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  1. #1
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    Default Need advice on setting up a badminton club

    Yo!

    So at the moment, the only badminton clubs in my area require at least 8 miles travel. It's not massively convenient, and there are sports centres much closer by. One of these centres that runs a drop in session has a level 2 coach working there, and he's interested in starting a club. I've spoken with him about helping set up the club, and he's happy for me to help out.

    I was wondering if anyone could provide advice on:
    - Peg systems/board systems (Would it be easier to use computer software for this to automatically generate games?)
    - What type of shuttles? (I'm thinking mid range feather shuttles, such as Yonex AS30, Victor Gold Champion, or Yehlex Tournament, as well as some Mavis 2000 for general rallies)
    - How to generate interest, and what sort of activities could be run?
    - How to ensure even games are created?
    - What's a good length of play time? Most clubs I've seen do 2 hours, but I can personally go on for as long as 6. Would it be worth starting the night with more courts, then dropping back the number we use as the night goes on and some people leave?

    Any other useful points would be greatly appreciated too. I'm basically looking for any information, and any ideas that I can then feed back and discuss with the coach.

    Kind regards
    Charlie

  2. #2
    Regular Member leongwaipak's Avatar
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    Good luck with this, it will take time to setup and hopefully you can generate enough members to keep it going.

    When you start out, you probably won't have that many players to justify any software.
    You can probably manage by organising players into games yourself initially ensuring there it's a bit of mix and variety. You get to know the people that come and understand their skill levels that way.
    You just need to ensure there isn't a big mismatch of skills for games.

    First You need to have in mind how much the courts or stadium costs. Is there an hourly cost or is it a cost for the whole stadium per night? What night would be most suitable for people?

    Secondly you need to factor how much the shuttles cost. Will shuttles be included in the price? One place I go only supplies cheap plastic shuttles to keep entry costs low AUD4 per night, so players often use their own shuttles. If you supply feather shuttles, it usually doubles the price to come and play.

    How long you open will depend on your cost to hire the courts or stadium. The longer you open, the more feather shuttles you use. One feather shuttle should last one game which lasts around ten minutes per court.

    With this in mind you will then know the breakeven cost per night and how much you need to charge and is that price people are willing to pay?
    This all really depends on your target market of the people in your area.
    A good number of people works out to be around 6 to 7 per court.

    Where i usually go we have six courts and average fifty people in a social setting which only cost AUD4 per night with plastic shuttles. We open Mon, Wed and Thursday night's and its usually organised by one person. Our sessions usually lasts four hours. Three hours would probably be a good length to start with.

    It's best to advertise on social media coz it's free and also advertise at the gym/stadium where you intend to play. Afterwards word of mouth should do the trick if the environment and costs are right.

    There are lots of other variables that you can tweak (like training sessions with that coach) but the main thing is that you aim to break even or make a little bit of money so you keep people coming back regularly. If your formula is wrong and it costs you money every night, that's going to quickly end the club session.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by leongwaipak; 01-29-2015 at 11:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leongwaipak View Post
    Good luck with this, it will take time to setup and hopefully you can generate enough members to keep it going.

    When you start out, you probably won't have that many players to justify any software.
    You can probably manage by organising players into games yourself initially ensuring there it's a bit of mix and variety. You get to know the people that come and understand their skill levels that way.
    You just need to ensure there isn't a big mismatch of skills for games.

    First You need to have in mind how much the courts or stadium costs. Is there an hourly cost or is it a cost for the whole stadium per night? What night would be most suitable for people?

    Secondly you need to factor how much the shuttles cost. Will shuttles be included in the price? One place I go only supplies cheap plastic shuttles to keep entry costs low AUD4 per night, so players often use their own shuttles. If you supply feather shuttles, it usually doubles the price to come and play.

    How long you open will depend on your cost to hire the courts or stadium. The longer you open, the more feather shuttles you use. One feather shuttle should last one game which lasts around ten minutes per court.

    With this in mind you will then know the breakeven cost per night and how much you need to charge and is that price people are willing to pay?
    This all really depends on your target market of the people in your area.
    A good number of people works out to be around 6 to 7 per court.

    Where i usually go we have six courts and average fifty people in a social setting which only cost AUD4 per night with plastic shuttles. We open Mon, Wed and Thursday night's and its usually organised by one person. Our sessions usually lasts four hours. Three hours would probably be a good length to start with.

