St. Mary’s students worked in teams of two to hit shuttlecocks to each other for points in what turned out to be a very successful Men’s and Co-Ed Badminton Tournament, hosted by Intramurals during the weeks of Oct 8 and 15.
Beginning Oct. 5 with matches for both leagues at 8 p.m. in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center gymnasium, the badminton tournament saw over 140 participants and was held until 11 p.m. each night Oct. 5-7 and 12-13.
Intramurals, in charge of non-varsity events throughout the year, sponsored the event.
Both leagues were divided into groups (eight for Men’s and 11 for Co-Ed), each with three or four teams. While only two athletes would be on the court at a time (with at least one female player on the court at all times for Co-Ed teams), registered teams could have up to four players that could exchange into a game throughout the match.
Each team would play two matches each night against other teams in their designated group, after which the top-scoring teams in each group would face each other in a tournament the following week.
Each match was limited to 30 minutes and consisted of three games to 15 points, leaving the winning title to the team that won two of the three games. Fifteen minutes were allocated to each of the first two games, in which a team would only win by scoring 15 points with at least a two-point lead.
“The games were pretty fun,” said Travis Lear, a member of the Men’s Group F team #23. “Most games had a laid-back atmosphere, except for some with conspicuous competition.”
In badminton, each team of two players attempts to hit the shuttlecock, a rubber ball with a plastic, netted, cone-shaped tail, onto the opposing team’s court on or inside the boundaries to score a point.
Scoring teams maintain the right to serve the shuttlecock, also called a birdie, to the opposing team, and alternate between left and right sides of the court for each subsequent serve. Faulting the serve, either by hitting the shuttlecock out of bounds or into the net or other players, results in a second serve attempt, after which another fault will award the opposing team the right to serve.
Each side of the court can only hit the birdie once, and only the serving team can score a point.
As part of College Intramurals policy, participants and spectators were prohibited from bringing alcoholic substances to the tournament, and athletes were asked to wear non-marking athletic footwear.
To encourage sportsmanlike conduct, Intramurals also introduced sportsmanship points to each team during the start of the tournament, a way to ensure appropriate behavior on the courts without influencing team scores during matches.
“Each team has ten points at the beginning for good sportsmanship, and if you do anything unsportsman-like, points are taken away,” said Jess Riesett, another student participating in the tournament. “If you lose all points, you are automatically ejected from the game.”
According to the sportsmanship regulations, athletes would lose one point for Level One Infractions, three points for Level Two Penalties,and seven points for Level Three Ejections, after which that athlete’s team would be forced to forfeit their league membership.
A sportsmanship rating of less than seven (at least a Level Two Penalty) would force the offending team to forfeit the game currently being played.
The tournament ended on Oct. 13 after two final matches, one for each league. Seniors Colin Gload and Christopher Becraft (of team Gload) bested Alex Lykens and Andrew Reighart (of team Bear Force One) in what turned out to be an intense final round for the men’s league, while the Co-Ed league title was taken by team Loko (with players Mike Victory and Pui Sham) after a close match against Bear Force One (with Reighart and Joanna Purich).
Prizes were awarded to winning teams from both leagues.
“We had winners from each league,” said Intramural Sports senior supervisor Brooke Austin. “Both [teams] received pint glasses.”
Having hosted a Capture the Flag event on Oct. 15, Intramurals is preparing to host a dodgeball tournament, again with Men’s and Co-Ed leagues, from Oct. 18 to Nov. 1.