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IM badminton serves up a good time

March 4, 2017

Hannah Rafkin
Zihao Chen ’19 prepares to serve to Phillip Maier ’18 during a casual intramural badminton match in Sargent Gymnasium on Monday night.

Intramural badminton has been offering a casual, somewhat competitive atmosphere since the start of the winter. It has brought together students of diverse backgrounds to de-stress and have fun in Sargent Gymnasium.

The season will run until Spring Break, though it had its playoff tournament last week.

Similar to most intramural programs, there are two leagues—A and B—to offer players different levels of competition. There are 13 teams between the two leagues, each with two to four members on average, and they play two games a week.

Ethan Bevington ’19 fell into the sport this year because his friends needed an extra player. He competes for the second best team in the B league, “A Shifted Few,” which cruised into the playoffs on a three-game win streak.

In addition to team lifts and warm-up rallying before each game, wikiHow significantly contributed to Bevington’s development as a badminton player.

“WikiHow was surprisingly helpful and I definitely got considerably better,” said Bevington. “That was the most rewarding thing about it.”

Intramural badminton maintains a more relaxed and laidback culture in comparison to other intramural sports, according to Aidan Coyle ’17.

Coyle has competed in intramural hockey and soccer for the past three years, but just joined intramural badminton this year as a member of “The Flaming Birdies.”

“In badminton you are more focused on having fun. You don’t play to win but to have fun,” said Coyle.

According to Emma Laprise ’17, who plays on the same team as Coyle, rarely do people grow up playing badminton, especially relative to sports like soccer and basketball. Therefore most players in the league are beginners, which creates an environment focused on improvement and having fun rather than winning.

Laprise had never played an intramural sport before joining badminton and attributes her badminton skills to playing the game in her yard as a kid.

“I don’t think I will continue badminton anywhere outside of Bowdoin, but it’s a good time to hang out with people you normally don’t see and get a little bit competitive,” said Laprise.

The players hope that more interest in the sport will prompt the College to help replace the worn-out equipment, such as the many bent rackets and old birdies, as well as lengthen the season.

“If more people signed up for it, the duration can be longer and I’d be in favor of that,” said Bevington.

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