    It's best to advertise on social media coz it's free and also advertise at the gym/stadium where you intend to play. Afterwards word of mouth should do the trick if the environment and costs are right.

    There are lots of other variables that you can tweak (like training sessions with that coach) but the main thing is that you aim to break even or make a little bit of money so you keep people coming back regularly. If your formula is wrong and it costs you money every night, that's going to quickly end the club session.

    Good luck!
    The charge would include shuttles. The court hire is quite high, but I'm hoping that because the level 2 coach works there, we can find a compromise that lets us get those courts a bit cheaper.

    Charge including shuttles is why I want to find a reasonable mid range shuttle to use; nothing rubbish, but it doesn't need to be AS50 sort of thing.

    Social media would be definite and easy as you said.

    There are already social sessions that run at this centre, sponsored by Badminton England; but those are social, not club play. This provides the cheaper environment more friendly to beginners.

    I have around 20 players in mind that would be interested in the setting, but I'm not sure about their availability.

    Honestly as you said, for me it'd just be about breaking even and providing a good quality environment for people. That's part of the reason I want to be able to supply feathered shuttles, as many players prefer using them.

  4. #4
    Regular Member leongwaipak's Avatar
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    Ahhh I misunderstood the club part. Sorry about that.

    So you want to setup a club that had training and would participate in the weekly competitions?
    That would require a little bit more organisation, like membership, player commitment, training nights, transport to competitions and the like.

    But the first part would be the social settings that would act as a feeder of members into your club proper.
    Finding the right members who will be dedicated to stick together and to field a team in the local competitions takes time but I'm sure you can do it.

    I know one of the local clubs doesn't have any problems with members and fields several teams at different league levels while some other clubs struggles with members and to fill one team. It does become a paradox because players tend to get attracted to more popular clubs.
    Anyway, that will depend on your charisma and how well you organise sessions and the members to keep them coming back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leongwaipak View Post
    Ahhh I misunderstood the club part. Sorry about that.

    So you want to setup a club that had training and would participate in the weekly competitions?
    That would require a little bit more organisation, like membership, player commitment, training nights, transport to competitions and the like.

    But the first part would be the social settings that would act as a feeder of members into your club proper.
    Finding the right members who will be dedicated to stick together and to field a team in the local competitions takes time but I'm sure you can do it.

    I know one of the local clubs doesn't have any problems with members and fields several teams at different league levels while some other clubs struggles with members and to fill one team. It does become a paradox because players tend to get attracted to more popular clubs.
    Anyway, that will depend on your charisma and how well you organise sessions and the members to keep them coming back.
    Yeah haha, I'm pretty confident we wouldn't jump in heads first into leagues/competitions. To start with it'd be providing a club atmosphere to get people training seriously. As you said, I'm hoping the social setting can also act as a feeder.

    I'm always a firm believer in 'providing a good product gets you good response', so I'm aiming to set up a really good atmosphere.

    There are people I play with already and people I used to play with that have expressed interest in this idea, so I'm hoping I can generate enough gusto to get it off the ground.

    As you said, it's dependent on charisma and making sure it's organized well - this is why I'm thinking about finding the optimal shuttle, thinking about game organization, and figuring out play time lengths. I want people to be able to come knowing they'd get a good experience.

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    Most clubs grow in the direction of their membership. If you have 20 people in mind, a questionnaire would enable you to make informed choices on which night(s) to run, who is willing to pay for what/how long etc.

    For example, if 20 people want to play, but they want to play at different times, then perhaps you hire 2 courts for 3 hours. If more people want to play at the same time, then 3 courts for 2 hours may be more appropriate to the group.

    It is worth building a peg-board & ensuring that everyone knows how to use it. In particular, telling whoever has next pick that a court is free etc.

    Another thing to consider is how even is the standard? Will you need 2 groups, on different courts and/or time-slots?

    Money is a tedious, but vital, issue. If you want to achieve significant discounts on court and shuttles, you need to buy in bulk. Yonex doesn't give discounts, but many of the others (Yehlex, Victor spring to mind) offer discounts on orders of 25 dozen. In order to afford that kind of outlay, you'd need to consider seasonal/annual subs. Running out of cash kills clubs dead, so never underestimate the importance of cash flow.

