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Thread: Club members conflicting needs
09-01-2013, 12:13 PM #1
Club members conflicting needs
The badminton club which I run has recently seen a boom in participants of varying abilities. We are a casual club who welcome members of all abilities and we are non-competitive but do have friendly matches with a local club of similar ability. We are all close friends with most people knowing people there of having been members for a long time and playing consistently together.
The issue I now have is that because we are a very casual club, who have previously only had 10-12 members at a time but are now having 20+, we have always allowed players to select their own games and sit off when it is their turn. However, the recent influx of players has seen people be less and less willing to play a game with a new/beginners player and more willing to repeat the same game they have if the players are all of a good standard. This leaves many good players, who ARE willing to rotate playing with players who are much less able than them, never getting to play a game which challenges them/is at their level.
I really want to maintain the friendly and welcoming atmosphere we have developed, but am becoming increasingly concerned with the people who are more selfish than others as I have had a few complaints. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I might tackle this situation. I have discussed with a couple of close friends the introduction of a peg system and also the potential for grading players and having free play for the first hour and restricted play by ability in the second, but have had mixed responses.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
09-01-2013, 12:49 PM #2
I play in different clubs. One of them is like your friendly casual club where people are more or less randomly mixed. Another is more competitive but still has players from absolute beginners to more advanced ones, and there people are naturally separated simply a few games after they join the club. I don't think it's a matter of being selfish. It's natural people choose to play with those with at least similar abilities, because the level of a game is limited by the player with the lowest skill. On the other hand, people are usually pretty aware of the culture of a club. I guess you should really talk to them if you think that you want to maintain your club as it is, since you own your club. They can choose a different club which suits their expectation better. But personally, I think closing the door and just having fun yourselves is not the way to go. You might want to have some coaching sessions so that your just-for-fun players can be more serious skillwise. I think that would help the club in the long run.
09-01-2013, 12:59 PM #3
Well I intend on having a meeting about it but I know that they will look for possible solutions, of which I don't have many, haha, as I have no experience of handling this.
The issue I have is that I have good players who are refusing to play with less good players, which means that the other good players are complaining because a) they aren't getting enough good games as the other good players aren't leaving a court to change, and b) they feel it is unfair that these people get to play good games by refusing to play with less good players. However, I also have mid-ground players who want to play with the better players so that they can improve, but this means that the good players don't get as many good games. It seems an impossible situation to me. I am really stumped.
09-01-2013, 01:09 PM #4
You might want to arrange the games like a tournament, with good players as seeds, and assign the rest with a draw.
09-01-2013, 04:22 PM #5
I think you are in a no-win situation. The only thing I can suggest is to have the meeting with all the members explaining the situation and think about instilling a rule that says that no group can play consectutive games together (to force the foursome to break up). The club that I played with went through a similar situation where the better players didn't want to sign up when they see a weaker player on the board. I don't know how the grouping works but we usually try to even up the pairings so that the game is more or less even (with the best player partnered with the weakest) but that doesn't really work when you have 3 really good players and one beginner
09-01-2013, 06:39 PM #6
just enforce a peg system and make sure players leave the court after their game is finished
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09-02-2013, 07:27 AM #7
You have my sympathies. It's the same issues the world over.
amleto is right. In terms of effectiveness-to-organisational effort, a peg-board is the best way of mixing things round. If a 'good' player doesn't want to play a game picked by a 'weak' player, then they can nominate to go to the back of the queue. They will therefore play fewer (albeit 'better') games.
IMHO, all clubs are going to have a range of abilities. The better players at your club need to accept that they'll get some good and some poor games.
Beyond that, you are talking about splitting the session (or even the club) into several entities. This isn't completely unreasonable. However, this takes extra effort to grade. Also, grading will lead to some form of politics. In my opinion, 20 members is a bit small to split into 2 groups, especially as not everyone will turn up every week.
Another solution you could look at is to organize some coaching for the club, helping the weaker players to improve faster. I play for clubs which are quite competitive & have 'beginner sessions' which are separate from the main club. This enables people to play and practice, with the aim that they improve to a standard suitable for the main club. This is a lot more work, but ultimately will provide a good standard without losing 'beginners welcome'.
Good luck and let us know how you get on!
