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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Recreational Badminton

    Hi Folks:

    I am an active badminton player. Perhaps, not a very good player by the standards on this board. However, I enjoy and encourage the sport as a great source of fun and fitness.

    While many sports are growing in popularity, badminton in my area is not a sport on the increase. I see the same people playing every week. Most are 30 and above -- and while there is likely a healthy student population, I know that many high schools do not even offer badminton as part of their activities program.

    I am based in Canada, so I'm not sure how this stacks up against other areas.

    One way experienced players can help to promote the sport is by encouraging and supporting family events -- to get kids interested. We all know that the sport sells itself once you give it a try.

    How many times do you turn down "lesser" players because you just want to play very competitive matches. This mentality can work against -- because as interest in badminton dries up -- so do retail stores and badminton venues.

    For most people, badminton is a great recreational support -- and they do not have aspirations to be professionals or Olympians. The people who love badminton should all be on the same team!

    emba33

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    The club where I play has a range of players from beginners, recreational and competition standard (B players) who play in the local leagues. During most club nights all the players mix in together at the start of the evening, so you will often get the recreational playing along side the more advanced - although we generally try to make sure the two sides are reasonably balanced. Half way through the evening, or after a few games, the competition players try to get a few games against other competition players so that they get a good workout and chance to practice at that level. It doesn't always work out that way though.

    Our club never turns down "lesser" players, because frequently after a year or two they can become very useful players. We have all been a beginner at some stage! Badminton was not available at my school so I joined a local (adult) club that played in the evenings, fortunately they were patient and allowed me to learn.

    I'm not sure if you are looking for advice, but perhaps you could try arranging a match against other clubs, or an event within your own club, to get those competitive games. Is there not a local league?

  3. #3
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    Default Local Clubs

    Perhaps the issue I describe is more of a National issue? There is a feeling that if you play with NYLON birds, it is not "real" badminton. Our local badminton club (with the elite players) primarly plays with feather. Many times these players will only mingle amongst themselves.

    Just over the weekend, a good (not great) player came to "drop in" badminton at the local Community Centre. He did not bother to stay. I saw him the following day and asked why he didn't stay --- he said he did not see any "good games" there. Trust me -- everyone prefers a competitive game. However, sometimes you can balance two teams with a lesser player and a better player. Unless you are training for competition, it's just for fun, right?

    I just think we should do more to promote the sport we love (in our communities). In my area (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) -- the university students play on campass, the competitive players play through a dedicated Badminton club, and recreational players, have some options with community centres. The number of recreational players is dwindling -- the average age is getting older. When I look around, the average age is about 40 years old now ... and there are very few 20-somethings. Do you see the same things?

    Emba33

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    I don't know what you mean about it not being common in high schools in Canada. Back when I was in high school (not that long ago), we had the badminton team, open-gym badminton during lunchtime for a couple months a term, and 1 week of badminton in grade 9 gym class (about the same amount we got for each sport). The only problem was that most of those people kinda sucked, but that can be a problem anywhere.

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    Agreeing with feet...

    Badminton is played in a large percentages of high schools. All high schools have some form of badminton in their gym schedule, that is, out of the 8 months or 4 months of gym (non-semester/semester) at least 10% of the time will be devoted to badminton.

    That said, a lot of people play badminton, but not that many are drawn to it. For example, I know that when I was in HS, only 2 years ago, every grade 9 played badminton in gym.

    However, when the team was made, we could barely fill out the team.

    So, there are a lot of people who know what badminton is, what its like, but almost no one is drawn to it. Just bad publicity, as it is considered a sissy sport.

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    The problem with players' preferences can be taken care of by some of the following things:

    1. designated courts for different levels of play.
    2. different sign-up for different courts.
    3. advanced sign-up and have someone or players look over the upcoming matches so everyone agrees to play in matches they are in.
    4. most importantly make sure two sides are balanced.

    There's nothing you can do if some players only want to play with certain other players.

    As for getting more ppl to come and play, it's everyone's responsibility to do his/her share, bringing family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers, especially youth, who will be the future for any sports. Youth baddy classes and school clubs are other ways to cultivate interest.

  7. #7
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    Badminton in Canada, as a rule, has been fairly elitist at the more competitive levels. This is starting to change with clubs like the Mandarin, etc., that cater to wide range of skill sets. I do agree, it is a shame that more people dont' play recreationally. But I think that this is more due to lack of interest than anything else. How to stimulate that interest, I do not know.

