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  1. #35
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    carl, yea prem inn was expensive but luckily one of my friends who is also playing is a staff member of whitbread and she got us a room for 25! the deadline for the london bonanza has been extended now so i might play singles as well.. no harm in trying eh

  2. #36
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    yeah, take the singles as a bit of fun to test your fitness. Without constant playing and singles coaching it's so hard to get to a standard worthy of serious competition. I can't make the London one but will probably go to Birmingham. I don't play any league (came to UK mid-season) so entered social for Liverpool but will enter league for B'ham.

  3. #37
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    Omggg i didnt see any one in Liverpool : ((( We were out in the group stages so it sucked! How did everone do? Anyone playing in London and Bham? I am in singles and doubles social in both

  4. #38
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    So what was the standard like in league? Pretty high?

  5. #39
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    The standard in both Social AND League was higher than I thought. I played social and I can tell you most I played against could and should be playing in Division 3 at least. It's a good thing. I knew one strong player in league and he got into doubles final then lost and there's not a huge gap between his standard and some of the Social guys I played against. I got pipped at the end of the game in the singles semis but every game I had was good, although not so for the doubles. Will be entering League for both in B'ham. Anyone needuy a partner?

    Bonanza pluses: mostly good friendly guys after the games, high standard, good off-court activities, great Yehlex coach and a brilliant way to spend a rainy Sunday.

    Minuses: no setting, no co-ordination between singles and doubles callups, far too long to wait for games in the group stages.

    Floor was ok in the end!

  6. #40
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    Thanks for the report.

    How many games did you get in the group stages and how long was the wait between games? Did the coach give group lessons to anyone or did you have to sign up? The coach wasn't Lee Jae Bok was it?

  7. #41
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    Hi David, well I was on at 10am and then had a 1.45hr wait until the next game! After that it was relatively quick. There were 4 people in each group. The coach was a big English chap who was excellent...it was individual on a come and go basis. You tell him what you want to improve and he had some very good practice pieces to test your ability after showing you. Really enjoyable.

  8. #42
    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    Well, I played a total of five games, and TWO of them were against a person/people I did not know - not enough for 20-odd quid, I feel. There were SEVEN groups for the Social MD, and we had THREE pairs from our club in group D and three in group G (I think) - they could have split us up better... pretty annoyed about that. We took nine pairs and they could have four two twos and five ones. Also, having only one game with no setting was pretty poor - doesn't give luck a chance to even out and ANYBODY can win one game, which doesn't reflect fairly IMO.

    Most annoyingly, though, they were one pair short of eight for the quarter finals, so instead of putting the top scoring runner-up pair through, they gave one pair a bye right into the semis. Considering a pair paid 18 to play and a space went begging... not pleased at all. As Carl mentioned, the wait between games really dragged, but at least we could wander down to an empty court for a knock without getting shouted at.

    The venue was a mixed bag, but could have been excellent. Lighting was decidedly uneven - very bright on the right hand side and pretty dark on the left (where the mini-games were). I lost count of how many shuttles disappeared in the searing lamps. Half of the nets-and-posts were great (the red ones), but the other half were dreadful catenary-shaped washing line-topped things that looked like they'd been blasted with shotguns. Amazingly, the floor was the most consistent part, despite the fact that it looked like the lines were made of Wilko gaffer tape (and several running repairs were made during the day). I was amazed at how fast the shuttles flew - I'm used to big arenas like that playing slowly, but I must have hit about twenty lifts long. Despite possibly being quick, they were of decent quality.

    Anyway, enough about the arena and the "organization". Must admit I enjoyed the mini-games (though the smash challenge radar gun was laughably inaccurate). The in-house stringer wasn't great (being a stringer myself I couldn't switch off!).

    I'll sign off by saying that we had the Socal MS runner-up in our ranks, and ONE of our pairs got past the group stages.

    P.S. I don't think the coach was LJB - if it had been I would have missed all my games to stay in the corner!

  9. #43
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    Mark, doesn't sound very good. Suggest you email BE your thoughts. One game is a bit of a joke even for social standard. They must have made a good profit!

  10. #44
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    I agree with all the points mentioned. The standard was pretty high even in mens doubles social and we drove 4 hrs from Luton just to play 2 games as our group only had 3 teams. Only the top team in each group goes through. Was really pi55ed off that we only played to 21 as we lost the last game 21-20!! Ridiculous and only 1 set. So yea.. nearly 8 hrs driving to play 2 games is not great. Floor was surprisingly good compared to what i thought it would be.

    Looking forward to a better experiance in Londona and Bham.

  11. #45
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    2 games only!?!?

    Wow, that is terrible organisation from BE, they should be ashamed of themselves. Even small local tournaments guarantee people at least 3 games in the group stages, usually more.

  12. #46
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    Exactly.. we were not happy bunnies

  13. #47
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    Hi All
    Just wanted to say hi. Have entered to play in the London Tourney. Playing mixed in the social ( by the sounds of it - maybe we should have entered beginners ).
    Just playing for fun - Hopefully not going to be blasted off court.
    Hope to see you there and good luck

  14. #48
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    Hi padawanno.. Good luck in your mixed doubles matches in london. It will certainly be tough im sure but good fun at the same time. I hope your group is big and you get more than 2 games like i had in liverpool! Tbh the social standard for the mixed wasnt so high compared to the social standard for the mens in liverpool so hopefully you will be fine : )

    Best of luck

  15. #49
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    Hi all

    I am very inexperienced in playing in tournaments. Any chance you can give me an insight, what I am to expect at the London Bonanza. I have entered to play in the Social mixed doubles. From the initial schedule, that doesn't start still 13:00. Do I have to get there very early. Is there some practice facilities to have a knock up before playing the games. If so , are there shuttles available for practice?
    Anyone played at sobells before, whats the floor and the lighting like. Am i correct in thinking that we will be playing with Yehlex shuttles ? If not what shuttles were played in Liverpool.
    Hopefully someone can answer one or a few of my newbie questions.

    Btw I am Pete, You will recognize me as the one in a brightly coloured bandana with the look of a rabbit caught in headlights

    Thanks again and hope to hear from some of you soon and see some of you folks in under 2 weeks time.

    Cheers

  16. #50
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    You should get there early, maybe 15-20 mins before start time, but be ready to wait around a lot between matches. Also, they may be late starting if the earlier rounds haven't finished yet. Sobell has decent lights and floors as it's a leisure centre, but nothing special. I'm hoping they will at least clean the floors for the tournament as it can get slippery when dusty.

    I doubt they will have a practice court. You will be given a couple of minutes before your first match and that will be it. They will be using Yehlex shuttles but probably a lower grade.

  17. #51
    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    @pada - if you see a free court, nab it and do some half-court warm-up. At Liverpool they didn't seem to mind people claiming empty courts as long as they cleared off come game time.

    IIRC the knock-up and match shuttles were different, the match shuttles being Yehlex Tournament, I think (in a purple tube) and I found them a LOT faster than the knockers.

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