09-02-2013, 10:53 AM #8
Well, I think one method will be to make a friendly tournament inside your club. Maybe very 2 month. Regardless discipline or level of play. It will bring people closer to each other and different types of player can know each other. Beginners can learn things from well experienced players and so on.
So you can do a non gender doubles tournament. All teams will be alloted. You can split the levels of each player and can match poor players with really good players. And intermediates with better players. So you must put all players of same quantity in 4 level of skill. So the games will be balanced and every will have fun regardless beginner or experienced player because the games will be narrow and every player will be pushed to it's abilities, because the king of your club must run and work for poor one and the poor one is pushed to his limits by playing againt better opponents.
09-02-2013, 09:41 PM #9
How many courts do you have?
09-02-2013, 10:41 PM #10
Same problem here.
Our organizer decide to have an extra court specifically for the 'good' player.
But 30 minutes before our session end, we will tell them to mix again with the 'not so good' player, and tell them this is your chance to cool down
09-04-2013, 08:54 AM #11
I find that clubs with grading often leads to more politics than less. Also, it segregates the players so those mid-tier players will never play with the stronger players.
Unfortunately, if you're unable to convince the cliquish players to split up to keep your games random, then a peg system will only mean they play less games since they will mostly opt to go to the back of the queue to stay together. However it might mean the strong players at least get some chances to play some good games.
Another idea is to have a double peg system. If you have enough courts you could setup a "king-of-the court" style area for one or two courts and all the challenging double or single teams can peg up to take turns trying to become the king of the court. The rest of the courts can run simultaneously on a normal peg system. That way Strong players can team up and get all sorts of challenges. It also means that foursome will split up if they wanna play king of the court.
09-06-2013, 10:20 PM #12
CCC Social Challenge Matches
You will need to stick to your reasons/objectives why you originally started your club.
Is it for all players, weak or strong, to attend? If yes, you can try the system that my CCC Badminton Club is using.
We invite all BCers (weak or strong) to play at our club. Here is the link for our system: http://www.badmintoncentral.com/foru...18#post2137518
Most of our players like our system. Why? Because if they played well, they will play against stronger players/partners next game. If they played badly, they will play against weaker players/partners next game.
Hope that this system can work for your club too.
Last edited by chris-ccc; 09-06-2013 at 10:22 PM.
10-07-2013, 11:39 AM #13
Thanks so much for the replies! And sorry for the lateness of this update. I took all your ideas on board and presented all the options to a meeting between myself and the members whom I considered to be the 'core' of the club. Those being the longest serving, most consistently attending and those who also attend on other nights of the week to the one in mention.
we discussed the topics and the held a further club meeting during which we discussed the matter of court time, pairings, game systems and the possibility of coaching. We all talked it out and thankfully everybody was fantastic in openly airing any concerns and everyone listened, understood and empathised with each others particular issues. Since this meeting the club has gone back to its original ways! The overall atmosphere, game quality, court time and most importantly enjoyment for all members have all increased dramatically and we have maintained a casual approach to game selection with people simply being more fair, furthermore, the club has, thus far, maintained this attitude even though we are now up to 25+ people most Friday nights. DO THESE PEOPLE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO ON A FRIDAY!? Haha!
Thanks so much for all your help, advice and contributions!
10-08-2013, 10:08 AM #14
We have a similar problem with better players not player with other 1s etc etc. We have a book system where the top person picks from the next 6 free. and we keep doing this so the top name of the available list picks from the next 6 free.
In this way everyone has to play with every1 else. If it is a good players turn to pick if hes top, he may have chance to pick better ones if they are in the next 6 down.
10-09-2013, 12:38 PM #15
I don't think player grading is beneficial nor random selections for games - in fact in some clubs it might cause resentment and cliques (yes, these exist anyway!). Most use a peg board system with the person at the front choosing from the next 6-8 waiting players. That way games do get mixed reasonably well. I've played in places without any peg system and it's unsuccessful because individuals can choose players based on their own personal preferences and not how often individuals have been on court, and some players consistently get left out while others get more games.
10-21-2013, 04:06 PM #16
We don't have half of your problem in my league because we have an unwritten rule that if anyone is waiting for a court, the foursome finishing their doubles match exits the court and the waiting players take the court.
We do have the other half of your problem, with about 50% of our better players not being willing to play with the beginners. In fact, some of these players are snobs to the point that there are certain courts they will not play on because of somewhat worse lighting so some of these people would rather sit out for 10-15 minutes than stoop to playing on one of the "cruddy" courts.