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    Default Badminton, Snobbery and the Elite

    Hi Westwood:

    I agree with everything you said until you came to the conclusion that people are not drawn to the sport. From my experience, when I bring beginners from work (to play other beginners), they have a terrific time. People seem to enjoy all of the action. It keeps you constantly engaged. Badminton has the advantage over other racquet sports that you can play in relatively any indoor venue with high ceiling and court markings. Badminton is extremely affordable (there are so many players who still use the 2 piece old metal racquets for composite).

    The exercise level is excellent. It is much more fun than running a treadmill. The fact the spot is so popular in certain parts of the world, suggests that badminton could really catch on if more people were exposed to it.

    I would like more people to talk about the "snobbery" of the sport and work to make it less of an "elite" sport.

    Emba33

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    May I ask where Canada's baddy elitism come from? Did elite players immigrate there or they were born with baddy skills? I am sure it's not the latter. Without a popular support base, I don't know how Canada produced elite players in the first place. Please educate me since I'm not familiar the past history of Canadian baddy.

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    I actually have no idea...

    All I know it is very cliquish sometimes with the adult players, and they seem like they didn't want to play with me, when I was a younger. Granted, I was not up to their exact level, but I could challenge them and get points...

    Can of the older Canadian BC members comment?

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    It's hard for me to get any reputation in a club pretty much because of my age; I'm younger than all of the people where I play, and younger than many by at least 20 years. But once I improved, and I got some sort of reputation for my own skills, I've been able to enter the sort of "elitist" crowd. Sort of.

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    Default Badminton Elitism

    The past few posts confirm what I have experienced in my area.

    Canada is a country of immigrants (like most of North America).

    For the individuals I play with, they are mostly Chinese, Korean, Indian, British immigrants. I don't usually play with younger players, however, they are usually the kids of individuals who have immigrated from other countries.

    In my area, good players are usually offiliated with a club. Clubs usually have membership fees -- and their fascilities are most often available for guests. In some cases, guests have to be offiliated with a member of the club.

    One really positive trend is the video of kids doing "cool badminton moves" on You Tube. Perhaps this will get Canadian kids of the current generation interested.

    Emba33

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    Wah, didnt know Badminton considered sissy sport in certain western countries. Now I understand why fastdrop said the French liked to watch Taufik & LCW play, kids like the cool moves.

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    The whole deal with the "elitism" is that an unknown, poor player can unbalance a game, making it less fun to play. Suppose you only have a few hours a week to play, would you rather play with your friends or with random new guy? The new guy can be good or bad, but deep down you might think "if he's any good, wouldn't he already have a group to play with?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblingfeet View Post
    The whole deal with the "elitism" is that an unknown, poor player can unbalance a game, making it less fun to play. Suppose you only have a few hours a week to play, would you rather play with your friends or with random new guy? The new guy can be good or bad, but deep down you might think "if he's any good, wouldn't he already have a group to play with?"
    Then my suggestion in post #6 should solve the problem. There is nothing wrong with some players want to stay together and only play among themselves. My question is really why baddy in Canada can not be more popular? Is this elite player class the root cause for the problem or just coincidence?

    If there are enough courts for everyone, I don't see any problems with segregated groups of players based on their skills. If court space is limited, one or more sign-up sheet(s) will be needed to ensure equal access to courts, on a first come, first serve basis.

    Beginners can organize themselves into pairing up and have fun playing too. Why they need elite players to play with them? Maybe a good player on either side will help them to improve their skills, but there are no way beginners should depend on elite or good players for recreational baddy. I would say it's more the organizers' responsibility to be even-handed and help out with organizing the beginners or anyone who is new to the club so he/she can quickly find players with similar skills.

    Having an intermediate court would be a good idea. This would give opportunities to some players who want to improve and move up the ladder and at the same time have more competitive games.
    Last edited by Birdwood; 01-23-2008 at 01:21 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by emba33 View Post
    Hi Westwood:

    I agree with everything you said until you came to the conclusion that people are not drawn to the sport. From my experience, when I bring beginners from work (to play other beginners), they have a terrific time. People seem to enjoy all of the action.
    Emba33
    I completely agree with you, but therein lies my point. You brought them from work. They didn't come on their own. If they didn't have contact with badminton players they wouldn't simply think one day, "Oh, I'd like to go take up badminton." and even if they do think that, they would not know where or how to go about it because it is so poorly advertised.

    Good point stumblingfeet on the observation of potential cause of 'snobbery'. It stands to reason.

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