Searching for American Badminton

So after three years I’m finally headed back to my native land for a small summer holiday. My original plan was to bring my coach and show him around America while continuing our training.

But dumb TRUMP and the dumb GOVERNMENT denied him a visa. (Yes, I know people were denied visas under Obama’s administration as well, but Trump is dumb so I blame him anyway.)

Who could deny this friendly looking guy?!

So with four weeks in America with no guest and basically no plan, what’s a girl to do?

Play Badminton of Course!

This will be my first time going back to America after beginning badminton and I can say I am more than a bit curious. I mean, I live and train in China, the Rolls-Royce of the badminton world. And America? That’s the Ford Pinto.

We make fun of America here. All Chinese badminton players do. We joke about how bad they are and how surely I must be the highest level badminton player and any badminton players of note are either Chinese or ABC (which of course Chinese take pride in).

But I’m on message boards, and through this blog I have heard from several Americans who are into the game. So I know “American Badminton” isn’t quite the oxymoron it once was.

I’m gonna make it my mission to find it this summer.

Searching for East Coast Badminton

What little badminton culture there is is based on the west coast. But I’ll be in the east coast which will make my search a little harder.

I’ve found a few things on the internet. There is a YMCA about 30 minutes from my parents house which has badminton three times a week. I wrote to the Y and they said they have 15-25 people every time which honestly surprised me. So many? I also found a guy that sets up a net in a school gym twice a week closer to my parents house so I’ll try that.

Slim pickings for sure, but it’s better than nothing. The closest dedicated badminton court is in Manhattan, but I think maybe that’s a little too far for me to go to easily.

By far the most exciting thing is I signed up for a four day training camp at Boston badminton. Olympic athlete Eva Lee is coaching along with a Chinese coach. I can’t wait to play with a high level American female and ask her a million questions about what it’s like being a professional in America.


Anyway, it will be interesting to see what it’s like in America. I already have to have  arguments about how badminton is actually faster and quicker than tennis with my foreign friends in China because they just don’t know. But there are always Chinese people to back me up. In America I’m gonna face the criticism alone with people who think “playing outside in the backyard” is real badminton.

I’ll just have to remember to stay calm and try to educate although I know some people will never really listen or understand what real badminton is all about.

Speaking of, I think I’ll also have to hit the birdie around outside with friends and family and their kids because they know I play badminton and that’s how they think badminton is played. I haven’t played outdoor badminton in years and I think the wind will really annoy me.

I mean. How DO you play outdoor badminton? You can’t use real birdies can you? They alter course so easily with even the slightest of breezes I can’t imagine it would work outdoors. Will I have to use plastic birdies?! (Shock, gasp, shudder.)

I’ll just have to be careful that I don’t tumble on uneven outdoor ground and hurt myself because I can totally see myself doing just that. I’m klutzy and knowing me I’ll twist my ankle the day before the training camp.

So this summer I’m going on a hunt, with American Badminton as my prey. I’ll let you know what I find when I return in the beginning of August!



  1. 艾伦

    We will also be returning to the states to Raleigh at the end of July, but for one year. Luckily in our area there are 2 (well in November there will be 2) badminton clubs as well as 3 universities that have plenty of badminton players and we will return to our old group there. I think you will not have a problem finding someone to play with. And you will have a special bonus: air conditioning. I can’t wait to get back to play in the states. Playing with no a/c sucks.

    1. Becky (Post author)

      I’m trying to forgot that air conditioned courts exist because it’s hard to not have it! I’ve also given up on any pride or vanity I have because I look like a drowned dog when I play….


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