USBEF Newsletter

Sept. 30, 2013, 4:18 p.m. (ET)

  USBEF Newsletter

Issue #16  September 2013

In This Issue

2014 USBEF Silent Auction

2013 Ray Scott Winner

2013 Wurst Sportsmanship Winner

2013 WMG Italian Experience

More Italian Badminton

Torino Badminton

Coming Events

Indian Badminton League



It's time to put on a creative hat by giving some thought as to how to support the USBEF efforts in promoting, gifting, and developing present day badminton from the most youthful to master level player.


The USBEF 2014 Silent Auction is well under way with plans in Tucson next year during the USAB Masters National Tournament. One of the items up for bid is a 3-day vacation package in sunny, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Albuquerque is home to the tallest tramway in the world, not to mention some of the tastiest green chili and an internationally acclaimed balloon festival. The lucky winner(s) will receive the utmost pampering by hosts Hanniah Morgan and Jerrett Koenigsberg from Albuquerque who have created a Southwest experience that will be a magical, once-in-a-lifetime vacation.


Hosting a vacation get-a-way is a great opportunity to have new players drop in to play at your favorite badminton spot, share badminton adventures over dinner, and infuse local players with new energy and skill. Sounds great, right?


Without a doubt, there are others of you out there who could create other vacation spot packages in your own home, a romantic hide-a-way, perhaps a rental retreat, condo or timeshare. So, how about it? Create away!


If the idea is enticing and you need a consultant? Send me an email and I will be only too happy to get those creative juices flowing at 


Andrea Weiss

USBEF Silent Auction Coordinator




By Mary Ann Bowles

Ray Scott Winner, Diane Hendrickson


Ray Scott was a man who dedicated his life to badminton as a friend, mentor, player, tournament director, and former USAB Executive Director.  His motto was "press on," and he did just that to better the badminton community.


This award was established in his name in 2002-he passed away in 2001 in Papillion, Nebraska.  The award honors a Master player, coach, official, etc., who dedicates much of his/her time to promoting and or helping in front of or behind the scenes of U.S. badminton, and someone who will "press on" in getting things accomplished for the sport. The award is presented annually at the U.S. Masters National Championships, this year in Estero, Florida. 


Diane Hendrickson, of UK heritage, began playing badminton in her teens in the United Kingdom at her local church hall and school.  As an army nurse stationed in Germany in the 1960's, she played a little until a fall damaged her right wrist.


In 1972, Diane moved to Brussels, Belgium, and began playing badminton again.  With a German coach and mentor, she played many tournaments, was on the NATO First Team in the Brabaut League, and was Secretary of the NATO Badminton Club.  She left Belgium in 1989 for the Mid East, and then moved to the U.S. in 1991.


Coming to Tucson in 1994, Diane began playing badminton once again in 1997.  She was asked to help with the running of the National Senior Olympics Badminton event in May of 1997.  In the fall of that year, she was volunteered (by a badminton player) to the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department to teach a badminton class, and was hired as a badminton instructor for the senior program.  She began teaching at the Udall Center with a drop-in class on two courts.  As the program gained in popularity, the classes were expanded to the Randolph Center (two courts), and then to the El Pueblo Center with three courts.  With the increased popularity of badminton, both the Udall and Randolph Centers increased their courts to six.


Diane teaches three 2-hour classes weekly and sometimes a fourth.  Classes run for 7 to 8 weeks, and she teaches three full sessions each year, and a shortened one-class (4-week) session during July.  Student numbers range from 35-45 students weekly with beginners, intermediate, and advanced classes, some students attending more than one class.  She has taught at least 70 additional students ranging in age from 17 to 80+ who regularly play at all levels and participate in many different tournaments. 


Diane also taught a kids' summer program for about three years, before it was cut due to budget problems.  Some of her senior students, past and present, volunteer to teach a session for high school kids in the fall, and help during the summer kid camps.


