Badminton is one of the most popular sport in India. People of all ages- kids, children, youngsters, adults to elderly have all played. In India as well, playing sports is an age-old tradition, right from our Vedic days. For long Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand had been the flag bearers of the country in the sport. However, since the turn of the century, many Badminton stars have raised and taken over the mantle from them.
In 2017, according to rankings data published by the Badminton World Federation, there was an Indian featuring in the top five players of the world among men as well as among women. Outstanding performances from Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, P.V Sindhu, Prannoy H.S, Ajay Jayaram and B. Sai Praneeth have helped the popularity of the sport both domestically and Internationally.
All of them have come through the ranks by playing and winning various domestic tournaments. These tournaments have given them the necessary exposure, experience and an illustration of competition they would face at International Level.
Major Domestic Badminton Tournaments in India
Let it be any sport, domestic level tournaments are the stepping stone for any athlete who wants to be a world champion. Domestically, Badminton has been in India since 1934 with the formation of the Badminton Association of India (BAI). BAI is an association registered under the societies act and has been holding national-level tournaments in India since 1936. Here are the major Badminton Tournaments in India:
Premier Badminton League
The Premier Badminton League is India’s only franchise league in the sport of Badminton. Inaugurated in 2013, under the name of Indian Badminton League, it has become a popular and successful international tournament in India. Six teams participate in the first edition of Indian Badminton League with Hyderabad Hotshots winning the inaugural IBL title. After the inaugural season, the tournament did not happen for 3 years. However, it returned in 2016 under the name of Premier Badminton League. Hyderabad Hunters the third edition of Premier Badminton League
The League follows a league-cum-knockout format. In the league stage, each team plays 5 ties with the other 5 teams. Each match is best of 3 games and each game is to be of 15 points each. The 5 ties are Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Singles, Mixed Doubles & Men’s Singles. Furthermore, to make the league more entertaining, it introduces ‘Trump Card Rule’. According to the Trump Card rule, each team strategically selects one of the 5 matches that they play in a tie as their Trump match. In a trump match, a victory gives the team a bonus point and also a loss gives it a negative point. After the end of the league, the top 4 teams with maximum points will proceed to the Semifinal.
The League features major Indian stars like Srikanth Kidambi, P. V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Prannoy Kumar, and also International stars like Jan Ø. Jørgensen, Son Wan-ho, Viktor Axelsen and others.
The BAI hosts a number of All India ranking Tournaments at different levels- Sub Junior (u13 and u15); Junior (u17 and u19) and Senior. The tournaments are held all around the year and also in various major cities. This gives a chance of maximum participation as well as no talent slipping through unnoticed. At all three levels, there are various categories a participant can involve themselves into- Boys Singles; Boys Doubles; Girls Singles; Girls doubles; Mixed Doubles (U-19 and senior only). These Tournaments lead up to Indian Badminton team Selections.
All India Inter Institutional Badminton Tournament
The all India Inter Institutional Badminton Tournament is an annual event and sees teams from Reserve Bank of India, LIC of India, BSNL Sports Board, Airports Authority of India, Food Corporation of India, Ordinance Factory Sports Control Board, Department of Atomic Energy, Air Force Sports Control Board and Employees State Insurance Corporation will take part both in team and individual events.
The next edition of the tournament will be held from 23rd August 2018 to 26th August 2018 at Guwahati, Assam. The categories in the team event include- Men Singles; Men Doubles; Women Singles; Women Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
The winning team will qualify for the senior National championship and also the Finalists in all events are eligible in Senior Nationals.
Sub Junior Indian National Badminton Championships
The Sub Junior National Badminton Championships is an annual tournament. It is mostly held towards the end of every year. The 2018 Edition will be the 32nd Sub Junior Championship. It usually has 2 main categories- U13 and U15. The Competition is for both boys and girls. Furthermore, there are common categories of Singles and doubles under both. Eligibility for participation in this event is 2 singles, 1 doubles entry from each state as well as top 16 single ranking players and top 8 ranking in doubles from BAI ranking are eligible.
The Winners of the latest Sub Junior National Badminton Championships:
- Pranav Rao Gandham and Tukum Laa won the U13 and U15 boys singles.
- Anupama Upadhyaya and Uthsava Palit won the U13 and U15 girls singles.
Junior Indian National Badminton Championships
The Junior National Badminton Championships is also an annual tournament. The 42nd edition of the tournament was held in Guwahati, Assam. It usually has 2 main categories- U17 and U19. The Competition is for both boys and girls. Furthermore, under them common categories of Singles and doubles under both. However, the Mixed doubles are only in the U19 category.
Eligibility for participation in this event is 2 singles, 1 doubles and 1 Mixed double entry from each state. Top 16 single ranking players and also top 8 ranking in doubles from BAI ranking are eligible in U17. Top 12 single ranking players and top 6 ranking in doubles and mixed doubles from BAI ranking are also eligible for the U19 category.
The Winners of the latest Junior National Badminton Championships:
- U17 Singles- Boys: Aryamann Tandon; Girls: Aakarshi Kashyap
- U17 Doubles- Girls: Trisha Hegde and Drithi Yatheesh; Boys: Navaneeth Bokka and
Vishnuvardhan Goud P.
- U19 Singles- Girls: Aakarshi Kashyap; Boys: Maisnam Meiraba
- U19 Doubles- Girls: Rutaparna Panda and Mithula U. K; Boys: Vishnuvardhan Goud P and Sri Krishna Sai Kumar Podile
- U19 Mixed Doubles – Krishna Prasad G. and Mithula U. K.
Indian National Badminton Championships
The longest-serving Badminton domestic event in India was introduced in 1936. Until 1960, it was an open competition. Prakash Padukone holds the record of winning this tournament a record 9 times. The 82nd Senior Badminton Championships was held at Nagpur in 2017. The Competition is for both Men and Women. Furthermore, There are common categories under them- singles and doubles and last category are mixed doubles.
Eligibility for participation in this event-
- 2 singles, 1 doubles and 1 Mixed double entry from each state
- Top 8 players are given placement directly to pre-quarter-finals as per BWF ranking
falling within 50 and as per BAI ranking.
- Top 4 ranked players as per BWF ranking falling within in 50 ranks and BAI Top ranking
- The winning team will qualify for the senior National championship and also the Finalists in all events are eligible in Senior Nationals. most (All India Inter Institutional Badminton Tournament)
The Winners of the latest Junior National Badminton Championships:
- Singles: Men – HS Prannoy; Women- Saina Nehwal
- Doubles: Men- Manu Atri and Sumeet Reddy B; Women- Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy
- Mixed Doubles: Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwik Sairaj
All of these tournaments provide the necessary exposure, experience and an illustration of competition they would face at International Level. Indian players, are performing well and winning major tournaments. As of August 17th, The Indian Badminton Team currently ranks 9th on the BMF world rankings. Kidambi Srikanth currently ranks 8th in BMF Men’s single and P.V Sindhu ranks 3rd in the BMF Women’s singles rankings.