Badminton is boring

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by scamp, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I think increasing popularity is a bit of a wide question. Maybe we should look at mass appeal, increasing interest amongst social players and increasing interest (or keeping interest) in kids.

    Also, what sort of interest in interest are we talking about. 1-2% better awareness?
     
  2. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    Formula 1 had/has a crisis with lower viewing figures and worried about the quality of the "show". The aerodynamics and car design is so good that the cars are actually faster and more stable plus the camera work is much better than 20 years ago and the drivers are fitter, yet the cars look slower and drivers look less tired. The impression of speed and effort was missing for TV audiences. One of the ideas was to make the cars look fast by adding titanium skid blocks under the cars to create sparks. This simple trick also brought back memories of the cars from 20+ years ago which did the same. It appeals to the old fans and new. However, this alone does not make F1 better, it takes more than a simple trick to create a showpiece worthy of 2 hours of peoples time when they have real lives to live.

    I guess this thread shows that there are a number of issues. No single thing is wrong or utterly broken - people still watch badminton so something must be working or is it just sufficiently tolerable to retain fans attention. As car designers in F1 will say, if you are not moving forwards you are moving backwards. You have to stay ahead of the competition which is peoples lives and desires to be entertained when they have free time.
     
  3. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    I played this year in various clubs and meet many people at tournaments and they all say that it is regressing. Most painful for league are females who wanna play serious singles at the lower levels.

    I second this. It is regressing in Germany. IMO is often the long-term attitude of the clubs. While we are here not a very popular kind of sports, the welcome politics of soccer clubs are very different compare to badminton in my area. If you wanna start playing soccer, you will always have coaches who don't care if you are overweight, if you progress very slowly or have many other talents, but not soccer. You also dive into the mass in training matches, if you are not the keeper. You will find due the huge mass of players the right slot/place for you with ease.

    If you visit one of this 16 people cliques/clubs you are often too good as a serious player and beginners get made silly by some old farts who play since "40 years" who will loose against a solid lower league player.

    Most clubs here struggle with coaches, don't want to spend enough for a coach or the players wanna play their same crappy game for the next 10 years without beeing open minded for something new. I'm really happy how much luck I had when I started badminton. I meet instantly the right people, who reached me their hands. Otherwise I had quit badminton quite early. Not because of the game and the rules, because of the people. I have the impression that alot people are the reason why this kind of sports here don't grow.
     
  4. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    I totally agree! Many clubs don't want to pay any money for coaches (I got a generous offer once that I broke down for then and it ended up being around 6€/hour, not even thinking about how long it would take me to get there).
    There's more to the story though. Many people prefer playing over training. They want to get better, but they don't want to invest in it. They think that 90 minutes of training a week will bring them where they want to go, even if they don't do anything for it during the rest of the week. Even worse, they don't mind skipping training for playing when they don't feel like it (not once a year, but almost regularly), that makes it hard for a coach and hard for other players who want to progress.
    Then, there's relatively few players. That leads to inhomogeneous training groups, where I as a coach have to deal with players from 5 different leagues plus beginners at the same time.
    Showing up on time is another story...
    That's only problems for players who want to improve and have found a club with coaching.

    When I play with other groups, I have to be very careful with trying give tips to players. I know that communication is a big part of that, but even when being very careful in that regard, many don't want that. They just want to play.

    Having said all that, agreeing that it's difficult for a new player to improve and catch up on the level they find in a club, I don't see badminton regressing (in this area) overall. I see many many recreational players. It's one of the (if not the) most popular sport at the University (no competitions and I'll say no training), a Badminton Center with 18 courts is booked out regularly. I know that some of the people who started playing within the past years watch matches on YouTube regularly. I don't know how many of them do that. Feeling wise, it's mostly the younger (early to mid twenties) people though. This should be promising. For the German Open, many people will travel there (it's just half an hour), which also shows some interest.

    There's also been a discussion about badminton being a nerdy sport. I think it is. The chance of meeting people with a science background when playing badminton seems to be much higher compared to other sports. The chance of meeting more introvert/quiet people seems to be even higher. That's not a bad thing regarding the atmosphere when playing. Put all those people in a big hall (for the German Open) will not lead to a loud, excited, enthusiastic, emotional atmosphere. They're analytic or shy (or at least quiet) people. Often both.
    The best atmosphere I encountered at the German Open was when Chou Tien Chen was playing Lin Dan in the final and I was surrounded by Chinese people. They were not all cheering for the same player, but there were emotions. Excitement. Disappointment. Happiness. Love..... Never had that before or after this in a Badminton Hall in Germany. Well, maybe one more time on a much smaller scale, but everybody there was involved directly (player/parent/coach), you won't have that with a much higher number of people anymore.