In 2000, Diane began running the Tucson Senior Olympics Badminton tournament which was moved from the University of Arizona to the El Pueblo Center, and then to the Udall Center when tournament participation became too much for 3 courts.  The Udall Center had 6 courts.  In 2006, she also took over the running of the Arizona Senior Olympics Badminton tournament which was moved from Phoenix to the Udall Center in Tucson.  Both tournaments have very good participation, including regular players from New Mexico, Colorado, and winter visitors from Oregon and Canada.


Even after teaching and coaching for 15 years, Diane says she still gets great pleasure from watching her students' progress no matter the level of play.  She really enjoys teaching beginners, and she usually has 2-4 new students each year.  She enjoys the enthusiasm they have about the sport, and most of them play 1-2 times weekly in addition to attending class.  Although her arthritis problems do not allow her to play as much as she would like to, she hopes to be able to continue teaching and coaching for several more years to come.


As a result of that first drop-in class, and with the help and support of enthusiastic badminton players, Tucson now regularly hosts a USAB-sponsored Senior Badminton tournament, in conjunction with the City of Tucson, the University of Arizona, and the Tucson Badminton Club.  Badminton has come a long way in Tucson since 1997 with the help and guidance of Diane Hendrickson. 


As Diane says, "Badminton is a physically and mentally demanding sport, but can be played and enjoyed by all ages and skill levels - A SPORT FOR LIFE."  Congratulations to the 2013 Ray Scott Memorial Award winner, a player, teacher, and coach who has certainly "pressed on" to further the sport of badminton all over the world.



Sportsmanship Winner Dudley Chen



Annually at the U.S. Master Nationals Badminton Championships, players are asked to vote for a recipient of the Charles & Ada Wurst Master Award of Merit for Service and Sportsmanship.  The award is presented to a Master player who is adjudged to have contributed the most to the sport of badminton and whose sportsmanship, attitude, and achievement best exemplify the spirit of badminton.  Previous winners include Jack Harvey, Ray Scott, Priscilla Healey, Lee Calvert, Tom Carmody, Joyce Jones, Len Williams, Dick Witte, Bob Cook, Mary Ann Bowles, Paul Knechtel, Galfrya Ennis, Duane Enochs, Curt Dommeyer, James Bosco, and Don Fry.



The 2013 recipient is:

  • An awesome player who almost always hits the shuttle in the right place and makes it look so easy      
  • A coach who's worked with high school students and adults for thirty plus years
  • A court official who's spent many hours on court
  • A tournament director who has a great command of the tournament software program and runs a tight ship at the tournament desk


  • Someone who knows the business end of a stringing machine
  • Someone who owns a lawn service
  • A licensed massage therapist
  • Someone who has a favorite partner named Terri-they make an unbeatable mixed doubles team!
  • Someone who is, as one ballot said, "a hard worker for badminton, and someone who is always gracious in victory and humble in defeat"


Congratulations to Dudley Chen of Miami Lakes, Florida, the 2013 Charles & Ada Wurst Sportsmanship winner.  Well deserved!!!



By Bob & Ana Cook

65 WMG Team Medalists--Scotland-Bronze, USA-Gold,

New Zealand-Silver



There is no Italian dressing.  Herbed olive oil is not served with bread at a meal.    We have more Italian cypresses in our neighborhood than all of northern Italy.  Italian bread tastes better in Los Angeles than in Italy.  In the major Italian cities there are more tourists per square foot than any other place in the world.  Italians don't organize good badminton tournaments.  And, over confident team captains need humbling experiences now and then.


A Pencil Neck team has competed in all eight World Masters Games (WMG).  In the very first in Toronto (1985), only individual events were held, and it was Andy Gouw and I who began the tradition.  From then on the WMG has held team competition and the Pencil Neck teams have won 5 out of 6 times, winning the age groups in 40's, 50's, 55's, 60's, and a repeat in 60's.  Throughout those many years we have lost only two ties (team versus team matches).  Both of those ties were to Aussie teams which were able to overcome our always strong men's doubles teams.  For Torino I figured in the 65 year old age group we were a lock.  We had the strongest Pencil Neck team ever assembled which included myself, Andy, Curt Dommeyer, Ian Bishop, Intan Tee, Mary Ann Bowles, Andrea Weiss, and Sanne Dryborough.  Five of us were veterans from the Sydney WMG four years ago winning 60's.  


