The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has announced the domestic calendar until March, 2022. The new domestic schedule also involves junior ranking tournaments which were not previously declared.
The announcements of junior tournaments will certainly bring plenty of smiles on the faces of teenage players. The country's junior shuttlers have been waiting for a national-level competition for the last two years.
The domestic badminton season is starting with two All India Senior Ranking tournaments in December after an almost 20-month gap due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The national governing body of sports BAI has nominated all subsequent age category tournaments until March 2022 for selection tournaments. The move was done with an eye on building the next generation of stars which will serve the country in the future.
BAI junior ranking tournaments will be held in Panchkula in January, 2022
The two senior ranking tournaments will be held in Chennai (December 16 to 22) and Hyderabad (December 24 to 30) respectively. The back-to-back seniors meets will be followed by junior tournaments for Under-15, Under-17 (January 3 to 10, 2022) and Under-19 meets in Panchkula from January 12 to 18, 2022. The third senior ranking tourney will be played in Chhattisgarh in March.
The players’ participation in the upcoming senior and junior tournaments is mandatory. The performance of the players will be considered ahead of the trials for the inclusion of shuttlers for the Senior and Junior National coaching camp. The results will also be considered for participation in BWF international tournaments and finalization of Tops Elite and Development Groups.
“Because of the pandemic, domestic badminton could not take off for almost 20 months. Gaudging performance of players based on National and International ranking alone doesn't seem to be the best fit in the current circumstances,” said BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania on Monday.
A top BAI official said the selection committee will evaluate the performance of all players every six months.
“Our objective is to conduct transparent tournaments and trials and ensure a proper evaluation of players’ performance. The fitness levels of players are reviewed every six months. It will ensure fresh and deserving talents also get the opportunities to be part of the camp as well as the TOPs list of players,” said Singhania.
BAI will also create a reserve list of elite and junior players who can be prepared subsequently with an eye on creating bench strength. It will also serve as a replacement for the main list of shuttlers if needed.
The successful conduct of the Infosys Foundation International Challenge badminton tournament in Bengaluru last month helped BAI plan its domestic season.