    Another consideration is the division of court time between club and matches. Will you charge match fees on top of subs, or are they included? Will matches be played using 'club' courts, or will you hire extra? How will you balance those who 'qualify' for 3 leagues versus those who qualify for only 1?

    To give you some ball-park figures, clubs that I've played for in the Worcester and/or Birmingham leagues:
    > Have about 30->40 members
    > A club night is usually 4 courts for 2->2.5 hours and has an attendance of 15->25
    > All have a beg board, though the number of people someone can choose from varies
    > Membership subs are annual (some include the summer closed season of May->September, some don't) and work out between 2.50 to 3 per available club session (if you went to them all)
    > Match fees are extra, typically 4->5 per match
    > Shuttles are either Yonex AS30s, Yehlex Tournament or similar (12->15)
    Feel free to deviate from this model if that suits your group better. Remember, give your membership a voice and you'll have a product with "buy-in".

    Good luck.

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    Regular Member leongwaipak's Avatar
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    That's great advice. Good reading

    Anyway, I just want to briefly add on, everyone's got Facebook and you can add these people quickly into a group and do a questionnaire through the group.

    You can also create weekly sessions like an event and make people confirm they're coming so you know how many courts you may need.
    Any special events social gatherings, trips can be organised with the event and you keep members informed quickly.

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    I'd ask the Sports center if they'd be interested in giving you 2 hours of court time in exchange for your Level 2 Coach and yourself organising a regular drop-in badminton session. You could make it official by going down the Badminton England No Strings route. The sports centre would then handle the money side and could help with promotion. I'd recommend using the plastic shuttles. You could expand the number of courts if the numbers grow. Ask the players to sign a register before the session starts, this will allow you keep track of the attendance and is handy if you forget players' names. Setting up a FaceBook Group and sending regular events is a good idea. Consider doing a level 1 coaching course yourself. I wouldn't bother with a peg system, players informally arranging their own games leads to more social interaction and less arguments.

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    I just saw this post...

    Charlie I'm going coaching tonight and won't be back until 11pm but I will post tonight to help.

    I work with the Local Authority and we work in partnership with Badminton England and I have setup many clubs and I will post all the useful info tonight.

    Kindest regards,

    -Ajay-

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvincibleAjay View Post
    I just saw this post...

    Charlie I'm going coaching tonight and won't be back until 11pm but I will post tonight to help.

    I work with the Local Authority and we work in partnership with Badminton England and I have setup many clubs and I will post all the useful info tonight.

    Kindest regards,

    -Ajay-

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    Thanks Ajay!

    We've been doing it for 2 weeks now, and I'll post some progress as well as a bit of an action plan once you've posted your advice!

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    Okay I'm on my phone typing this so excuse the typos and errors.

    Sport England released new website called Club Matters, www.sportenglandclubmatters.com, it has free resources and advice on most of what I will tell you. First let me. address your questions:
    1. we use a pegboard in our club, it's fairer and ensures you get a good mix of games. you pick yourself if you are the first on the board and 3 others from next 7, whether it's level doubles or mixed, you choose. once you complete the match, you go to end of board and whomever is at the front picks.
    2. All those shuttles you mentioned are decent and repairable, this ensures you can keep the cost down and use repaired shuttles also during club night.
    3. Advertise with posters and flyers at local area to venue, so attract other sports centre users. libraries, shopping centre notice board, churches, schools etc. know whom you want to attract and what level, having a coach at your club is a good selling point, use on adverts.
    4. correct use of the pegboard will ensure even games, use common sense, if you have 1 strong player with a weaker player, use the same on other side.
    5. club nights are usually 2-3 hours, start with 2 hours per week, set time each week, you can always expand later on, start simple, it's easier to manage. I assume you have to pay per court, then again start with how many people you think will attract, book accordingly, this can be tweaked later.

    Okay other things to do:
    -Setup club constituition, have club committee, talk about how much you will charge dependant on overheads, the website I mentioned will help.
    -consider setting up club website, it's easy to do, most people find clubs via online searching.
    -set-up Facebook and twitter pages for your club, use social media to attract new members.
    -think whether you want to be casual social club or league club to play competitive badminton.
    -try and get one member to be first aid trained and go on child safeguarding course, so you are covered incase someone has an injury during club nights and also when you have juniors in your club.
    -register members with badminton England so they have public liability insurance and you are also covered incase something happens with venue. You can also get advice from Badminton England website on what else membership offers.