    I do see the quality watering out though.... probably related to the problems mentioned in the first part of this post.

    I'm not sure how much this contributes to the discussion, I felt like it's entirely off topic while writing. I think it's important to differentiate between building an audience and making Badminton popular as a competitive sport. It's hard to become a good player, but it's easy to pick up the sport and make quick progress in the beginning when it's about getting to play, not caring about technique. I think it's promising to see many young players, no matter their level, who enjoy watching matches online. Still, I think there's a lot to improve and many points have been mentioned. I'd love to see more angles, especially lower ones. Some of these might only add value for certain situations, but that also is a pro since it might be an option to have cameras that don't need to be operated once the focus is set to a fixed area. I want to see angles that make it difficult for me to analyze and let me enjoy the beauty of the sport, the speed, the athleticism, ....
    Same for the commentators. Yes, analyzing and explaining is good, especially explaining things to people new to the sport, but also some details for us freaks. But you also need excitement and emotions if you want to get new people to watch it. When watching American Football in Germany, there's people who will explain the basic rules every time for the new ones, referring to social media channels and a website with more information and videos to learn the basics, while being really excited about the game and the plays that they see. YouTube being the main broadcasting channel, it should be even easier to "include a link in the description below" to a playlist or video about the history of badminton (make the exciting, not spending much time on the very beginning or the Earl of Badminton, but get to the smash speed world records quickly), the basic rules, other simple explanations, up to videos with more in depth information about technique, training of professional athletes, the organization of a tournament, the development and production of equipment, ... Give newbies information to pick up, intermediates some more to learn or talk about and enthusiasts even more details. That way, they can talk about it, people more interested have an easier time catching up for conversations. Is it better for badminton to have the conversation in the hall being about the restaurant for dinner after paying or conversations at the restaurant to be about some detail of badminton? Refer to places to learn about badminton while broadcasting matches. Giving information without boring the ones who already know all of that is important in my opinion. Commentators should be excited and show that. Show emotions. They still can explain what's special about what they just saw afterwards, maybe referring to other sources/videos for more information.
    Also, I don't think it needs to be quiet throughout a rally. I like the respect that shows, I know it can happen when there's a lot of tension, a tight score, .... but I'd prefer some cheering for every stroke. There's displays for advertising and Hawkeye reviews. They could be used much more (counting up with each stroke in the language of the player playing with each stroke would need one person to hit a button, who is already working there anyway, just have some animation to encourage cheering works with other sports).
    When watching a match on YouTube, I don't want it to be analytical, I want it to be enjoyable. That's quite hard for a coach already, but I think these suggestions would not only help me to enjoy it more, but also others with less theoretical knowledge while not taking away anything from people who want to learn.

    Disclaimer: I am a nerd. I'm also a badminton player, but more so a coach. Coaches are the worst spectators, because they'll always be looking for flaws/weaknesses/solutions, even if it's not their player playing.
    Then, I live in an area of Germany that has been considered a badminton nirvana compared to other areas by players from these other areas...

    So.... Don't be afraid to be excited about Badminton.
     
    LenaicM, SimonCarter, yuquall and 2 others like this.
  5. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

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    In China we have women competitions in many cities with 200-400 women signing up. So there are a ton of female players where I play. And yet, they are totally overshadowed by the male players. Most team competitions here include two mens doubles and one mixed doubles. So 5 men needed and only one woman. Obviously this puts a lot of pressure on the women to either be the best in the club, or find a club without many men so as to be able to be the lone female player. But actually it's easy to find aclub with few women, because each individual club doesn't have many. Even here, where a ton of people play, women play a lot less than men.

    I kinda thought that as a non-impact sport, badminton would be more attractive to women (I am going to guess that tennis has more female players--percentage-wise--than badminton.) But I guess just one of the aspects that needs tweaking. Also, there are very few resources for female players. All the coaching videos online focus mainly on singles or men's doubles, so that's a problem too. Only one current yotube channel that I know of (Badminton exercises) even has a female coach. All the rest of the coaching and analysis channels are guys. (I know Anna Rice has some videos but she stopped years ago.)
     
  6. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    So, each player can just play one game/discipline and you only have MD and XD? No WD, MS, WS? I can't imagine that league games are just 2 MD and 1 XD in China. I can't also imagine competitions with 200-400 women signing up. For how many days and how many courts? Could be a never ending venue for a weekend.
     

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