their opposite pairs are.

    Please read again this;
    Quote Originally Posted by chris-ccc View Post
    It is best to pair up partners of equal skill/strength; so that no one partner will be targeted upon.
    As for me (at Social Games), I usually play with weaker players. Why? Because stronger players don't wish to play with them, and these weaker players, more often than not, are left out.

    I have always encouraged stronger players to give weaker players a chance to taste what 'good skills' are. But as an organiser of players at social games, I try my best to pair up players of the same skill/experience. Why? Because their opponents will direct all shots to the weaker player, and therefore the good player will be left out in the game.
    .
    Last edited by chris-ccc; 11-08-2011 at 06:23 PM.

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    Regular Member urameatball's Avatar
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    in my experience, those who complain that they need to learn from advanced players to improve are the ones who never improve.
    and clubs that promote the whole mix&match type games are the clubs that stay at the same level forever.

    play with people around your level so you can push each other to become better.

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    Regular Member chris-ccc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urameatball View Post
    in my experience, those who complain that they need to learn from advanced players to improve are the ones who never improve.
    and clubs that promote the whole mix&match type games are the clubs that stay at the same level forever.

    play with people around your level so you can push each other to become better.
    .
    Ah...... You are now talking about a club wishing to become the strongest club (competition-wise) in a region.

    I thought this thread is about clubs trying to promote Badminton as a good sport to participate in.
    .
    Last edited by chris-ccc; 11-08-2011 at 06:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris-ccc View Post
    .
    I think you have misunderstood me. What I am saying is - It is best for players of the same skill/standard/experience to partner each other. I am not talking about how strong or weak their opposite pairs are.
    Yes, I did read this. But thanks for clarifying. If there are two weaker players and two stronger players on court at the same time, I think it's better for each side to have one weaker and one stronger player, rather than the two stronger players opposing the two weaker players. Why? Here are three reasons.

    1. The weaker player can learn from observing their partner, and from any advice their partner gives them during the game.

    2. The game is more interesting that way for the stronger players.

    3. If the weaker players play together and lose by a large margin, it's bad for their confidence.

    I'm glad that you, Chris, are happy to play with different people and encourage everyone in your club. I wish that more people had the same attitude.

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    We've had some good ideas here.

    I would ask the OP, you expect to the stronger players to 'give' something to the weaker players. What do you (as a weaker player) give back to the stronger players?

    OP has said this is a social badminton club. But we can see this club, although 'social', does have some competitive types. Also, people come to get more than just a bit of exercise (very good as Australia has very high levels of obesity).

    The reason for my post #2 of the thread is that the club is there to serve everybody.

    As a player, I don't mind playing with weaker players but I would expect to be able to work up a sweat as well - especially as I have taken 30-45 minutes to get the venue, get changed etc.

    So why can weaker players deny the chance of stronger players to have more challenging exercise?


    If I was always forced to partner a weaker player and this happened to the opponents, then I would eventually leave the club or even stop playing and take up something else. It becomes no challenge/exercise/test of abilities/need to think on court to me because the rallies are shorter, and all the shots go to the weaker player. Of course I don't mind it once in a while but in reciprocation, it will would only be fair to have a balanced and even game later in the evening.

    If I left the club, the OP, as a weaker player, would eventually lose out by having lost a stronger player.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexh
    At some of the clubs I play at, there's a person on the club committee who takes responsibility for organising the games, exactly for these reasons. People don't get to choose their partners or opponents, they play where they're told to. Of course they can make requests--the organiser needs to pay attention to who people like to play with, who they don't want to play against, etc, so that everyone gets a fair go--but ultimately there's one person in charge. It seems to work very well. In other clubs, where games happen "at random", it's just as you say, you end up with a clique of stronger players who won't play with (and sometimes won't even talk to) anyone else.
    I have also found this is the best method. In the first part of the session, it's mix and match. In the second half of the session, the organiser can start pairing up evenly balanced pairs for matches.

    So, weaker players get a chance to improve in the first part - they then get to try those newly acquired techniques/tactics in the second part.

    For stronger players, the first part of the session acts as a warmup - the second part they get good games.

    Then you may say, what about the the strong players who only appear at 2nd part of the session

    Well, surely they must get a warmup game first right? So put them in the weaker group for a couple of matches and they may get one game in with the stronger players...

    How about the weaker players who have turned up late? Well, they stay with the weaker group - it's unreasonable to expect stronger players who have turned up early, accommodated weaker players, still have to play with weaker players at the end of the evening.

    How about the 15 mins system? I agree that is one way...but I'd far rather play a full game for the mental practice Besides, where is the incentive? If you want to make full games more competitive and fairer, then play for drinks with loser treating.


    So does this solve the subgroup within the club issue? You may not agree but I think it does. Everybody gets to mix and match in the first part of the session (so that's your social part satisfied), and then balanced games in the 2nd part (that's the exercise bit satisfied).

