Street badminton is a dog-eat-dog sport. There's no referee, no reviews, and most importantly, no mercy. There is more to the game than just hitting a shuttlecock and winning points. Unfortunately, there are no definitive rules for those aspects of the game. As a badminton enthusiast and someone with enough spare time to give these a thought, here are my suggestions for a good badminton experience.
THE “READY NA” SOLUTION
A frequently recurring issue in street badminton is the squeal “Ready na!” from the receiving side of a service after failing to hit back a serve. One of three things could've lead to this situation. One, the “servee” was unprepared which the “server” was unaware of due to either his blinding dedication to his serve or his pathetically poor eyesight. Two, the servee was unprepared and the server, being the epitome of evil that he is, utilised this opportunity. Or three, the servee was prepared but is a disappointment of a badminton player and a human being in general, and lied to get a second chance.
The obvious solution to this is to fight it out like proper gentlemen. But since juvenile fisticuffs is socially unacceptable, we need to think of alternatives. Video Assistant Referee is an efficient solution if the kids can extract enough money from their supportive parents to buy the high-tech tools needed. If not, they can calculate the Trustworthiness (T) of the servee and server using the following algorithm,
[Where Gr = grade or CGPA, Cp = chaanda provided, Te = total expense in treats provided, Cr = number of criminal records, Qt = quota]
The one with the larger Trustworthiness gets the benefit of the doubt.
RACKET PROTECTION SERVICES
There are two ways kids in this country lose their trust in humanity: one, when parents use their saved up salaami to buy vegetables, and two, when they lend their rackets to others only to get them back with torn strings or with stripped grips or simply broken. Unfortunately, none of these crimes are legally punishable. Hence, the perpetrators roam free, injustice in the country never ceases and more rackets meet their untimely demise. This needs to stop.
The preventive measure is simple: no racket no play. This must be implemented with powerful enforcement. For instance, rackets should be sold with high-tech grips complete with fingerprint scanners and electrifiers so that none but the owner can hold it without possibly dying.
As for punishment, a lifetime behind bars is the only acceptable outcome.
THE SENIORITY COMPROMISE
Badminton is a sport that needs years of practice, determination and perseverance to master. That's all true and dandy until that random kid half your age starts producing the slickest of shots, giving you a run for your money, reminding you that you're aging and your body is slowly creeping to a state of complete unfitness that we fondly call death. It's common for players to lose all sense of confidence and self-respect when they lose to someone who can't even spell b-a-d-m-i-n-t-o-n yet. We can't let street badminton ruin the lives of the youth of this nation every winter. We have to make sure seniors never lose.
There are three ways to accomplish that. One, the older player will start with X points instead of zero, where X is determined by their age difference. Two, the younger player has to play with his weaker hand. If he is ambidextrous, he will be blindfolded. Three, if the older player loses, all the spectators must sign a contract stating that the older player was actually “having fun” and “not really playing”.
Street badminton is a crowd funded non-profit initiative. You'd expect the equal distribution of play according to the equal contribution of chaanda, just as it is written in the “Street Badminton Manifesto”. But that's never really the case. There are the slackers who avoid payment with excuses like, “I am poor,” or “Just lost a tuition”, or “What're you gonna do with this money, huh? Show me detailed receipts of all the financial transactions you filthy prepubescent chaandabaaj!” Or there are the hapless individuals who are too scared to say no to someone asking for money but are too shy to insist on playing. So they end up playing the role of the human embodiment of a border flag post.
These problems can be easily mitigated with the introduction of a successful financial model used in games – microtransactions. Every chance to play, every point, every serve – in short, anything and everything in the game – will be decided by monetary contribution. Do you want to play the next game? Pay up. Do you want to serve first? Pay up. Do you want to bring the net down to your measly height so that you can play the smash more easily showcasing your latent manliness? Pay up.
Fatiul Huq Sujoy is a tired soul (mostly because of his frail body) who's patiently waiting for Hagrid to appear and tell him, “Ye're a saiyan, lord commander.” Suggest him places to travel and food-ventures to take at fb.com/SyedSujoy