Finals – Why always on a Sunday?

Posted: September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Belgian TV ready for Finals

I have just returned home from my trip to the Belgian International which, and from an organisational capacity, is consistently the best prepared tournament on the badminton Europe circuit. Finals day in Belgium is always a glitzy affair with a fully loaded TV spec’d court and lighting. The accompanying pomp and pizzazz that goes along with a full TV production of any indoor sport is also a feature of finals day in Belgium which is a spectators dream.

However, and through the course of my travels around Europe, the big issue for all organisers always hinges on how many spectators will they get into the halls and stadiums on finals Sunday. It is always a talking point and a source of stress filled anxiety for these hard working organisers.

My question is always this to these people, why do you always have to have your finals on a Sunday? We all know that in Austria the finals take place on a Saturday and while I was against this concept in my earlier badminton life I have come full circle to support this idea of Saturday finals.

Yes I hear all the arguments for and against the idea but for me the evidence stacks up to having finals on a Saturday. From travelling around Europe and looking at it from a Human perspective people do not want to go out on a Sunday afternoon and sit 6 hours in a hall.

From what I have seen, and this is without statistical proof, most halls have more people in them on a Saturday than on Sunday’s.  This is excluding any players that I see and I will use the example of Belgium this weekend gone by. While there was a pretty sizable crowd in the hall for Sunday’s final there had to be approximately 25% more people there on Saturday.

There are all the arguments against this idea which range from organisational issue to traditional views and back to organisational issue again. But if Austria can do it then it is possible in my opinion. For me semi finals and finals on the same day is an idea worth exploring at circuit level.

While this may be too much for many tournament organisers to handle I also feel that having six finals on a Sunday is just bordering on insane. There is no way that we can expect any individual to come to a tournament and sit through six hours of badminton on a Sunday afternoon. People have too much to do and real lives to live and Sunday is that critical watershed in the week where people prepare for the new week ahead. Preparing both

No ill effects playing semis & finals on same day in Austria

mentally for work and for school is of paramount important mentally more so than physically come Sunday afternoon.

If it has to be Sunday well then why not try two finals on Saturday evening and three on a Sunday. It is my opinion that there is a greater chance that you will get more people into the hall for three hours as opposed to six. There is still some of the day left if the Sunday finals only last for a handful of hours.

Oh yes I hear the groans of displeasure already as to what matches would be played on the ‘diluted’ Saturday finals. All I know as a man and if I was a men’s singles or a men’s doubles player I would prefer to play in front of more spectators and if that was a Saturday evening well I would prefer it for sure. For me it is a no brainer.

Finally I do know that the organisers around Europe are all open to new ideas and new formats. I do know that Badminton Europe listen to these people and there is a mutual consensus to try and make changes and make things better. I thing we are very fortunate to have this wonderful people organising our circuit tournaments with such passion and drive and I am 100% confident that the future of the game is safe in their hands.

(The opinion expressed in this article are purely personal and form no part of any associated organisation or society)

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