With the weather washing away any chance of outside activity today, we took our sporty cohort indoors where a badminton tournament was quickly scribbled onto the back of a staff member’s notepad and, after a quick warm-up, the 6 participating students played each other in a round-robin.
The rules were quite simple:
1. You couldn’t win off the serve.
2. You also had a second serve if you needed it.
3. If the shuttlecock hit the back wall on the full it was out.
4. If the shuttlecock hit the upright piano the point was replayed.
5. First to FIVE would take the victory.
The round-robin tournament determined our top 4 who progressed to the semi-finals: 1st place vs 4th place and 2nd place vs 3rd place. The winners of each semi then met in the grand final in a winner takes all, first to TEN tussle.
With the winner of a previous impromptu badminton tournament and recipient of the yet-to-be-presented golden shuttlecock again making it to the grand final, she would today meet a new challenger who went almost undefeated in the earlier rounds.
The grand final saw our defending champion take an early lead, increasing the sense of urgency for our new challenger to, at the very least, get on the board. And get on the board he did, quickly levelling scores and causing the champ to feel sweat beads form on her forehead midway through the match. The lead changed hands more times in this, perhaps embellished, recap than in actual reality, culminating in a 9-9 match point that could have gone either way.
The final rally was a sight to see. The sidelines were filled with eliminated contestants and enthralled staff members who are probably missing watching live sporting events more than they would care to admit. There were long shots and short shots, quick shots and slow shots, cheap shots and…well… you get the idea.
The winning shot made its way off the champ’s racquet and high up into the rafters of the ornate school hall come badminton arena. It spiralled down, almost in slow-motion, nobody knowing whether the shot had enough of a trajectory on it to see its way over the net. As the shuttlecock continued to fall, our challenger poised and ready to return, it darted haphazardly downwards. The flick of the challenger’s racquet missed the shuttlecock’s rubber base by mere millimetres. The ‘doink’ of the base on the hall floor sealing the fate of our fearless challenger and awarding victory, once more, to our incredible carry-over champ.
Our triumphant victor was duly awarded the golden shuttlecocks, still tacky from a fresh coat of paint.
We look forward to the next washout for another fantastic afternoon of badminton fun.