South badminton team wins with flying birdies

April 25, 2017


Pictured above players from the South badminton team go head to head up against North Community’s badminton team in a game of doubles on the 24th of April. Photo: Mia Swanson

The bleachers are up. The nets have been set. Along the sidelines one girl in pigtails stretches her legs, and another secures her shoes for the impact they will embrace. The energy in the room is powerful however it is contained inside a badminton bag. But one by one the players start to unzip the bags to take out their  ratchets, and all that energy is released. The gym was once warm from all the team members, but now slowly starts to cool as the swinging of the rackets increases. The swift movements create a whooshing sound, and act like ten ceiling fans. You can tell each team is eager to play due to the smiles on their faces and all the giggling. This was just the beginning of an thrilling high school badminton game between the fierce tigers of South and the vicious polar bears of North Community high school.

These badminton players stand in two rows, one row is South and the other is North. It was clear that South had more players than North but that didn’t stop anything. Each side aligns in a particular order so that they stand across those they will be going up against. When the names of the team members are called they meet in the middle to shake hands with their opponents. Although this may sound like a serious face off, it isn’t. “The people are like nice…you have each other for support.” said Aiqira Ahmed one of the team members for South. Once the opponents shake hands everyone else claps and cheers. Then the games begin.

Badminton is played in singles and doubles. Each player has a racket that they use to hit an object called a birdie. Which is then passed back and forth between each side until it falls. Whichever side the birdie falls on determines which team gets the point. Each match goes up to a score of twenty one.

Each group split to a court and started to play. The gym had six nets in use for games and the other two were used for Souths extra team members that didn’t have anyone to compete against that day. Once the games begun the whole gym was active with all the commotion. There were birdies soaring through the air all over the gym from the nimble rackets. The players moved their bodies in dance like motions from one side of the court to the other. The players playing singles moved in such large motions in order to cover the whole court. While those playing doubles didn’t have to move as much they had to focus on their team mate. One would yell something like “ I got it!” or “Get it!” to alert their team mate of their next move.

Even though this was a game there wasn’t any negative competition towards the other team. Of course each side wants their team to win, but when someone made a mistake everyone was accepting and just laughed it off. Each side had to work with each other to keep score which built a connection between each team. “North was a really nice school [to play against]” said South player Marim Al-Hajiby. “They have really good players.” Said North player Althea Hadley.

This positivity isn’t just on the court but it also impacts these students in other ways. The North badminton player Hadley said that she liked the team building aspect of the game. “All these girl, we met last year and their like my family now.” Hadley laughs. South players Al-Hajiby and Ahmed explained how badminton helped improve their patience, focus, communication skills, and learning how to work as a team.

South won 5-2, but there wasn’t much any drama due to the win everyone showed exceptional sportsmanship. South badminton coach, Rodney Lossow said “I thought all of our girls competed very very well… They executed their game plans well.” and that “ The girls have shown a steady improvement from day one to now, so that’s pretty exciting to see.”

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