    It's late so I will stop here for now, I need to sleep, lol.

    Any specific questions, just ask, I will answer.

    Kindest regards,

    -Ajay-

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    Last edited by InvincibleAjay; 02-20-2015 at 08:08 PM.

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    Hey Ajay! Thanks for taking the time to write these things out.

    Pegboard system: This sounds like a good idea, we're aiming to start running on multiple nights. At the moment our current session is more training focused. When we get a larger player base, and if we start running more games, this'll definitely be on the table. One club I've seen ignore their pegboard system, I might have to see if it can be tweaked, or maybe even the use of software on a computer, for easier systems.

    Posters and adverts: I've actually drawn up some designs for posters, and talked with the local sports shop. I might look into the library and some general stores to see if they'll take the posters too as you've suggested.

    Shuttles: I'm testing a tube of Ashaway 450 Blacks at the moment and they seem to be holding up pretty well; the lead coach wants to use Yonex AS30s, but I think they're too expensive.

    Constitution, committee etc.: Still a WIP. We need to guarantee our court space and get some numbers before we go official.

    Coaches: We have a level 2 that plays county level, and I just qualified for my level 1, so we'll actually have at least 2 coaches attending.

    Club direction: It's definitely looking like a competitive club. We're aiming to refine technique and get practise. It's pretty gruelling physically, but it's worthwhile in my opinion. There are lots of social sessions and 'just games' opportunities for people.

    Social media: Same situation as constitution, committee etc.

    Registering with BE: I've drawn up some player registration forms. We're planning on doing this by the books provided we can get the numbers and court space.

    Court space: We had some problems last week where they only gave us one court as against 6 - but we only had 8 or so people. I'm gonna inquire further today, and see if they can guarantee us at least 3 courts. The payment works out as 'per session' rather than 'per court' as the lead coach works at the leisure centre.

    First aid, safeguarding etc.: Aren't these mandatory for level 2 nowadays? I seem to recall seeing something about that on the BE site. I'm sure the leisure centre at least has trained first aiders on hand, but it's something we can look into.

    Thanks for the link! We've already been looking at some of the local websites, but that one wasn't on our list. I'm definitely gonna take a look through this and see what I can find.

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    You are welcome Charlie I typed that post from bed as didn't want to wake my baby girl, lol, it came out okay.

    Remember if you can learn how to repair shuttles, you will save alot of money in the long run, over a season we repair about 25 dozen or so and our club uses about 130 dozen but we normally buy about 105, it all adds up, there is a post about shuttle reincarnation with videos that explains how to do it. Recruit a few of you to do that and these shuttles are good enough to be used at club nights and for practise games. You can save the new ones for more competitive games and training.

    Sounds sensible on getting the numbers first before getting a constitution and registering everything. Well done on becoming a Level 1 coach, you are right all Level 2's need to complete a basic one day first aid course and Safeguarding course but that only came into play this year. Make sure the level 2 coach is up-to-date with them, I assume as he works for the Leisure centre, he/she must be.

    Ask him/her to negotiate a deal with the Leisure centre, they promise certain courts and you can give them a numbers of Leisure centre users as well as income from guaranteed court bookings.

    Good luck, if you need any other info, just ask me, I will be more than happy to help.

    Kindest regards,

    -Ajay-

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    Regular Member leongwaipak's Avatar
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    Sounds like it's moving along steadily, good job!

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    IMO you are actually thinking about things which are not the most important ones. I don't know the statutes, rules and requirements of your badminton federation in the UK, but you have to study them well, to launch a club which wants to play competitive. You also need guys to form a management. A trainer is a good start but you need a lot more people.
    I think the easiest way is to find a sporting club which don't have badminton division and try to form one. These clubs often have the connection of sporting halls in your area. You can introduce them your aims and things you can do. They can only say no.
    I work actually for a badminton division of a big sized club with different kind of sports. So this is my experiece here in Germany. I know that launching a own and independent badminton club is a lot more work. Especially the finiancial aspects are very difficult to master.

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