Entering our first tie against an unknown Scottish team, I was supremely confident.That soon turned to shock when our #1 MD (Dommeyer/Bishop) barely squeaked by at 21-17, 30-28, and our #2 and #3 got royally drubbed.Our women's doubles teams rallied by playing superbly, winning at #1 WD (Bowles/Tee) and #3 (Bowles/Weiss).

That evened the score at 3-3 going into the mixed, but I knew all signs pointed to a first round loss. 

Assembling good mixed doubles teams from the US has always been difficult.Most other countries (especially the English Commonwealth countries) play more mixed than we do and are combat tested in team competitions.Amazingly all three of our mixed teams triumphed rather easily to set us up for our 6thteam title. 

In the individual competition the team members (and past team members) continued to do well. 

Cai Lianying, an ex-member, won golds in 60WD with Intan Tee and 60 mixed with Trevor Stewart (GER), who is also is an ex-Pencil Neck.She also added bronze in 60WS. Intan Tee won a 2nd gold in 65WS and teamed with Sanne Dryborough for silver in 65WD.

I won silver in 65MS as well as silver in 65MD with Andy Gouw.Andrea Weiss got bronze for 65WS and, surprisingly, a bronze in 65XD with Ian Bishop. 

As the lowly 3rdranked mixed team on the Pencil Necks, their prospect of a medal in the individual competition seemed remote; but, a good draw and inspired play earned them a well-deserved place on the podium. 

The 70's Yum team captained by Jeff Fishback contained 2 other Americans: Judy Gray and Robin Lyons.The Yum was quite an international mix with other team members from Peru, Norway, Germany and Canada.Having no other teams in 70's they played down in the 65's, but were awarded the Gold in 70's.

In the individual competition Robin Lyons completed a cycle-gold in 70MD with Jeff Fishback, silver in 70MX with Judy Gray, and a bronze in 70MS.In addition, Judy garnered a 2ndsilver in 70WS and a bronze in 70WD. 

Several Americans played only the individual competition.  Most successful was Rose Lei, who scored a cycle: gold in 60WS, silver in 60XD, and bronze in 60WD.  Her partner in 60MX was Laszlo Drimusz who added bronzes in 55MS and 60MD.   In 45WS Jacky Myers got bronze, while Garth D'Abreu was equally successful in 40MD.


The poor organization of the Torino Games resulted in the lowest number of badminton players ever-over 300.  In past WMG, badminton has been one of the top draws with numbers hovering around one thousand.  I talked with one of the badminton organizers for the 2017 WMG in Auckland and he assured me that badminton will be organized and well-run.  I estimate a minimum of 1200 participants, so start preparing.


What do we remember most?  The day we visited Venice.  In the early morning we made the 120km express train trip from Verona, where we were staying at a B&B.  As good tourists we checked out the Grand Canal, the gondolas, and St. Mark's square.  By mid-afternoon we were running out of gas, but stumbled upon the Biennial Fair, an assembly of some 70 pavilions with unusual exhibits from all over the world.



In the Russian pavilion Ana grabbed an umbrella and walked into the "Raining Money" exhibit (men not permitted to enter).  While coins pelted down on her umbrella, she scooped up a handful of coins.  She followed the custom of taking the coins and dumping them into a return bucket and saving one coin as a souvenir.   Not all countries had good exhibits.  The absolute low point was the United States exhibit of a garage or workroom where the bric-a-brac (paint cans, tools, bottles, etc.) was tied together with string.  HUH?


The Korea House was the only one with a line of eager people waiting to get in.  The sides and roof of the house were made completely from Fresnel glass, which break apart sunlight into rainbow patterns.  The floor was wall-to-wall mirrors.   Ana could see that it would be too intense for her; but, I signed the extensive waiver, donned the required booties and wandered in.  From all directions I was overwhelmed with the intensity of lights and color.  Amid the whoops and hollers of kids dashing from one glass room to another, I concentrated on moving from the room's center with intense beams of direct sunlight to the corners where the reflections and prisms were predominant.



