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  1. #1
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    Default Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center

    Has anyone tried playing at the Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center in NYC? I'm trying to figure out if it is all levels, etc.

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    I believe you are referring to the one close to China town area? Personally, I never played there, but the price is unbeatable when compare to all other clubs. I know several ppl used to play there, and they are decent players. However, I have no idea about the overall skill level, as the crowd changes from time to time.

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    i am going to try to tomorrow for the first time. I will post an update after my visit.

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    I thought AES has been closed for a while. Not sure whether they re-opened or not. Better give them a call to confirm.

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    thank you..i will do that before i head out.

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    I was there tonite and the place is good. they have 4 courts and everyone plays doubles for 15 mins. since i was there for the first time, i don't know if those were all the people but i found players in different levels. mostly low intermediate level players but there were a few intermediate level players also.
    Membership is $50 for the year. You bring your own shuttles and racket. Mondays 7:30-9:00 and fridays from 6:00-9:00 i think it is.

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    I just called the rec centre and the schedule for Fridays are from 5pm to 830pm.

    Here's their link:
    http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_thing...194#facilities

    Btw, great site! This is my first post and won't be my last once I get to know some good places to play in NYC area!

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    One question regarding AES. I plan on going there this Friday but I don't have a partner.

    How do I get paired up with players about the same level as me?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy_Cdn View Post
    One question regarding AES. I plan on going there this Friday but I don't have a partner.

    How do I get paired up with players about the same level as me?

    Thanks!
    Personally, I don't know too much about AES.

    However, I believe it's more like a random drop in, which means you just come up to players, and start a game. After several visits, I think you will know ppl better, and be able to stick with the group you feel comfortable with.

    Btw, I believe Stuyvesant HS still has badminton program. The schedule used to be Thursday and Sunday, and drop in price is $10. Not sure if they still offer this program or not.

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    Thanks for the info, LazyBuddy!

    I went to AES last night (Fri). After taking a (involuntary) break from badminton for a while, it was a good way to transition back into it since there was a 15 - 30 min break in between games due to number of people.

    For those who haven't been to AES, here's how it works:
    -Membership: $50/year
    -Mon & Fri: 6pm - 9pm (disregard their website's info)
    -4 courts
    -15 minute rotation - there's a timer! (so organized! cool!)
    -Sign up sheet system (players cannot be on the wait list twice)
    -Once you're done playing, you sign up for your next match
    -BYOB (bring your own birdie) & racquet

    Here are some observations (IMHO):
    1. There were, on average, 40 players. With 4 courts in the gym, this means that ~8 people in each rotation would sit out for 2 rounds and ~8 people would sit for 1 round until their next match. So if you are playing in the courts closest to the sign up sheet, your chance of sitting out for only 1 round is much higher. On top of that, not only will you be getting to minimize your break, you will also likely sign up to play in the court closest to sign-up sheet again in order to improve your chance of signing in the next round. The cycle continues. Do you see the problem for the 8 players out in the "far" courts? Heh heh...This kinda remind me of game theory!

    2. Due to high ratio of players to courts, it is almost impossible to match-up/"challenge" some of the higher-skilled players as most of them will have already signed up for their next match.

    3. Most of the players seem to already know each other so the skill-sets of each match are more or less equal unless you're a newbie. I quite enjoy the social aspects of badminton but I also like the competitiveness of the game (once in a while anyways).

    In one of the clubs that I use to play back home, there was a "ladder" system and I think it would be cool if they had that at AES. This would allow players to play with others in their levels but at the same time allow players to challenge higher ranking teams.

    4. The people in general were very friendly and almost all age categories were represented. Skills of players also range from beginners to high-intermediate although I believe there were prob more beginners there last night.

    I hope my chances of getting some more play time with different players improve in my next visit!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy_Cdn View Post
    Thanks for the info, LazyBuddy!

    I went to AES last night (Fri). After taking a (involuntary) break from badminton for a while, it was a good way to transition back into it since there was a 15 - 30 min break in between games due to number of people.

    For those who haven't been to AES, here's how it works:
    -Membership: $50/year
    -Mon & Fri: 6pm - 9pm (disregard their website's info)
    -4 courts
    -15 minute rotation - there's a timer! (so organized! cool!)
    -Sign up sheet system (players cannot be on the wait list twice)
    -Once you're done playing, you sign up for your next match
    -BYOB (bring your own birdie) & racquet

    Here are some observations (IMHO):
    1. There were, on average, 40 players. With 4 courts in the gym, this means that ~8 people in each rotation would sit out for 2 rounds and ~8 people would sit for 1 round until their next match. So if you are playing in the courts closest to the sign up sheet, your chance of sitting out for only 1 round is much higher. On top of that, not only will you be getting to minimize your break, you will also likely sign up to play in the court closest to sign-up sheet again in order to improve your chance of signing in the next round. The cycle continues. Do you see the problem for the 8 players out in the "far" courts? Heh heh...This kinda remind me of game theory!

    2. Due to high ratio of players to courts, it is almost impossible to match-up/"challenge" some of the higher-skilled players as most of them will have already signed up for their next match.

    3. Most of the players seem to already know each other so the skill-sets of each match are more or less equal unless you're a newbie. I quite enjoy the social aspects of badminton but I also like the competitiveness of the game (once in a while anyways).

    In one of the clubs that I use to play back home, there was a "ladder" system and I think it would be cool if they had that at AES. This would allow players to play with others in their levels but at the same time allow players to challenge higher ranking teams.

    4. The people in general were very friendly and almost all age categories were represented. Skills of players also range from beginners to high-intermediate although I believe there were prob more beginners there last night.

    I hope my chances of getting some more play time with different players improve in my next visit!

