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Organisational Structure of Badminton in the UK

23 November 2023

Badminton is the UK’s most-played racket sport and is very popular amongst young people who may want to progress beyond friendly tournaments. When your child starts their journey into badminton, they will likely join a local club. Most large towns and every city will have an option for your child. 

Badminton is a sport you can quickly move up the ranks in; this is exciting, but sometimes the unknown can be a little daunting. The governing body for badminton is National Badminton England, with its headquarters in Milton Keynes. Their website is jam-packed full of information about the sport, but at a glance, here are the basics about the organisational structure of badminton in the UK and how your child would progress.

Competing regionally

The first step for children is to compete in regional tournaments, an opportunity for other players in your county to come together and play friendly matches. These are great for young players to ease into the world of competition. There are two recognised Junior county competitions; 

  • Under 18 Inter Counties Tournament
  • Shire League County Championships

Grading

Once your child is regularly playing tournaments, they will receive a grade in the form of a letter. It lets others know their standard. The grading is loosely connected to your child’s age; however, if they prove their standard is higher, their grading could change. This letter will help them in the future to play against others of a similar standard for a fair and rewarding tournament.

National Ranking

As your child competes in more games, they will gain a National Ranking. The ranking is awarded based on where your child finishes in their tournaments over 12 months. Grades adjust each year and are a great way to see how your child is improving.

Circuits

As your child progresses, and they have gained experience playing local and regional tournaments and have a grade, it might be time to think about the next step; circuits. Circuits are more sets of matches but a little bit more serious. They happen up and down the country, and your local club can find and help you enter them.

  • Under 11
  • Under 13
  • Under 15
  • Under 17
  • Under 19

Bronze Circuit

The Bronze Circuit (Tier 3) is for children who have previously entered local and regional tournaments and have experience playing against others.

Silver Circuit

The Silver Circuit (Tier 3) is for children who have made excellent progress, have more experience and want to work and train hard to improve their skills, grading and National Ranking.

Gold Circuit

The Gold Circuit (Tier 3) is for juniors with the skills to perform as one of the country’s top-level players. It is for the elite who want to qualify for the English National Championships.

When you reach this level, your child also has the opportunity to apply and become part of the junior squad. These are recognised top-level players who represent the country in global tournaments.

Photo by SHVETS production

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