About the time I was becoming disoriented I heard my number called, "87."  I walked over to the exiting area, a heavy insulated door opened, I was directed in, and, "thud," the door closed.  Pitch black, no sound.  Scary and unnerving.  I reflected on the waiver; they must have people panic at this point.   I felt like I was locked up for 3 or 4 minutes before a welcoming ray of light split the darkness.  Probably was in "solitary" for no more than a minute, but I was completely unbalanced at that point.


Jazzed, we continued on to more remote pavilions.  By the time we had reached, maybe, the half way mark, we realized the last returning train of the night had departed.  The train agent issued us $6 tickets for the local choo-choo train.  "It will get you half way."  Sure enough, two hours later we reached the end of the line in no-where-ville.  It was near 1am when we flagged down a taxi.  $150 later, Verona.  Gosh, can't wait to do this again.




By Curt Dommeyer


My story begins much the way it ended - with a tiring, long plane trip between the United States and Italy.  I was scheduled to compete in the "open" 65+ age division of the badminton competition at the World Master Games (WMG) in Torino, Italy.  This is a competition that is held every four years and offers athletic competition in various sports, e.g., track and field, swimming, tennis, table tennis, cycling, etc., to a variety of ages (anywhere from 35 to 80), and may, depending on the sport, offer numerous competency levels, anywhere from novice to expert.  In the badminton competition,  an athlete, according to the rules, could enter his/her  age group in any one of three competency levels - recreational level (for the novice), competitive level (for the semi-serious player),  or  the open level (for an expert player). 


We were not sure what to expect in the badminton competition since the badminton organizers had already botched up the registration procedures.  Months before the tournament was scheduled to begin, people were encouraged to register for the tournament.  Although it was difficult to navigate their registration procedures, it was impossible to designate with whom you might intend to play your various doubles events.  Despite numerous pleas by me and others for corrections to the procedures, the organizers failed to deal with the problem until about a month before the tournament began.  As a result of their procrastination, many players decided either not to enter the tournament or to withdraw their entries.  Consequently, the number of people entering the badminton event was far below previous marks.  Torino attracted about 320 badminton players as compared to the 900+ number that was achieved in Sydney, Australia, just four years earlier.


My Canadian men's doubles partner and I arrived in Torino four days before the start of the badminton competition so that we had some time to become acclimated to the new time zone which was nine hours ahead of what we were used to.  Since we were already sleep-deprived from our plane ride, and since we were having trouble sleeping in this "upside down" time zone, we had a difficult time catching up on our sleep while in Torino.


We tried to take advantage of our early arrival in Torino by practicing for three days in the playing venue, an ice hockey rink that had been converted to a badminton hall with eight courts.  Although the courts looked beautiful, they were far from perfect.  Three of the courts were lined up from "end-to-end," and the view from either side of these courts faced into large windows, making visibility of the shuttle very difficult.  Another problem was the hardness of the court. The playing surface was a wafer thin Yonex mat placed on top of cement.  There was absolutely no "give" to the court and I feared I would experience many sore joints and tendons.  Finally, the heat was unbearable. Outside, the gym, the temperature was around 93 degrees Fahrenheit.  As you walked into the tinderbox of a gym, it appeared that the temperature jumped another five or ten degrees.  Trying to play for more than a half an hour in this environment presented us with a physical challenge.


Our competition began with the team events.  Each team played in an age division at a designated competency level.  For example, I played on a U.S./Canadian "open" team in the 65+ age category.  Each team was composed of four men and four women.  When a tie occurred between two teams, nine matches ensued - three men's doubles, three women's doubles, and three mixed doubles.  The team that won five or more of these matches won the tie.  We had three other teams in our competition.  We managed to beat the first team (from Scotland) 6-3, the second team (from U.S./Canada/Europe) 9-0, and the third team (from New Zealand) 8-1 to take the gold medal.  Usually the medals were awarded to players in the playing venue, but the competitors in my age group and division were asked to attend a formal ceremony later in the evening at the Sports Village where there would be theme music, dignitaries, crowds of spectators, photographers, and the press.  It was quite the spectacle.


