16 TEAMS & MORE THAN 200 ATHLETES TO COMPETE IN THE 2015 YONEX NORTHEAST COLLEGIATE TEAM BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLUB IS CLOSE ON SAT, FEB 7 THROUGH 6 PM ON SUN, FEB 8; open to members and guests on Sun 6-8 pm.             
              The Feb 7-8 tournament at Boston Badminton is one of the biggest collegiate badminton events in the USA. Eight teams will compete in Division 1 and another eight in Division 2 .
The eight Division 1 teams are:
Columbia University, NY
Cornell University, NY
Drexel University, PA
New York University, NY
Princeton University, NJ
Rutgers University, NJ
Syracuse University, NY
University of Pennsylvania, PA
 
The eight Division 2 teams are:
Loyola University, MD
Northeastern University, MA
Stony Brook University, NY
University of Connecticut, CT
University of Massachusetts Lowell/Amherst, MA
University of Rochester, NY
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA
Yale University, CT
 
                This Tournament in its second year has definitely spurred the formation of competitive teams with more focused training among collegiate badminton clubs; and for some universities, it has inspired the formation of badminton clubs.  As a result, some 90% of the Collegiate Club Memberships of USA Badminton today hail from the Northeast. This Tournament organized through partnership between the Northeast Badminton Association (NEBA) and the Northeast Collegiate Association under the auspices of the USA Badminton and with support  from YONEX Corporation and MassBad, needs to expand to accommodate the growing number of Collegiate teams, as participation, limited by the number of courts, is at capacity with waitlisted teams.  Participation of collegiate team in a similar tournament held at the International Badminton Club in New Jersey last Nov 2014 was also filled to capacity (12 teams),
 
Firing on all Cylinders: Plan for 2015-16
 
                Organizers are now planning a Northern Conference (MA, NY, CT, RI, VT, NH, ME) at Boston Badminton and a Southern Conference (MD, DC, VA, DE, PA, NJ)  at University of Maryland in College Park during the Fall of 2015. Conference Finals for both Division 1 and 2 will then be held during the Winter/Spring term in the NY/NJ area. This will greatly reduce the travel time/distance and will enable up to 32 Collegiate Teams to participate.  This plan will require new partnerships with the UMD Badminton Club (MD), New Jersey Badminton Club (NJ), International Badminton Club (NJ) and the College Point Badminton Club (NY) and the training of Tournament Officials to run these events professionally. 
 
Corollary to the above framework, a Northeast Collegiate Badminton League (NECBL) will be formed.  The NECBL aims to provide an organized structure for Collegiate Club Teams to compete with each other including:
·         Format for match-making for Collegiate Teams in local regions
·         Rules for match-ups
·         A website for information, Teams, scheduling match-ups and results
The goal is to invigorate the many collegiate badminton sports clubs in Northeast and to inspire those without to start one. 
 
                Club Sports is an athletic program in most Colleges and Universities, supporting many Olympic and non-NCAA affiliated sport clubs.  These Clubs are initiated and run by student club officers and are supported by the school’s Program Staff with some limited budget.  The team competition has enhanced the friendships, community spirit and school pride for many Clubs and for the 2014 Champion Drexel University, it propelled the badminton club to be recognized as the “Team of the Year” among many Drexel Club Sports.  Currently, many participating teams in this tournament have received some support from their school Club Sport Program for payment of entry fees and subsidy for travel and hotel.  It is hoped that support will increase as badminton in the Northeast expands, get better organized and recognized.