As a consequence of the Government guidance issued on 16 March 2020, particularly in relation to non-essential travel and contact, we have taken the following actions regarding national organised activity:
- All junior Badminton England sanctioned circuit tournaments are closed for entry. Some are cancelled indefinitely, and some are suspended such that they may open again when the situation changes.
- The Junior Inter County Tournament (ICT) is postponed. We are considering whether the tournament can be rescheduled later in the year and will advise in due course
- The National Schools Championships is postponed. We are considering whether the tournament can be rescheduled later in the year and will advise in due course
- The All England Junior International Championships in July at University of Birmingham is cancelled.
- Junior England teams will be withdrawn from all competition until further notice. We will continue to review the situation and will advise any changes to this position
- Junior pathway squads will be cancelled until further notice. We will continue to review the situation and will advise any changes to this position
- All senior Badminton England sanctioned circuit tournaments are closed for entry. Some are cancelled indefinitely, and some are suspended such that they may open again when the situation changes.
- Senior County Championships – The final weekend of the Championships is planned to be held on 7th and 8th November (traditionally the first weekend for 2020-21). Due to planning and venue agreements, a final decision will be taken in August, by which we will require certainty that the weekend can go ahead. Should we need to abandon the date in November then we will not make any further plans to reschedule and a decision will be made on how to bring 2019-20 season to a close.
The 2020-21 season is planned to take place exclusively across 2021 on 6th February, 27th March, and 17-18th April. The play-offs will take place shortly after the last weekend.
- All masters Badminton England sanctioned circuit tournaments are closed for entry. Some are cancelled indefinitely, and some are suspended such that they may open again when the situation changes.
- The All England Masters is cancelled
- The Masters County Championships - with no promotion or relegation in this Championships all remaining fixtures, play-offs and finals are now cancelled, and the season will be closed as it stands. We will now plan for September, assuming we will be able to play by then.
Q: How will I know if a Badminton England circuit it cancelled or suspended?
A: Tournaments are either cancelled or suspended.
- Cancelled tournaments will no longer run. Players will receive a full refund from organisers.
- Suspended tournaments entry may re-open should government advice change.
The individual status of each tournament will be shown on their entry page on the tournament website here.
We will let players know as soon as tournament entries are able to re-open.
Q: Will players be refunded from competitions?
- If a tournament is cancelled, then all players will receive a full refund automatically.
- If a tournament is suspended, then your entry will remain in place until such point the tournament should it be cancelled, or it becomes possible to re-open entry. If you want a refund then please contact the organiser now to withdraw and receive a full refund, otherwise standard competition refund policy will apply when the suspension is lifted and entry re-opens.
Q: Will tournaments which have been cancelled be rearranged?
At this stage we do now know when the suspension will be lifted and when The competition sanction process and tournament calendar are extremely populated so in most cases it will not be possible. There will be some exceptions and these will be confirmed.
Q: How will Badminton England Rankings be affected?
A: Badminton England suspended all national sanctioned competition part way through March. The March rankings have been updated and published to reflect the latest badminton activity that took place up until Friday 20th March.
The ranking system is based on a rolling 12 months of results and published monthly. However due to the period of inactivity the rankings will be frozen and restarted from April 2019. Once the period of suspension is lifted, they will be modified such that the calculation continues to reflect 12 months of active results.
Eg. If play resumes in August, the August rankings will be run from April 2019 – August 2020. They will continue to run such that the last 12 months of active competition are included.
Q: How will Badminton England Grading be affected?
A: Badminton England player grades are reviewed every 4 months. The last full grading review was Friday 31st January 2020, with the next reviews originally planned for 29th May and 25th September. We recognise that there are many different situations as a result of the partial grading period and we will review what is the most suitable treatment of results from this period based on when we know it will be possible to return to competition and restart grading. We will as part of this ensure that players who have achieved an upgrade within the partial period from February to May will be recognised, and provide a window for appeals for situations that we cannot foresee. Once a return to competition date is known then the gradings will be reviewed in entirety and updated for players to continue to compete with as little interruption as possible.
Q: How should leagues finish their seasons?
A: There is no formal guidance as each league governs their own terms and regulations. There are often rules to govern an un-played match at the end of the season, but these are not really designed to apply on a larger scale such as an unfinished season.
All sports leagues locally, nationally and internationally will need to make decisions based on their particular circumstances and predicated mainly on the current standing position of the league and any wider implications.
Option 1: End Season now and finalise league tables
Finalise all league tables as they stand and looking at a number of options around applying promotion and relegation where possible:
- Promotion and relegation regulations are implemented as teams stand regardless of outstanding fixtures.
- All leagues with more than x% of fixtures completed are considered completed and promotion and relegation is applied. All other leagues considered incomplete and would be ineligible for promotion/relegation.
- Any league where promotion or relegation positions cannot be affected by remaining matches, are considered completed, and relegation/promotion is applied where possible. All other leagues considered incomplete and would be ineligible for promotion/relegation.
- Artificially generate results for matches where required to determine promotion and relegation positions across all leagues. For example, duplicate home-away results (where one has been played) or use a seeding committee to decide most likely outcomes.
- If a home/away league and all teams have played one another at least once, then decide league based on the first match between respective teams. This would allow for promotion/relegation to be applied across all leagues based on real results and taking into consideration a fair amount of the seasons play. Some consideration could be given ‘home advantage’.
- Apply flexibility in the number of teams in each division next season. This will allow some flexibility in promotion/relegation decisions.
- Generally easier to apply the higher the percentage of matches completed.
- Promotion and relegation standings could be affected by arbitrary decisions.
- In options B & C, one incomplete division in a league can affect every division as it affects promotion/relegation across the whole league.
- All factors can never be considered if artificially generating results (D) or choosing which results should stand or not-stand (E), so these decisions may be open to subjectivity and other complaints.
- Option F may allow a fair decision to be reached butmay also require some additional forethought into the format and promotion/relegation rules for next season.
Option 2: Void the Season
Re-start the season as is for 2020-21. All teams remain in the leagues and divisions they are currently placed (no promotion/relegation) and all results are wiped
- What about the badminton already completed - lots of matches played to no effect.
- Unfair on teams who have had decent seasons to date - no promotion or relegation for any teams even if it may have been likely/already achieved.
Option 3: Postpone and rearrange fixtures
- Rearrange as many remaining fixtures as possible once there is a change in government advice regarding social distancing that allows fixtures to resume. Consider providing some guidance for play by ‘x’ date, after which the season will close.
- Rearrange crucial fixtures. These would most commonly be those that impact promotion/relegation decisions. You may also want a league champion overall. Other matches could still be played optionally if both teams agree (but prioritise if involved in both).
Constantly review situation and have a back-up plan. If the overriding aim is to complete the season, consideration may be given to how 2020-21 may be adapted in order to allow this take place, for example:
- Delay 2020-21 season as required and then compress matches into the left over period (or extend the end date for 2020-21 a little further than normal).
- Change 2020-21 format such as home OR away rather than home AND away to reduce number of fixtures to fit in for 2020-21.
- Unknown timescales.
- Allows the season to be ended meaningfully.
- Venue availability? Don’t know venue procedure to re-booking events, financial position of venue, challenge vs all other sports rescheduling postponed competition.
- Increased workload to pull together fast turnaround.
- Potential risk of diminished participation through summer if this period is being used.
- Option B reduces impact as less fixtures to complete.
- Option B more suitable for those matches where there is nothing materially to play for and players do not see the point in playing (although some matches will probably need to played which might only affect one team for promotion/relegation).