A good skipper

Dear All,
By now I suppose you all know the ground rule of our club but I would like to remind you all of one very important issue: please bring your shuttlecocks.

We all know that feather shuttlecocks are expensive and they don’t last. For a 15 minute session, we probably use one to two shuttlecocks, or three at the most. With four players in each round of play on a court, it is not exactly necessary we need four shuttlecocks per session. However, no one can argue that it is fair that everyone contribute to the game. We are well aware that some of our members never bring a shuttlecock to the court and this has to stop.

From now on, everyone sign in and come to play on a court must provide a brand new feather shuttlecock. Anyone else on the court has the right to ask any other player on the court to show his/her new shuttlecock. One who fail to show his contribution of new feather shuttlecock may be asked to leave the court and his/her round of play will be skipped.

We always have had this practice but most of the time it has not been enforced and recently I heard a few complaints about members not contributing, causing some others to keep buying new shuttlecocks while other keep playing for free. We must enforce the one-birdie-one-person rule so everyone enjoy the game fair and square…

Not finding a place to buy feather shuttlecocks is not a valid excuse. We understand that badminton is not a very popular sport in the US therefore a few of our members buy shuttlecocks from China by bulk to share with other members, charging only a bear minimum to cover their cost. Anyone needs new shuttlecocks please contact Alex Cuan or Jing He. You may also go to any badminton clubs in NY to buy from them as well. Otherwise, if anyone has shuttlecocks for sale please also let me know…

If anyone do no believe this is fair, please come to me in person in any club evening.

Best Regards,


Petty? Yes. But to ensure the longevity of any social/grass root group we need someone like Sam. Set rules that apply to everyone, and follow through with it. Put the group first and I the last.

I’ve witnessed him wrestling with court sign up process – too many players with too few courts. He openly invited everyone to voice his/her concern/suggestion/solution and finally came up with the current system. Now I guess it’s the shuttlecocks time.

A little sideline: it’s amusing to see some tennis players whom I’ve been playing with for years, never once opened a can of balls. Don’t have balls? Hmmmmmmm.. They must be the firm believers that there is free lunch.

Anyway, I have been playing with Sam for years but we don’t invite each other to our own BBQs. Once I dared to nag him to stop smoking – it bothered me. There were many his friends around, he retorted in his booming voice, well .. little woman, pls mind your own business. He wasn’t joking.

Sam volunteers to run the badminton group in lower Manhattan in an effective manner, for years. He does a lot to make it fair and interesting, between setting/enforcing rules and soothe disputes. At year-end, he would collect money for the staff at the recreation center where they call it home. He has been at it for a long time, 4 years by now. He is well respected by his constituents so no one challenges him for this prestigious position because it’s a lot of hard work and painful headache, not to mention time consuming .. unless you have real love for it. The only reward is seeing this group has good time each time.

Any one who aspires to run a group should learn a thing or two from Sam. First put your personal agenda or benefit aside, do a string unattached job. When everyone sees your effort, unselfish effort, they will come, and reciprocate with respect and support.

Last week, Sam’s group started the second round of their league tournament (dreamed up by Sam, with inputs from everyone .. ) and from the scores, the three matches were very intensive, great time and games by all.

Match A1: 4 vs 15, ..
Game 1: 4, 21-18, 15
Game 2: 4, 21-23, 15
Game 3: 4, 23-21, 15

Match B1: 3 vs 5, ..
Game 1: 3, 21-13, 5
Game 2: 3, 16-21, 5
Game 3: 3, 21-13, 5

Match B2: 1 vs 8, ..
Game 1: 1, 21-14, 8
Game 2: 1, 10-21, 8
Game 2: 1, 24-22, 8

Last September he got 20 tickets to the WNBA game at the MSG, Madison Sq Garden. It was given to the group as whole. He announced it on the web and allotted them to the first 20 repliers.

During his reign so far, I could only recall one whiner who perhaps in desperate need of some attention. The trouble maker complained about something that’s neither made sense or out of line. After few polite e-mail exchanges, Sammy finally told the person .. be quiet. (No, Sam didn’t fine the person $1,500 as Roger was fined by USTA .. ) Players lined up behind him, because they could see Sam in it is NOT for himself.

Chaoyang and CatsNYOur group picture with Chaoyang at the end of a friendly game in New York.
The same could not be said for other groups.
It’s just happened, during the US Open, Chaoyang had extra 12 tickets and they gave to catsny since we entertained them for a friendly game on Sunday. I knew nothing about the tickets till an unhappy camper told me. To find out for myself, I asked the organizer who replied:

I received 6 day’s ans [sic .. and] 6 night’s tickets from Jennifer. I gave out to whomever wanted to go and kept 1 night ticket for myself.

How come I was never offered one?? Thought we’re friends 🙂

In all honesty, I don’t believe friends should get any priority or preferential treatment in a group setting. Fairness is the key. I added that just being factious. After all, I was part of the group, and I was indeed unaware of the tickets.

The organizer replied:

many said the sane [same] thing. Tickets came and go in no time. Just couldn’t keep everyone happy

Meanwhile, those few heading a group with clear mission statement, incurred many complains are wondering why they put in time and effort but were not appreciated.
Well, my suggestion is:
Stick to your mission statement, and review it often, and carry it out
Make it open and transparent, no back door dealings
Put the G – group first, I second if not last.

I’ve always felt a bit ambivalent about the motives of the xx organization. It seems they’re not aware of their own mission statement.

One successful sport league captain commented.

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