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  1. #1
    Jared Danaraj
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    Default Playing Badminton in the South Bay Area

    Hi,

    I am looking for playing partners as well as places to play in Sunnyvale, San Jose, Milpitas, Cupertino etc..

    I am a fairly OK player but not as fast as before. I am after all 27 now....

    Regards,

  2. #2
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Badminton in the South Bay Area

    Jared, do you play in Gunn?

  3. #3
    Jared Danaraj
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    Default Re: Playing Badminton in the South Bay Area


    No, where is Gunn? When are they open and is it crowded?

  4. #4
    Faris
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    Default Re: Playing Badminton in the South Bay Area

    asasasasassaas

  5. #5
    mo
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    Default Re: Playing Badminton in the South Bay Area

    Gunn is a high school in Palo Alto. Badminton is pretty popular.

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    Default Not bulky, just baddy

    BAY AREA
    Batty for badminton
    Sports craze rooted in Asia is spawning crowded new clubs
    Vanessa Hua, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Saturday, January 7, 2006

    In a warehouse deep within a Milpitas business park, badminton players slam shuttlecocks over nets, their sneakers squeaking as they bound around the court.

    Riding waves of immigration from Asia, where the racquet sport is an obsession, badminton is exploding in popularity in the Bay Area.

    "It's good for anyone, young or old," said Jenny Wu, a Saratoga software engineer and Chinese immigrant who plays badminton three times a week during her lunch hour. "It's not like basketball, where you are pushed around by other people."

    Three large badminton clubs opened in the Bay Area last year -- Smash City in Milpitas, Golden Gate Badminton Club in Menlo Park and United Badminton Club in Fremont. Players no longer have to scrounge for court time at community centers and gyms, where badminton remains a low priority and often is pre-empted by recreational volleyball and basketball. For monthly membership fees of $45 to $65 on top of initiation fees of $150 or so, badminton fanatics can play whenever they want.

    California leads the badminton boom, with many of its tournaments drawing players from across the country, said David Chiu, director of the Bay Area Open. The open, played three times a year, started in 1997 and is now the largest of more than two dozen tournaments in California. The last one in November drew 330 players.

    There were 6.4 million badminton players nationwide in 2004, up from 5.9 million in 2003, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. That's ahead of racquetball, tackle football, ice hockey and cardio kickboxing, though far behind basketball's 34 million players.

    In a first for U.S. players, Howard Bach, who grew up in San Francisco, and Indonesia-born Tony Gunawan won the men's doubles title at the International Badminton Federation World Championships in August.

    British military officers stationed in India in the 19th century invented the game, which is popular in Scandinavia as well as Asia and became an Olympic sport in 1992. In badminton, two players or two teams of doubles hit a light shuttlecock made of 16 goose feathers over a net. Only the serving side can score. Birdies have been clocked up to 206 mph, though they lose speed quickly because they fly with a lot of drag.

    Jay Shivaram, 29, and his wife, Pallavi Srinivasa, 30, who both learned badminton in India, were playing at Smash City one recent weekday.

    "We used to play on the street," Shivaram said of his childhood. "We didn't know something like this existed here."

    At public high schools with large Asian American enrollments, such as Monta Vista and Homestead high schools in Cupertino, and Lynbrook High in San Jose, more than 100 students will try out for 65 to 70 spots on the badminton team. Nearly all the people playing at Smash City recently were Asian American.

    "Asians, when competing with their Caucasian counterparts on football and basketball teams, tend to be smaller and less built," said Phu Khuu, Vietnamese American founder of Bintang Badminton Academy in Sunnyvale, which opened in 2001. "Badminton is an agile speed game that a bigger person would be bulky at."

    Many of the adults who are active in badminton bat the shuttlecock around with their children.

    "It's something they used to play while they were young, and while the kids are training, they can play themselves," said Smash City co-founder Wayne Lum, whose son competes.

    Some younger players, such as Lauren Todt, 17, of Danville, are exasperated that badminton has a reputation as an "Asian" pursuit. She began training at age 10, steeped in the sport after watching her parents play.

    Now a champion player who has placed first and second in national competitions in her age category, she trains five to six days a week. She took a break from practice on a recent weekday at Smash City, which is co-owned by her father, Jim, who is white. Her mother is a Chinese immigrant from Hong Kong.

    "It's just an excuse not to play," said Todt, concerned that people shy away from the sport because they think only Asians play. "Everyone gets a taste of baseball and basketball, but not badminton."

    The sport tests her agility, strength, and coordination, Todt said.

    "It's what you need for all the other sports, combined," she said.

    Arnold Setiadi, 17, of San Francisco, learned how to play by watching his father. His family left Indonesia when Setiadi was 3 years old. In 2002, he trained in Indonesia, where competitive players work out for as long as seven hours a day, including running through the steamy streets.

    "The courts look small, but you run around a lot," said Setiadi, a senior at Lincoln High in San Francisco who has placed first and second in national competitions.

    Though Setiadi started playing as a child, adults are picking up badminton later in life.

    Chinese pop singer Sally Yeh is a frequent visitor at Golden Gate Badminton Club in Menlo Park, where signs on the wall read, "Play badminton at your own risk."

    Yeh, who splits her time between the Bay Area and Hong Kong, picked up the sport six years ago and is now an "ambassador" for the International Badminton Federation. She loves the sport so much, she said, that her contract stipulates that her performances cannot conflict with her badminton playing.

    "After taking on this sport, my mental and physical agility is stronger and more flexible than when I was in my 20s," said Yeh, 44. "There are so many aspects, textures, twists and turns to this game. You never have the same game."

    E-mail Vanessa Hua at vahua@sfchronicle.com.
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  7. #7
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    Default

    LOL, too bad vrc didn't patented their queuing system

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