Thursday, August 03, 2006

Badminton 101 : Proper leveling - the heart of every tournament

Tag category: Badminton 101

In my opinion, the heart of every badminton tournament lies in the proper leveling of the participants. Leveling is a procedure in a tournament whereby players are required to go to a certain venue and asked at random to play with other players in order for the organizers to ascertain their level in the tournament. Of course leveling is only done for tournaments at club levels. There is no need for leveling in tournaments of international calibers since these are “open” tournaments (i.e., no leveling and players can be pitted against anyone, even against members of the national team.)

I have seen many tournaments fall flat on its face due to misleveling. I hope I don’t give you the impression that other aspects are not important as well, e.g., having an experienced and well-versed tournament director, proper organization, having competent umpires and linesmen, sizable quantity of participants, good venue and proper lighting, excellent time management, etc. All of these factors are equally important. However, if misleveling occurs, either due to favors being granted to friends of the organizers or sandbagging, the reputation of the tournament becomes tainted and players will steer clear of such tournaments in the future.

Sandbagging occurs when, during the leveling of the tournament, the players deliberately do not play well in order to be placed in a level much lower than their actual level. This is being done by certain players in order to ensure that they win in their particular level. Sandbagging is unavoidable in every tournament and cannot be totally eliminated. However, if this happens on a wide scale in a tournament, then tongues will start wagging and the reputation of the tournament becomes at stake.

I have seen at least a couple of tournaments in the past wherein there was a wide scale of misleveling and sandbagging. These tournaments (whose names I will not mention) have not been staged since. (One time wonder lang kumbaga.)

How does one avoid misleveling during tournaments? I asked my hubby this question since he is the expert in this matter and not me. According to him, the leveling must be conducted by an acknowledged expert who will notice the various nuances in the acts of the participants. To clarify, the players may not win the game during the leveling but the “expert” will see how the players handle the rackets and shuttlecocks and will be able to at least differentiate a beginner from an intermediate player. An additional deterrent should be the length of the games during the leveling period. The “real strokes” of the players will most likely show if they play the full 1 or 2 sets instead of a shortened set. There are other telltale signs which can be recognized by an expert but I’d rather not mention them all here for fear that a “sandbagger” reading this blog might be able to pick up hints.

I hope that organizers keep these things in mind to make future tournaments, if not enjoyable, at least tolerable.


snglguy said...

I wish I had the time and energy to pursue any sport these days. If my fortysomething body could still hack it that is...

But if I do, badminton would probably be on top of the list. Thanks for the badminton insider tip, ladybug.

Oh and thanks too for dropping by and commenting on my blog. See ya! :-)

ladybug said...

Thanks also for dropping by snglguy! See you around! :-)

Major Tom said...

Hi...This is a very good insider view on the game of badminton...I use to play it outdoors and it was so much fun. I know Indonesian players are so good at this that they've got Olympic medals for it. I hope us Filipinos can excell as well.

ladybug said...

Hi Major Tom! Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my post. I know Indonesians are very good at it. But lately, the Chinese have been dominating this sport. Probably the reason behind this is that Indonesian has been deluded by lots of natural calamities so that players can no longer concentrate on playing the game. It's really so sad. I hope that Filipinos could also emerge as top-ranked players in this sport.

Toe said...

Ladybug, thanks for this... very informative. Ano ba ang lowest level? Dun ako kasale. :)

ladybug said...

Toe: haha! Constant practice lang ang katapat niyan. Anyway, depende naman yun sa dami ng sumasali eh. Pero it's usually up to level D. Uhhmm, based on the last time we played, mukhang di ka naman level D eh. Mas mataas ka pa dun. :-)

Senor Enrique said...

Valuable information, indeed!

Haven't gone for leveling; someday soon, I'm sure. But what an insight to the entire process.

I will be digging into your archives for more!

Hmmmm...what's with all these delicious looking pics of foods? How will I ever lose weight with so much temptation? LOL!

Put you on my link. You have got to be my friend. A badminton player ... a rare find! hehehe.

eric aka senor enrique

ladybug said...

Hi eric! There are quite a number of upcoming badminton tournaments. Why don't you try joining at least one? This will give you the proper motivation to practice more and improve your game. Please visit this site for tournament infos:

I'm glad you find my blog interesting. I'll put you in my blogroll too! I discovered it last month and I've been visiting it ever since.