    Great to see that you find a place you like to play. Just chitchat with the locals more, and I am sure you will get to know a lot of great ppl in no time.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy_Cdn View Post
    Thanks for the info, LazyBuddy!

    I went to AES last night (Fri). After taking a (involuntary) break from badminton for a while, it was a good way to transition back into it since there was a 15 - 30 min break in between games due to number of people.

    For those who haven't been to AES, here's how it works:
    -Membership: $50/year
    -Mon & Fri: 6pm - 9pm (disregard their website's info)
    -4 courts
    -15 minute rotation - there's a timer! (so organized! cool!)
    -Sign up sheet system (players cannot be on the wait list twice)
    -Once you're done playing, you sign up for your next match
    -BYOB (bring your own birdie) & racquet

    Here are some observations (IMHO):
    1. There were, on average, 40 players. With 4 courts in the gym, this means that ~8 people in each rotation would sit out for 2 rounds and ~8 people would sit for 1 round until their next match. So if you are playing in the courts closest to the sign up sheet, your chance of sitting out for only 1 round is much higher. On top of that, not only will you be getting to minimize your break, you will also likely sign up to play in the court closest to sign-up sheet again in order to improve your chance of signing in the next round. The cycle continues. Do you see the problem for the 8 players out in the "far" courts? Heh heh...This kinda remind me of game theory!

    2. Due to high ratio of players to courts, it is almost impossible to match-up/"challenge" some of the higher-skilled players as most of them will have already signed up for their next match.

    3. Most of the players seem to already know each other so the skill-sets of each match are more or less equal unless you're a newbie. I quite enjoy the social aspects of badminton but I also like the competitiveness of the game (once in a while anyways).

    In one of the clubs that I use to play back home, there was a "ladder" system and I think it would be cool if they had that at AES. This would allow players to play with others in their levels but at the same time allow players to challenge higher ranking teams.

    4. The people in general were very friendly and almost all age categories were represented. Skills of players also range from beginners to high-intermediate although I believe there were prob more beginners there last night.

    I hope my chances of getting some more play time with different players improve in my next visit!
    hey buddy...are you sure about the time on monday. I think you play for longer hours on fridays but not on mondays. I did go there a few times on mondays and we only played for about an hour and a half.
    on My first visit there was a nice guy name sam helped me and paired me up with my type of players. since most people there already paired up, it's very hard to get into a group and find your own level players. After my first visit, i was stuck with some beginners for the next few visits. Since then I stopped going there but continue to play at my club ( NYCB) on wednesdays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B787-9 View Post
    hey buddy...are you sure about the time on monday. I think you play for longer hours on fridays but not on mondays. I did go there a few times on mondays and we only played for about an hour and a half.
    on My first visit there was a nice guy name sam helped me and paired me up with my type of players. since most people there already paired up, it's very hard to get into a group and find your own level players. After my first visit, i was stuck with some beginners for the next few visits. Since then I stopped going there but continue to play at my club ( NYCB) on wednesdays.

    I was there on Monday and I played from 6 - 9pm which is the same schedule on Friday. I've met Sam too and I agree - he's a nice guy but he didn't pair me up though (probably because I didn't ask). Sorry to hear about your situation. When the courts were free-for-all just before 6, I was snubbed by a few of the higher level players & I don't blame them since they will be taking a chance with a newbie when court time is so precious.

    In my last visit though, I played with some people who were non-beginners and just played with them the rest of the night.

    Overall, I like AES because it's cheap and allows me to get back into shape before I start getting more serious to take on players at NYCB + other clubs.

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    I may start going on Mondays again then. My membership card is getting old sitting in my wallet. 3 hours should give me some good playing time. Thanks for the info again buddy.

    I guess you are in intermediate level player, aren't you? I am more like very low intermediate level. I am more like sam and most other there except for few good ones there. We may be able to pair up and see if it works for us if you are interested. By the way...what's your name buddy?

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    Question Sam or Sammy? / Story of the AES Schedule.

    First of all, the nice guy you talked about, are you sure his name is Sam and not Sammy? There are two Sam's there and one of them is Sammy. Not both of them are nice...

    Secondly, here's the story of the confusing Monday schedule...
    AES operates a summer schedule every year from July to August that the center closes an hour earlier. While there's no after-school program to get in the way (school is out for the summer) so the badminton program moves up an hour to 5-8pm. This year they found that it takes the staff less time to close the building so the schedule became 5-8:30pm. Regular schedule of 6-9pm resumes in September. To make things more complicated, there were times we had only hour and half for Mondays...

    In the past, AES's badminton program only operates on Fridays. Earlier this year we were given Monday evenings as well but on an experimental basis depending on the turnout. So we only had 7:30-9pm on Mondays until a few months ago that we were given full 3 hour session.

    Now that the badminton program operates 6-9pm on both Mondays and Fridays. There is also a morning sessions on Tuesdays from 10:50am-12:20pm. The time is awful so don't expect to drop in and play. Make sure you arrange your own partners if you show up on Tuesday mornings.

    The next time you go, make sure that you give your cell phone number and email addresses to Sammy (not Sam) so you will be notified of schedule changes and closures.

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    Anyone still go there? I went for a few months in the summer/fall but stopped going when the weather got cold. The place got very crowded, and itís hard to get a court without waiting a long time cuz one guy usually ends up signing the sheet for all of his friends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueskies View Post
    Anyone still go there? I went for a few months in the summer/fall but stopped going when the weather got cold. The place got very crowded, and itís hard to get a court without waiting a long time cuz one guy usually ends up signing the sheet for all of his friends.
    $50 for the year, compare to most other clubs which paying $10+ per visit is quite a deal especially in NYC. So, you should expect a lot of ppl turn out during peak time.

    Rules in NYC: We pay more, we wait more, we play less.

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