The Badminton Association of India (BAI) is likely to kick-start its domestic season with back-to-back tournaments in Bengaluru next month.
Both the All India Senior Ranking Badminton tournaments will be held in the last two weeks of August. The first tourney, planned for the third week of August, will mark the resumption of the domestic season after a gap of more than one and a half years.
Immediately after the first, the second tournament will begin at the same venue. It would be convenient for both players and organizers to conduct the tournaments at one venue in view of the raging pandemic.
According to sources, Bengaluru was chosen as the venue as the city has more courts. To maintain social distancing and other necessary precautions, BAI needs a venue with sufficient number of courts.
The Karnataka Badminton Association (KBA) has ten courts. BAI is also likely to use other venues if there are more entries. The Sree Kanteerava Stadium, which has four courts, is not far from the KBA Hall. This could raise the number of available courts to 14.
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BAI wants to have more courts so that the players are spread well
The BAI wants to have more courts so that the players are spread well in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.
Last month, BAI general secretary Ajay Kumar Singhania instructed all affiliated state units to be ready for action soon.
In a letter to the secretaries of state units, Ajay Kumar Singhania specifically asked to encourage the players, coaches, umpires and other officials to be fully vaccinated.
Both the Bengaluru tournaments will be held following strict COVID-19 guidelines. For all players above 18, complete vaccination is mandatory.
All the participants should have taken both the vaccine doses and need to produce the vaccination certificate at the venue.
The BAI has also stated that, for players below 18 years of age, it is compulsory to carry a negative RT-PCR report, obtained not more than 96 hours prior to their departure.
All state associations have been informed to pass these details on to their registered players, coaches, technical officials and other relevant stakeholders.
According to sources, BAI will make an official statement next week regarding the tournaments.