News from World Games
Badminton competition at the World Dwarf Games will not include Mixed Doubles. Mixed double teams can be included in the mixed badminton teams ie, they can be made up of single or mixed sex teams.
USA Badminton website News Pan Am Para-badminton Championships.
June 17-18: Omaha Para-badminton Clinic
In October 2014, it was announced by the International Paralympic Committee’s Governing Board that Para-badminton was among 16 sports listed for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games program. As a result of that, USA Badminton has started the process to build a USA Para-badminton program and DAAA would like to be a part of building that program.
First, I think it is helpful to provide a few details on the sport of Para-badminton. There are six classifications: two for wheelchair (WH1 and WH2), three standing (SL 3, SL4, and SU5), and one for short stature (SS6). Para-badminton is very popular in Asia and Europe, with many of the internationally ranked players coming from South Korea, China, the UK, Ireland, and Scotland. In Europe, in particular, there are also several established tournaments that are held there every year just for para-badminton players. For more general information about para-badminton, please visit the following links:
http://www.teamusa.org/usa-badminton/para (very limited information here)
Badminton has been a part of the DAAA Games for several years now and if any of you were fortunate enough to be able to attend the 2013 World Dwarf Games, you may have had the chance to see several of the internationally ranked players in action.
Badminton is a sport with growing interest in the Paralympic community and USA Badminton has started putting focus on building a standalone Para-badminton organization with regular tournaments and opportunities to participate all over the United States.
There isn’t a lot of equipment needed to get started, but as the player gets more involved and more serious it is just like any other sport and you will need to start looking at specific equipment.
Styles of racquets run the whole spectrum from cheap (some are VERY cheap) backyard sets to high-end specialized racquets for professional players.
To start, a good entry level racquet should run you in the neighborhood of $25-40. This will usually include the strings (most in this price level are pre-strung at the factory). I would recommend staying away from “junior” racquets that have the shorter handles. For an SS6 player, you will want to have as much reach as possible. The different types of racquets can be found at: http://yonex.com/sports/badminton/products/badminton/racquets
If you are looking to play quite often and seriously consider the sport, a good, entry level racquet can be found in the Muscle Power line, which was around $35-40. If you are going to play very infrequently, or aren’t sure about badminton as a long-term sport, I would suggest considering a very basic “B Series” racquet (about $20). There WILL be racquets made available at the World Dwarf Games to borrow.
If you are looking to get serious about the sport and would like further information about racquets, please contact Mike Krajewski (email@example.com).
Another key piece of equipment is the shuttlecock (aka “shuttle”, “birdie”). Again, the quality of shuttlecocks runs the full spectrum. The cheap “backyard” versions of shuttlecocks, which are plastic and last about a day’s worth of active playing, are actually more expensive in the long run because they simply don’t last. Serious players typically use feather shuttles, and there are different levels of those as well. Recommendations for shuttlecocks to use for practicing are found below:
Beginners or infrequent play – I highly recommend Nylon shuttlecocks because they are more durable http://www.yonex.com/sports/tennis/products/badminton/shuttlecocks/nylon-shuttlecocks You can usually get these 6 for about $11-12 and they are more durable than feather.
Intermediate or frequent play – For practicing, Nylon shuttlecocks will work fine, but it is good to get used to feather shuttlecocks http://www.yonex.com/sports/tennis/products/badminton/shuttlecocks/feather-shuttlecocks/aerosensa/
There are several brands out there, but the key is finding a brand offered by a badminton-specific store, shop or website. We bought tubes of shuttles from the club in Omaha. They buy them by the case load to sell to their members at basic cost plus freight, which works out to be $25/tube (dozen). These are very good quality and I believe they come from Canada.
Most tournaments we have been to use Yonex feather shuttles and will typically specify the type of shuttle on their tournament information page (a requirement to post if it is a USA Badminton sanctioned event). The type of shuttle used varies by tournament, but are usually some type of Aerosensa (http://www.yonexusa.com/products/badminton/shuttlecocks/feather-shuttlecocks/aerosensa/). Generally speaking, you can figure to pay between $25-35 per dozen if you get nice feather shuttles. Again, there are a lot of brands out there, so there is some choice here.
Feather shuttles will maybe last one good match before a feather breaks or a portion of feather comes off. I recommend keeping these shuttles as practice/drill shuttles and we have been known to come back from a tournament with about a dozen of these damaged shuttles in our car trunk. For doing drills at practice (repeating certain shots or working on footwork) where the quality of the shuttle doesn’t matter, we use these damaged shuttles.
After the racquet, the shoes are the next piece of equipment to consider. If you are only going to be playing infrequently, it is not necessary to invest in specific shoes. As players are first getting introduced to the sport, any run-of-the-mill tennis shoe or court shoe will work.
If you are going to be playing on a regular basis, I would suggest looking into getting shoes. Most badminton centers will only allow “non-marking” soles to be used on their courts. There are badminton specific shoes, just like any other sport. As players get further along in their ability, there are really few options for “junior” sized shoes. Shoes might be pretty challenging to find, particularly for SS6 athletes who can sometimes have wide feet. Generally, I would just recommend doing homework http://yonex.com/sports/badminton/products/badminton/footwear
Most badminton centers will already have nets and courts marked, so this will not be something most people will need to worry about. But if you live in an area that is not near a badminton center or club, you will have to start looking at doing something on your own. We found one from Genji Sports that has worked very well and has been pretty robust and durable. It cost us around $150 on Amazon.com. It sets up in less than 5 minutes and packs up nicely to about the size of a lawn chair. It easily fits in car trunk and it can be used indoors or outdoors.
Again, if you play infrequently, getting your own net is not going to be needed. You can do drills and hit just about anywhere, net or no net.
There are a lot of avenues for an individual to learn how to play badminton beyond the casual backyard game with friends and family.
With just about anything you see on the internet, you can’t always take everything at face value. Just like other sports, particularly individual sports, every player has a different style and approach to the game. We found that there are even cultural differences between the style of play. An instructor with a Chinese background may approach the game different than someone from Malaysia, India or Indonesia. Players from Europe play different than players from Asia and North or South America. The differences are almost as numerous as there are players.
So where does one start? We started with the basics and there are a number of very good instructors that have videos posted on YouTube. Below are a few instructors in particular that we found useful.
This is how I would classify the help that one often receives from members of a badminton club where you might occasionally play. You can usually pick the brain of other players and ask for help or advice. Most players are usually happy to see new people take up the sport and will offer help if asked.
Most badminton clubs offer some sort of professional instruction through either group lessons or individual lessons. One thing to consider, though, is that lessons can be costly – just an hour private lesson can run anywhere from $50-100 depending on the instructor. Group lessons are usually cheaper and you can typically find skill-level appropriate groups to join.
If you are not near a club and can’t be part of a regular training program through a club, you can still improve greatly by simply playing on your own and working on what you have learned through other means. There are plenty of drills you will learn that will quickly gobble up 60 minutes before you know it. Again, YouTube is a great source for some of these drills.
If you need help getting started, please reach out to Joann Cekanor (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mike Krajewski (email@example.com)