When I was given the essay assignment that asked me to identify and offer a solution to a problem at Miami University, I considered many different possibilities. These included the increasingly constrained parking areas, inconvenient travel to cities nearby, and so on. Finally, I decided to write an essay about what I most interested in and I wanted to improve most urgently, which was the badminton courts. I love badminton very much, and as the vice president of Miami’s badminton club, I really hope that the facilities for badminton in Miami University can be improved.
One of my goals while writing this essay was to avoid writing a broad and boring paper with no emotion behind it. I also knew that I had to include logos, but I didn’t want it to lose my reader with too many isolated facts. My solution was to conduct a survey and include its results in the essay. The survey allowed me to take data and share it in a way that was easy to manage and that would interest readers. I hope this essay can do some promotion for our badminton club by publication.
The Problem of Badminton Courts at Miami University
I am a student in Miami University and I love badminton very much. Also I joined the badminton club in Miami University. One a day, I went to the badminton practice in the evening. When I arrived at the courts, I found that nobody arrived earlier than me. So I set up all the nets and pillars by myself and waited for other people coming. After half an hour, nobody came. I was disappointed and I had to put all the facilities back to storage. Because the courts are not especially for badminton—volleyball and basketball are also played in that court—I cannot just leave the pillars and nets in the courts. At that time I was wishing to have one or more independent courts for badminton.
Badminton is very popular in China and is one of the three national sports in China. In China, not only in universities, but also in high schools, there are independent badminton courts. Students in universities and schools can go to play badminton anytime they want when the gyms are open. Badminton is so popular in China that it is very important to Chinese students. However, there is no independent badminton court in Miami University and we can only play badminton in specific times. As a result, lots of Chinese student who do not have free time during those time periods cannot come to play badminton. My friend states: “I usually don’t have time to play badminton in the evening because I have to do homework at that time. When I am free at weekends, Phillips Hall does not open at weekend, so I can only go to rec to play badminton. However, the courts in rec are usually full of people who play basketball” (“Badminton Court Survey”). Because there are no independent courts for badminton, lots of people cannot play badminton here.
In Miami University, there are no courts especially for badminton. Our badminton club can only play badminton in specific times, which is from 6 pm to 8 pm, every Wednesday and Thursday. The courts are in Phillips Hall. We have to set up the nets and put back the pillars and nets to the storage after we finish our practice. It is quite troublesome. Also, the time we own the courts this semester is awkward. It is too early for the students who live on campus, like me. Most of the dining halls on campus provide dinner from 5 pm to 8 pm. If I go for dinner before the badminton practice, I will be too full to play because I do not have enough time to digest the food. Also, doing sports just after the meal is bad for health. As I said, most dining hall close at 8 pm, so I will have no dinner to eat after the practice. Last semester, our club owned the court from 8 to 10 pm. It was too late to finish at 10 pm, especially in winter, and we have to put all facilities back after the practice additionally. The most suitable time for the practice is from 7 to 9 pm, however, we cannot book that time period because that means we occupy the courts the whole evening. It is impossible because the courts are not only for badminton, but also for volleyball and basketball.
In my opinion, the method to deal with this problem is to subdivide a court in rec or Phillips Hall especially for badminton. First of all, if there is a badminton court in Miami University, the students and staffs here who like playing badminton can go to play badminton at any time they are free, just like in Chinese universities. The people who do not come to the badminton practice because they are not free at the specific time periods can go to play badminton at their free time. So an independent badminton can attract more people to come to play badminton. Now there are 67 members in our badminton club. I think the requirement of 67 people is considerable to the university so it is necessary to subdivide a court for badminton. Second, with the increasing numbers of people who play badminton, the members in the badminton club will become more and more. We can build a university team to do some formal training and go to other universities to take part in the tournaments to win honor for Miami University. One of the professors in our badminton club took part in the badminton tournament hold in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and he states: “There are courts especially for badminton in that university. I think it is good for the development of badminton in Miami University to have a specific badminton court” (“Badminton Court Survey”).
To check the feasibility of my method, I did some surveys not only to my friends in badminton club but also to some local students. From my survey, 7 out of 10 people agreed to have an independent badminton court so that they can go for playing without checking the schedule of the courts—they can just date some friends and go. Other people stated that they have no idea about the badminton courts but they will come to play badminton if they have free time. On the other hand, I got the time schedule of the courts in Phillips Hall for the recent two semesters. By checking the time schedule, I found that the courts in Phillips Hall are most used in the evening—they are usually idle in the daytime. The organizations that book the courts in Phillips Hall are Woman Volleyball Team, Chinese Kongfu Club and our badminton club. However, these three teams will never appear in the gym at the same time by arrangement. There are three courts in the gym in Phillips Hall and even in the evening, the utilization ratio of all courts rarely more than 2/3. It means that at most time, at least one court in the gym is empty. I think it is possible for our club to keep that court for just badminton.
I believe the above represents a logical solution to the problem; however, I can also foresee some of the objections that might be raised against it. For example, badminton in the US is not as popular as in China. Lots of Americans have more interest in basketball than in badminton. Even through in our badminton club, there are only about fifty percent of Chinese students, eighty percent of people who come to the badminton practice frequently are Chinese. On the other hand, sometimes the people come to the badminton practice are not enough. It is a good reason to doubt whether it is necessary to subdivide a court especially for badminton.
However, the argument above is not so convincing in my mind. First of all, in the US, table tennis is not so popular, just like badminton, but there are lots of table tennis table in Miami University, especially in the new residence halls. The students who like playing table tennis can just play in their dorm and even play the whole night. Comparing to those people, people like us who love badminton have to the specific hall at specific time to play badminton. It is really unfair to us who love badminton. Our right should not be limited when we do not damage others right. As I mentioned above, at most time, there is at least one of the courts in Phillips Hall is empty. We should have the right to use the court when it is not used instead of using it only at specific time. Secondly, it is really a problem that there are not enough people coming to the badminton practice but I think the main cause of this is that different people have different schedule and they do not have the same free time. You cannot say that there are not enough people coming at specific time so we cannot use the court effectively.
In conclusion, it is quite necessary to subdivide a court especially for badminton. By subdividing the badminton courts, the university can not only show that they make no exception to all sports but also show their respect to student’ right. Also, we do not need to do the repetitions work every time before and after our practice and I believe that more and more people will show their interest in badminton because they can go to play badminton at any time they want.
“Badminton Handout” Miami University – Phillips Hall. 01.Nov.2015
Run, Jiang. “Badminton Court Survey.” 29.Oct.2015