On the fourth day of the tournament, the "individual" competition took place.  This was like a regular tournament with singles, men's doubles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles.  However, there were many cells to this tournament as each badminton event had an age group along with three competency levels.  Spreading 320 players over these various cells caused some cells either to be empty or poorly represented. 


In my case, I was competing in only two "individual" events - the 65+ "open" men's doubles and the 65+ "open" mixed doubles.  We had about nine teams in the 65+ men's doubles, so the organizers decided to form three pools of three teams.  The winning team from each pool would then enter a medal round where the gold, silver, and bronze medal winners would be determined with round robin play. This format works fine so long as the two strongest teams are not initially placed in the same pool.   


Unfortunately, my team and a Scottish team were the two strongest teams in the draw and we were placed in the same pool.  Although we had barely beaten the Scottish team, 21-17 and 30-28, in the previous team competition, they squeaked past us in the "individual" competition, 21-19, 19-21, 21-19. This set them up to win the gold medal (which they did) and put us out of the tournament.  My luck was worse in the mixed doubles, as my Canadian partner and I lost all three matches in our pool play, thereby taking us out of any contention for a medal.


All told, it was a fun tournament with many pluses and minuses.  On the plus side were the friendly people, the free public transportation for all athletes, the wonderful restaurants, the availability of fresh (non-GMO) fruits and vegetables, and the ability to walk amongst a society where being overweight is not the norm.  On the negative side, however, were the horrible playing conditions.  Playing a match on the rock hard surface in desert-like heat was a torturous activity.  


And the "sandbagging" was beyond my imagination.  On numerous matches, I observed expert players competing in the lower competency divisions in an effort to ensure themselves of a medal.  My watching expert players play in the recreational division - the lowest division - was not uncommon.  It was almost comical to watch them "throw points" so that they would barely win a match.  The only time I saw "sandbaggers" play seriously was when they ran into another pair of "sandbaggers."  In some cases, individuals were allowed to play in more than one competency division, which does not make any sense. The weak attendance to the tournament also made for less than a "world class" event.  Hopefully the next WMG - which will be held in Auckland, New Zealand in four years - will be one that lives up to its potential.




By Mary Ann Bowles

The 2013 World Masters Games badminton event was held in a 2006 Winter Olympics practice ice rink complex in Torino, Italy, August 2-10. Nineteen thousand athletes from 109 countries converged on Torino for 30sports.  Three hundred eleven players from 27 countries played on eight courts for warm-ups several days prior to competition.  Both team and individual events were held in various age groups from 35 to 70.  Individual events included Open, Competitive, and Recreational divisions.


Two U.S./Canadian  teams competed in the age 65 team event, the Pencil Necks and YUM.  Team members of the Pencil Necks were Bob Cook, Curt Dommeyer, Andy Gouw, Mary Ann Bowles, Intan Tee, Andrea Weiss, and Canadians Ian Bishop and Sanne Dryborough.  The YUM team included U.S. players Judy Gray, Jeff Fishback, and Robin Lyons. 


Individual Open U.S. medal winners included:


40MD - Garth D'Abreu, bronze medal

45WS - Jackie Myers, bronze

55MS -  Laszlo Drimusz, bronze

60MD -  Laszlo Drimusz, bronze

60WS - Rose Lei, gold

60WS - Lianying Cai, bronze

60WD - Lianying Cai/Intan Tee, gold

60WD - Rose Lei, bronze

60XD -  Lianying Cai, gold

60XD -  Laszlo Drimusz/Rose Lei, silver

65MS -  Bob Cook, silver

65WS - Intan Tee, gold

65WS - Andrea Weiss, bronze

65MD -  Bob Cook/Andy Gouw, silver

65WD - Intan Tee, silver

65XD -  Andrea Weiss, bronze

70MS -  Robin Lyons, bronze

70WS - Judy Gray, silver

70MD -  Jeff Fishback/Robin Lyons, gold

70WD - Judy Gray, bronze

70XD -  Robin Lyons/Judy Gray, silver


Other U.S. winners were:

