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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 12:21 PM.

  3. #3
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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.

  5. #5
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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.

  6. #6
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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.

  7. #7
    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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