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Thread: American Badminton League
12-18-2006, 03:45 PM #1
American Badminton League
Hello everyone - my name is Donn Gobbie and I am new to the board. I'm more of a tennis player than badminton player, but I did work for USA Badminton in the mid 1990's and really developed an appreciation for the game. I met Kevin Han and Howard Bach when I worked at USA Badminton, and they remain very good friends of mine.
I was a bit disappointed when I worked at USA Badminton to see this wonderful sport not really being marketed to its fullest potential in the US. After I left USA Badminton, I developed a league format that has co-ed teams, a different scoring system, etc. and called it the American Badminton League. Since 1998, colleges and universities here in the midwest play the event each year, and it's very popular. The idea for the ABL was not totally mine - I also use to work for Billie Jean King and her company, World Team Tennis. WTT uses a different scoring system to showcase men's and women's singles and doubles, and mixed doubles, all on one court (actually, the recreational WTT leagues use two courts, and the professional WTT league uses one court)
The huge advantage that badminton has over tennis is that spectators can get much closer to watch a match, and I thought it would be fantastic to watch professional badminton showcased on a single court, with spectators up close. As a result, the ABL plans to start a professional league on the West Coast of the USA in the summer of 2008 (after the Olympics, and either immediately before or immediately after the USA Open, when more of the international players are in this country). There's already interest from several badminton players who want to participate (sorry, can't mention any names at this time).
The ABL is looking for potential team owners for franchises in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle for the year, which will be a two week season. After that, we hope to expand to New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Houston in the following year to have a three-week, eight team league. If anyone on the board has any suggestions or recommendations for potential team owners, please let me know.
You can visit the ABL web site at www.americanbadmintonleague.com
Thanks! Looking forward to communicating with all of you - Donn
12-18-2006, 04:20 PM #2
That's incredible. I really, really appreciate what you're doing for the sport!
12-18-2006, 05:37 PM #3
Thanks, I hope the ABL takes off and flourishes.
12-18-2006, 09:01 PM #4
I echo Dinkalot's sentiments.
12-18-2006, 11:22 PM #5
Fantastic!!Great news to hear!!!
Why not give a bit attention to the east coast as well
12-19-2006, 12:18 AM #6
Wow, what a news...Originally Posted by dgobbie
dgobbie, thanks for sharing that wonderful news..Wow, so this league has been in existence all along since 1998??..
I wonder what or why did it take this long for you guys to finally start expanding, knowing well "most" of the competitions are on the West Coast of the U.S. Add to that, last yr's WC was nearly a "perfect" situation for you guys to promote the league.
But after reading some of the infos on your website(which looks very professional), hopefully what you've planned and envisioned can come to fruition very soon. It does look quite promising but again, I understand the logistics and the initial start of this can be a challenge. But maybe this type of badminton competition is what's been missing/lacking all along in the U.S...And if the media(s) notices this, who knows..
Anyways, wishing all the best to your endeavor and i'll be keeping my eyes on this league.
Last edited by ctjcad; 12-19-2006 at 12:28 AM.
12-19-2006, 02:16 AM #7
Website is down when I tried to go.
Would you have any interest in having the league extend into Canada? Or having Canadian players enter to play against Americans?
12-19-2006, 02:21 AM #8
Maybe we can start nominating who will be Team San Gabriel?
I'd say for the Men: Alex & James, Women: Grace and Mona or Johanna.
Who do you think?
Originally Posted by DinkAlot
12-19-2006, 03:13 AM #9
Originally Posted by Viper2005
12-19-2006, 08:14 AM #10
Cool...What kind of format are we talking about? New scoring system or old scoring system, IBF sanction etc
12-19-2006, 10:46 AM #11
12-19-2006, 11:49 AM #12
It's indeed a good idea to promote the sport. However, there are some difficulties which I think might be a draw back to a lot of participants:
1. Schedule: Many ppl (or say, most ppl) are full time working ppl or students. It's hard to get them to be fully participate in a long season (even we are talking about just weeks).
2. $$$: Travel requires $$$.