45WS Competitive - Jackie Myers, gold

55MS Competitive -  Pedro Garcia, silver

60WS Competitive - Sheena Fischer, silver

60WD Competitive - Sheena Fischer, bronze

35WD Recreational -Julie Kessler/Susan Lawrence, bronze

65WD Recreational - Karen Fishback/Lottie Lyons, bronze


My memories of the trip included:



So many little cars (Torino is the home of Fiat!)

Motor scooters and mo-peds

Gelato (delicious!)

High-rise apartment buildings with balconies filled   

   with plants

Graffiti on many buildings

Wail of ambulance sirens (hotel was across street   

   from hospital)

Brutal heat

Po River

Sycamore trees

Coliseum in Rome



The World Masters Games will be held in 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand.  It's not too early to be thinking about your team members now!




October 14-15, 2013 

St. George, Utah



November 1-3, 2013 

Manhattan Beach, California



January 7-11, 2014 

Miami Lakes, Florida  



By Mary Ann Bowles


The new Indian Badminton League is a franchise league established this year by the Badminton Association of India.  The inaugural edition was held in India from August 14-31, 2013.  A players' auction preceded the play July 22 in Delhi, India.  The highest paid players were Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, sold for $135,000 to the Mumbai Masters, and India's Saina Nehwal who went to the Hyderabad Hotshots for $120,000.


The league had six franchises representing Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, and Lucknow.  Teams included the Awadhe Warriors, Banga Beats, Delhi Smashers, Hyderabad Hotshots, Mumbai Masters, and Pune Pistons.  Matches were played home and away.  Each team had no less than 10 players and not more than 11, including a junior and four foreign players.  No player played over two matches per contest.  Chinese players did not participate because of a clash with their national games.


The format was based on the Sudirman Cup format.  The typical face-off was two men's singles, one women's singles, one mens' doubles, and one mixed doubles.  The goals of the league were to make the sport more popular in India and to give young and promising Indian shuttlers a chance to play with or against world-class shuttlers.  The organizer was Sporty Solutionz, and they were in hopes of attracting many companies and individuals to sponsor teams.  Each team had an owner, and it was hoped the prestige of the Indian Premier League for cricket would be emulated by the badminton league. 


Each of the six teams played each of the other teams, and the top four teams came out to the semifinals and finals.  The final matches were played between the Hyderabad Hotshots, led by Saina Nehwal, and the Awadhe Warriors, led by Indian junior player P.V. Sindhu.  Nehwal and Sindhu had played each other in the team play, Nehwal coming out on top in a tie-breaker.  Saina again defeated Sindhu in the finals to lead her team to victory, 3 matches to 1.  Nehwal was voted the Player of the Tournament, and was the only undefeated member of a finalist team. 


Although the league did not turn a profit, the organizer will seek more sponsors and advertisers next year, add two more teams for a total of eight, and seek bigger and better venues.  Stay tuned because Malaysia is now talking about starting a Purple Badminton League next summer as well.  Your favorite international player may be playing on an Indian or Malaysian league team next year--look out, cricket, here we come! 


The United States Badminton Education Foundation works in cooperation with the USAB (the governing body of United States Badminton) to promote the growth and support of Badminton throughout our country. The USBEF was incorporated in the State of Massachusetts in 1967 and its Board Members consist of Badminton Players who serve voluntarily to "put something back into Badminton."


OUR MISSION STATEMENT -- To establish and promote throughout the United States an educational program  devoted to the development of Badminton as a means of healthful and physical fitness, to promote the recognition in schools, colleges, YMCA and other institutions with physical education programs of the carry-over benefits of Badminton, to give coaching and instructions to players throughout the U.S. Badminton in clinics and exhibitions which are in furtherance of educational objectives.   


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