I try to play one game a night, at least, with people I know are beginners and will ask them if I can give them some tips and pointers about basic technique and strategy. I've had a few people tell me "no" and I won't ever play with them again, not because of the affront to my ego, but because I don't want to waste my time playing with someone who is a bad player and who won't try to do anything to get better. Not surprisingly, if one gives some of these newbies a chance, over time they have greatly improved and become some of the better players. There have been a number of new members to the league who are outright anti-social and only want to play with their spouse or family members. They get ignored, unless there's a lot of people waiting for open courts and then the guy that runs the league will mention that they need to give up the court to a waiting group after they're done with a game. We often don't see them again in the next league session.
I've had some of the beginners or less skilled players say to me, when I joined their games, "I didn't know any of you better players condescended to playing with us scrubs" and I've heard some of them referring to some of the better players as "the snobby players." That's kind of a shame. I tell them "Keep working on your game and you'll be one of the better players soon."
I've sometimes seen some real arrogance toward perceived newbies and strangely, it's usually been by men from a particular ethnic group (to avoid fingerpointing, I'll just refer to them as Snobs). I've heard the following sorts of comments from Snobs directed at newbies "You cannot play on this court - you are not good" and "I will not play with someone as low in level as you." However, I also heard one really egotistical non-Snob better player patronizingly say "Honey, you wouldn't have fun playing in this group - why don't you go find a game with players of your own level." I was friends with the snubbed woman, who wasn't new to the game but just doesn't play super-competitively, and she told me afterwards she got really pissed at that comment.
One game I was in the opponents were a Snob new to the league but not new to badminton and a female partner who was actually one of the better women players. The Snob was maybe the biggest chauvinist I've ever seen in real life and he kept ordering around his partner who he kept saying was playing out of position (she refused to play mixed-doubles serving style when she was taller than her male partner and maybe a better player, too) even though she wasn't at all in the wrong place. At one point he called her a "stupid woman" and they got into a big argument in which she told him to keep his mouth shut. He responded "You must do as I say. I am the man and you are the woman." That kind of comment does not fly in America. She told him to "*&%&%-off" and walked off the court. I tried to talk to him about chauvinism being unacceptable in our league and he just got steamed. Never saw him again after that night.
I've had some Snobs mistakenly think I was a beginner, even though they were a lot closer to beginner ranks than I was. After years of playing only one league, last year I decided to show up at the other area league that I had not played in for almost a decade and see how it was, with thoughts of playing in both leagues. I only recognized a few players and saw an open court with three guys on it, all Snobs I had never seen before. Notwithstanding that they could see I had my own racquet, they decided that "We've never seen him play here before" must mean "dumb beginnner" and all expressed hesitation on playing with me. One player said something in a language other than English to the others, and they grudgingly agreed to let me play, but began condescendingly trying to tell me how to play the game. I tried to mention that I had been playing for years, but they insisted on trying to show me the court lines and explain the scoring system. I said "Yes, let's just play." One opponent got really pissed off when I returned his weak smash with a drop to the opposite side of the court for a winner. Early in that game, his partner tried to tell me where to stand in-between points. The next point, I smashed on him and he got so surprised and upset that he called it out. I said no, it landed between your shoes and you're standing 3 feet inside the court. One of the opponents got really upset after the game and had some weird excuses about why he had lost, seemingly to someone who he had stereotyped as being both a beginner and an unskilled player. We switched up partners the next two games, so I ended up playing with all three guys as my partner in one game each. My team won all three, holding all three opposing teams to single digit scores. I tried to be friendly and gracious, but got very cold stares and quick, limp handshakes back. FYI, two of my best friends are in my regular league, they are both Snobs, but are both very down-to-earth, non-snobbish players.
Forcing players of greatly different levels to have to play repeatedly with each other is not fun for anyone, but there is no point to looking at someone and making a snap judgment about them being an inferior player. I think everyone should play with beginners once in a while. I've got a few friends who joined the league a few years back who are now better players and I know they get a bit of satisfaction out of beating some of the snobby old-timers who have been in the league 20+ years, who wouldn't play with them 3-4 years ago.
11-20-2013, 06:58 AM #17
^ Thanks for sharing. I laughed out loud at times! Some of these anti-social behaviors...