More than a hundred badminton players from around the country will be traveling to Swarthmore play in the National Collegiate Badminton Championships this weekend. This sport, the “least recognized varsity sport” according to women’s team captain Patricia Kelly ’08, is more intense than most Swatties realize.
Matches can include 200 mile-per-hour hits forcing players often run as much as four miles on the indoor court per set. Badminton is “one of the most exciting sports to play and watch,” according to USA Badminton, which sponsors the tournament.
The women’s varsity badminton team will compete against nationally ranked players. Swarthmore’s team has claimed four state championship in recent years and is gearing up to be “very competitive…we will work as hard as we can to make sure we come away with some of those medals and even a trophy,” said Kelly.
Swarthmore will be hosting the tournament for the second time since 1993. Fifteen schools are participating including three campuses from University of California, Princeton and Bryn Mawr.
The categories of competition include men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and “cross” doubles. Each category will have individual medals for first and second place; there will also be a men’s team trophy and a women’s team trophy.
Teams will arrive to practice on Friday evening and matches will be held in the Tarble Pavilion between 8:30 am and 9:00 pm on Saturday; Sunday will feature more matches, including the finals, from 9:00 am until the awards ceremony, at around 5:00 pm.
Kelly says she “hopes that many Swatties will not only attend, but support us making posters and just coming in and making some noise.”