Players in our squads are encouraged to entering as many Badminton England sanctioned events during the season, as well as other more local tournaments, as possible. These are a valuable opportunity to gain competitive experience.
SUSSEX COUNTY JUNIOR BADMINTON TOURNAMENTS
SCJB runs the Sussex Championships early in the season. This is the most prestigious junior event in Sussex, with the winners being able to say they are the county champion at their age group. All Sussex players are expected to enter, with trophies presented at the end of the event. This event is open to all children who live or attend school in Sussex.
SUSSEX RISING STARS
The Rising Stars Tournament, for the mid age groups (U10’s, U12’s, U14’s and U16’s), is held towards the end of the season. Those who have represented the county in two or more matches are not allowed to enter these tournaments as they are a way for up and coming players from within the county squad or outside to gain recognition by the County. Badminton England grade restrictions also apply to entry into the Rising Stars.
BADMINTON ENGLAND TOURNAMENTS
GOLD, SILVER AND BRONZE
These are tournaments for individuals and doubles pairs. It is one of the ways to become recognised by Badminton England (BE). There are singles, level doubles and in some events mixed doubles.
You can find a great deal of information regarding the Badminton England Junior circuit tournaments on the Badminton England website.
BE run these tournaments. Any grade of player may enter these events, but they are intended for the top graded players at each age group. Entry may be restricted. These events will be two-day tournaments.
These events are open to any grade of player except those who’s grading is so high that they are only eligible for Gold tournaments for that age group. These one-day tournaments will consist of singles, level doubles and in some cases mixed doubles. These events are targeted at many county team players and the top squad players.
At Under 11’s all events are graded as Silver and all players can enter.
These events are open to any grade of player except those who due to their grading are only eligible to play in Gold or Silver events. These one-day tournaments will generally consist of just singles and level doubles. In some instances Badminton England has taken to merging Bronze and Silver events. These events are targeted at the majority of squad players.
For details as to how BE grading works please consult the Badminton England website.
The National Championships are open to all players who have participated in a minimum of four open tournaments. The best players in the country will be here and it is the individual tournament to win. However, by necessity places are limited and acceptance to these events most often requires a high grading and/or victories in Gold or Silver Badminton England events.
These tournaments are accredited by BE and are played on similar lines as the Junior Challenge Tournaments. Different counties run them as a way of generating revenue.
FIRST TIME AT A BADMINTON ENGLAND SILVER OR BRONZE?
A light hearted observation.
So you have entered your first BE Tournament. Don’t worry, you will get used to the jargon eventually.
The competition day has arrived, but what now? Remembered your kit, rackets, badminton shoes, your county tops, and map? Don’t forget the acceptance email it has the phone number if you get stuck anywhere? How long does it take to get there? Don’t forget your drinks and food.
When you arrive it will seem hectic at first. First report to the organisers, collect your programme, and find somewhere to sit with your chauffeur (or “Parents” as we sometimes refer to them!). Find the other family you arranged to meet! Where are the toilets?
Grab the chance to knock up, don’t be shy and get on court. No space, share with other Sussex players, two against one on a half court! Even knock up between the courts but be careful, there are lots of players around. You remembered to warm-up, as on squad nights, didn’t you?
Listen to the organisers’ welcome and instructions. You will be told how many points to play to, if there is setting, which courts to use and what will constitute lets in the hall. Don’t be afraid to ask everyone else is probably thinking the same thing. Seems hectic? It soon gets better!
It will be difficult to know the exact time of your games; some matches take longer than others, but your name is called when it is almost time to play. So you must keep your ears open and listen. When called you will sit on a bench near the main desk, when a court becomes available you will be told which one to use. A quick knock up – two minutes only – keep it simple do get used to the hall and the lights; not show the opposition your winning strokes. Then a deep breath and the game is on. You are on your own now concentrate totally on the game.
Remember, you must always call out the score so you both can hear, this is very important.
If you lose a game, don’t be disheartened think how you could have played better; was the other player just too good; what do you need to practise! Noting down the things you need to work on from a game is a good way to relax after a match and keeps you in focus for the next one. Do not worry if things go wrong, many errors can be easily sorted by talking to your coach. Well done if you won your game, think how you can improve for next time. Do not rest on your laurels! If you need something to eat or go to the toilet it is better to do this as soon as you have cooled down after you have finished a game.
Encourage the other players from your county. Tell the coaches and team managers, at the next squad night, how you did.
One thing will be sure; you will sleep well when you get back home! Enjoy your badminton.