By Staff Writer Dinah Soloway
As of the 2021-2022 school year, SLA and Ben Franklin are sponsoring a badminton team. Currently, the Badminton team has nine girls plus a handy helper for games and equipment. Most of the players are new to the sport. Many have only previously experienced playing badminton in a PE (physical education) class.
As both schools returned to in-person learning this past fall, many of the sports have resumed their regular scheduled practices and games. This includes Badminton, which for SLA is an entirely new sport.
The team has been competing since March, and the matches usually consist of 3 independent games which are played to 21 points. Games are always held indoors. The SLA and Ben Franklin badminton team travel on a bus to the opponents school.
These matches can be played as a single-player match or a double with a partner. A single match consists of 2 opposing players on each team, but when a doubles match occurs there are 4 players on the court for each team. Ending the game, after a team reaches 20 points they now have to achieve a 2-point lead to finish the game.
The team is led by Coach Canada, who is also the principal of Ben Franklin High School. She decided to coach the sport because no one else would. Earlier in her own school career, coach Canada had played badminton with her school team.
For readers who have never witnessed the sport before, The rules of badminton are very easy to understand. The game setup is almost a cross between tennis and volleyball, only it uses a small racket to hit a birdie back and forth over a high net. It is an interesting sport that challenges players to look all around and aim at the birdie (the ball in this case). There are two main points that any player needs to know really well. That is how to serve the birdie properly over the net so as not to get fouled. Two hitting the ball to other teammates or over the net.
“In badminton, serving is one of the most difficult skills to learn,” said Lara Rosenbach a 10th grader at SLA. Serving the birdie over the net needs to be under the player’s waist. One way to serve the birdie is to place the birdie above your racket with one hand straight out below your waist before swinging with your rack, quickly drop the birdie and then follow through and up towards the sky.
Coach Canada Said that “There is so much team spirit on the court!”
The badminton season is over for this year, but if you are interested in doing a sport then stop by the gym next season and give it a shot!