    I've seen a peg system done before. That's not good because some unpopular players get to play fewer games than the more popular ones -with everybody having had to pay the same fees. It's OK once in while due to random variation in games but if it happens regularly, your weaker players will leave the club.

    Points handicap system? - well, I'd rather have a full, evenly matched game at the end of the evening.


    I remember dropping in on one club in Brisbane a number of years ago. So I'm the unknown guy. I notice the club is split into two sections from the very beginning. I go straight into the weaker group for a couple of games. No problem for me but it's pretty obvious there's a difference in standard. I think one of the people I played with then arranged for me to try the other group. So I played with the middle standard people and had a nice game. Then I play with the stronger players - it's good for them to have somebody different to play against and at the same level of play. To my mind, I think the separation at the beginning depends on the level of players that are in the club. The weaker players there were really weak! i.e. don't really know how to position on court, can't move very well to the shuttle, 3/4 length clears. The stronger players were those who looked like they've played league matches and competitions regularly. So they had developed this system. I must say it was quite busy that night so it obviously works for them.

    I've been down Sydney Uni session years ago as a once off. They have a free for all. Fine for me but obviously you have to know people which I can understand.

    I went to Melbourne a few years ago and that was really good! I got a free lift to the venue, had games arranged (different levels of partners), even got a game of singles with the organiser and to cap it all, the club members treated me to food and wine afterwards!!! hehehe


    I would quite like OP's opinion on the ideas expressed in this thread. I think it's an issue and dilemma that occurs commonly throughout the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    I would ask the OP, you expect to the stronger players to 'give' something to the weaker players. What do you (as a weaker player) give back to the stronger players?
    ...
    As a player, I don't mind playing with weaker players but I would expect to be able to work up a sweat as well - especially as I have taken 30-45 minutes to get the venue, get changed etc.
    There are some good points here, and in the rest of the post too. Sure, the stronger players don't want to spend all their time playing with beginners. But I think it's fair for each player to spend just one game per session help other people.

    What can the weaker players give back? There's a concept called "pay it forward". You're not in a position to pay back the favour right now...but at least some of those weaker players will become stronger players, or badminton addicts, in the future. They can help the club by teaching the next generation of new players, also by volunteering to be on the club committee, help running tournaments, and all the other behind-the-scenes stuff that keeps the badminton community going.

    Most of those stronger players weren't born strong. Nearly always, they got to where they are now because of other people being willing to help them. So they need to take their turn helping others, at least for a little bit of the time.

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    Regular Member urameatball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris-ccc View Post
    .
    Ah...... You are now talking about a club wishing to become the strongest club (competition-wise) in a region.

    I thought this thread is about clubs trying to promote Badminton as a good sport to participate in.
    .
    Okay, lets keep badminton friendly to both advanced and beginners. Have people challenge others of similar level to make the games enjoyable for everyone (instead of just one side when teams are uneven).

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    Regular Member craigandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    How about the 15 mins system? I agree that is one way...but I'd far rather play a full game for the mental practice Besides, where is the incentive? If you want to make full games more competitive and fairer, then play for drinks with loser treating.
    You almost always get a game and a bit or even 2 sometimes in 15 minutes at club play level. very rarely will you not get at least one game. Don't know what size the club is but when you have 30+ players at a club, i would think it would be a logistical nightmare trying to arrange people into fair games all night when staggered, so best to go with time limited if there are large playing numbers and you want to control who plays who.
    Last edited by craigandy; 11-09-2011 at 10:03 AM.

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    If you have six courts, 30+ ppl, realistically, not everybody is going to be able to get a game with everybody else. With a large variation in standard, it makes sense to split into arbitrary groups at some point.

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    Regular Member craigandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    If you have six courts, 30+ ppl, realistically, not everybody is going to be able to get a game with everybody else. With a large variation in standard, it makes sense to split into arbitrary groups at some point.
    I think your getting slightly confused here. The 6 courts night i mentioned works how i said it works. On a completely different post and point i was talking about groups larger than 30+. Now with the club of 30+ if you want to choose who plays who in any shape or form, this is a lot harder to organise when all the games are finishing at different times rather than timed at 15 mins when you know everybody will be available. Then you can choose exactly who you want to be playing with who rather than who is available. I don't think anybody is talking about acheiving everybody getting a game with everybody. No need to split into groups like the thread starter was trying to avoid

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    Thank you to all who replied, given me some good tips for us to consider. There's pros and cons to all variants of course, and depends whether on the whole we think moving away from the current 'random' basis is really warranted or not. Perhaps just a reminder from our friendly organiser to all to spread themselves around and not be too picky who they play with/against is important. But if not, craigandy's info might be worth a try. Thanks again (and was right - a chestnut issue this one). (and keep the views coming if you want).

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