In Dundee, the local badminton association (DABA) has been running ladder events for a couple of seasons. This was in order to supplement the competitive badminton which was previously only available in the form of league matches and the annual handicap tournament. Several ladders are run during the course of the season (roughly every 2 months) with play being more competitive than a club night but not as serious as a formal tournament. The beauty of the ladder format is that it's open to everyone, of all abilities, and there is no handicapping required.
The ladders are doubles tournaments open to all pairings (men’s pairs, mixed pairs or ladies pairs) and to all adults (and juniors of a suitable standard). Once all entries have been submitted the pairs are divided into groups or pools based on ability. Each of the pairs plays against every other pair in their pool, like a mini league. Once all the matches have been completed the couples who come top of their pools are promoted to the pool above and the couples who finish bottom are demoted to the pool below.
The most recent DABA ladder took place on Saturday 2nd December. To date it was the best attended ladder that has run with 50 people (25 couples) entering. Most couples were mixed or men’s but there were also 2 ladies couples as well. Most players played for clubs in Dundee or the surrounding area but there were 3 couples who were social players and not affiliated to any club. There were also 7 junior players (some playing together, some playing with an adult). One of the good things about the ladder is that it allows social players an opportunity to play in a more competitive environment and to play against club players and it also affords junior players the opportunity to play against adults to help develop their games. In the final standings there was 1 junior player in the top pool, playing against some of the best players in Dundee. The couple that won the top pool was Chris Smith and Seona Stalker who played some outstanding badminton during the course of the event.
[Pictured above] Top pool winner's - Chris Smith & Seona Stalker
Given the success to date, DABA plan to continue running these ladder tournaments. The next ladder will be played at the Dundee International Sports Centre (DISC) in Dundee on Saturday 27th January (entries/queries to John Dunn – firstname.lastname@example.org) with plans for many more in the future. On the back of the success of these ladder tournaments DABA have also (as of this season) started running ladder tournaments for juniors only. We are hopeful that they will prove just as popular as the adult ladders.
[Report and pictures courtesy of John Dunn]