Tournaments 101

Each year we visit some tournaments with a group of members of USSR. These days are always a combination of a lot of badminton and a lot of fun. However, we experience that to new members joining a tournament for the first time might be a scary or unknown thing. Therefore we want to give you a quick and small introduction to what is what in the world of tournaments.

Registration
The first important thing to know is how to register for a tournament. Most tournaments use toernooi.nl but there are also other websites with the same purpose. On toernooi.nl, tournaments in the near future are posted and it is possible to subscribe to them. If it is your first time, you will need to make an account. When subscribing to a tournament you are sometimes asked to give your BN number. If you don’t know your BN number you can approach one of the board members. Joining a tournament will cost around 7.5 euros per category you play in. In some tournaments you are allowed to play in all categories: singles, doubles and mixed doubles, while in some you can only play two of them.

Tournament structures
The way in which a tournament is structured differs per tournament. The most common way of playing is the group (or pool) system. In this system all players are divided into a number of groups in which you play against everyone. The winners of the group will go on to a sequence of finals or semi-finals, depending on the number of groups.
Some tournaments make use of a knockout-system, in which you play a match and if you win, you go on to a next match. If you lose, you are knocked out. This goes on until you reach the final.
A third type of match scheduling is the swiss-ladder system. This system determines your opponent based on your level and the amount of games you have already won or lost. In this system you always play at least a few matches, whereas in the knockout system you could have to go home after only one match.

Preparation
When you are preparing to go to a tournament there are a few things you should not forget to bring. Besides your normal utensils like a racket and shoes there are some additional things which are useful at a tournament. Due to the waiting times between the matches it is useful to have some warm clothes like pants and a sweater with you to make sure you don’t cool down too much.
Secondly, as the day is so long and you will probably play a lot of matches you want to keep energized and hydrated. Therefore it is advisable to bring some food and drinks. Most of the times it is also possible to buy food and drinks at the sports center and often free fruit is given out.
What is also required to play a match are shuttles. In most tournaments shuttles are not provided, this means that the players should bring their own shuttles. Depending on the level you have subscribed in you play with either nylon or feather shuttles (this should always be stated in the regulations). Based on this information, you can determine which type of shuttle you need to take with you. 

Singing in
When you arrive at a tournament the first thing you always have to do is sign in. There will be a table somewhere near the entrance at which someone is seated with a very long list. On this list are all the players who enrolled to the tournament and the person is checking off who is present. So when you enter, you should approach this person and let him know you are present. Sometimes you also pay the entrance fee here. 

These were some main things which could be useful to know when you want to play a tournament. If you want to know more about playing tournaments you can always ask one of our experienced members, the TouCo or someone from the board about it. We hope everyone of you feels welcome to join us in one of the tournaments in the oncoming year!

Written by: Mathijs Stratermans

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