What makes a good tournament? Organisational management has a big impact on the final outcome. Consistent rules and scoring system, as well as fair play, are important in determining who wins the trophy.
There have been weekly badminton competitions in Sydney over the last month, hosted by different organisers for different purposes. They’re usually run for social club players who sometimes invite sub-national or ex-national players to participate. It’s considered prestigious to host a tournament and there’s been several stories of tournament mismanagement and messy politics.
At an invitational team event hosted at the National Badminton Centre Seven Hills a few weeks ago, I’m very proud my team got 2nd place. We fought a very close final to the last match. The opposing team made complaints, stole points and made questionable calls. We took it in our stride and gave a good fight to the end. The result was still reasonably good. We won $400 prize money. Our opponents won $600. It works out to be a difference of $2-6 per player. I’m ok with that.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about team tournaments. As team captain, I uninvited a few players and one left because of family commitments. That was stressful. During the tournament the court owner got into a fight with his opponents and it delayed events by over an hour. I lost 3 out of 5 women’s doubles matches against national and sub-national players from Vietnam, Japan and Australia. Also, my team’s players were disadvantaged in the finals because the umpire didn’t note the other team’s faults. I swore no more after this, however, the company boss asked me to keep the role for future tournaments. I accepted under the pressure of good will, privately reserving my feeling of reluctance. It was still a rewarding experience despite all the downsides.
The team had a good rapport and even if people leave for personal reasons, we will hopefully survive and still be excellent. One of the great things about post-match analysis is that I know what to do better next time. In terms of leadership, I think I was honest and caring but I could have managed the conflict points better and had a better understanding of tone and timing. In terms of playing in the competition, I lacked confidence in myself. My performance was dismal and my mistakes were costly for the team. I wasn’t in the frame of mind to play a tough match. I should have invited a strong girl to play for us in the finals and substituted her for myself. We live and learn nevertheless.
I believe that obstacles can be overcome with a positive mental approach. We can weather any storm if we’re in the right frame of mind. So to our future success!