3. How to select the players for each team? Contact the local dominating clubs? Or, do an open selection to a region/city? There might be some political issues we need to be aware about.
12-19-2006, 02:47 PM #13
There should definately be a team even where you can compete against Canadians.
12-19-2006, 02:52 PM #14
I"m interested to know the mentality behind the 'quick game' scoring system?
12-19-2006, 06:01 PM #15
Originally Posted by westwood_13
Attack every chance you get.
12-19-2006, 06:17 PM #16
American Badminton League
Hi Everyone - thanks for your suggestions and comments - I hope the following answers some of the questions you've had:
Erasian asked about Canadian players in the league - the league will be open to players from all countries - we'll definitely have an international list of players - for our first year we want to keep the teams on the west coast of the US to make travel easier, and actually Seattle was a tough choice, since it's located further away from the California cities - if the Seattle team does not materialize, we'll look at another location in California (maybe Sacramento) or Las Vegas
Kooguy asked about the format - here's how it works: an ABL Professional match consists of 2 games of men's doubles, 2 games of men's singles, 2 games of women's singles, 2 games of women's doubles, and at least 1 game of mixed doubles. Every game won is a point in the team's total score, so an ABL score could look something like 9-0, 8-1, 7-2, 6-3, etc. All the games are played one at a time, all on one court. Mixed doubles is always played last. At the end of nine games, if the trailing team won the mixed doubles, the match will enter OVERTIME - when this happens, mixed doubles games are played until the trailing team ties the score, or the leading team wins one game. If the trailing team ties the score, a final mixed doubles game is played as a TIEBREAK. The overtime rule means that a team is never out of a match. At the most extreme example, let's say your team has lost the first eight games, and you are down 0-8 going into the mixed. If you win the mixed, it's now 1-8, and if you can win 7 mixed doubles games in a row to tie the score (without the leading team winning one game), you'll play a final mixed doubles game as a tiebreak. That's the most extreme example, but it shows you that you've always got a chance to make a comeback. In our recreational leagues, we've had many instances where a team was down 3-5 going into the mixed, won the mixed to make it 4-5, won one game in overtime to make it 5-5, and then won the tiebreak (a final mixed game) to win the match 6-5. It's really exciting.
It's in the playing of the games that traditional badminton players sometimes find it hard to adjust at first, but people who are new to the sport pick up easily: each game is the first side to win 17 points - each side takes turn serving four points (unlike traditional badminton, there are no second serves in doubles - you serve four points, the person on the other team serves four pointsm, then your partner serves points, then the other partner serves four points, etc) - it would have made sense to have a game end at 16 points, so in the event of 16-0 score in doubles, everyone would have served four times - but, we decided on 17 in case the score reaches 16-16, and in this case the next point wins it for either team - we' ve had this happen quite often in our recreational leagues and it's tense (and fun!) to watch
there are also rules like subsitutions, coaching during the games, etc that make the sport more fan friendly
LazyBuddy mentioned that the schedule would be hard for people who work - the ABL Professional League will be for world ranked players who travel the world to play tournaments, it's not a recreational league - as for the money, team owners must purchase a franchise, and that money goes directly into the prize money pool - we are working on getting sponsors to help with other league expenses, such as travel
LazyBuddy asked how the players are selected - this is a professional league, and as all pro leagues do, there will be a draft in the spring of 2008 - usually in a draft there is a Draft Order, and this will be determined (in the first year) by the order in which team owners purchase teams - in other words, if you are the first person to purchase a team, you will get the first pick in the draft - remember, many of the players in the draft will be from other countries
westwood13 asked about the mentality of the "quick game" - we developed the ABL Speed Game about ten years ago - we wanted to see a point rewarded for every rally, since the rallies in badminton are often so spectacular - plus, it makes the game end in a reasonable amount of time (about 9 to 12 minutes) so an ABL match that has at least nine games played on one court, one game at a time, will be over in less than two hours
I hope that answers most of your questions - I appreciate all your comments and look forward to reading more of them!
12-19-2006, 06:44 PM #17
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