Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Best Badminton Announcers in the World

It's 7:38 on Saturday morning in Boston and I am watching badminton on TV. It's the first time I have ever watched badminton. What I love about the Olympics is it gives you an excuse to watch sports that you never even knew were really competitive. It's fun, especially when the Americans compete.

I am listening to the announcers. They are really into it. I guess the most common thing to say in badminton commentating is "it's on the floor." That means the shot was in fair play and counts as a point.

I wonder: Are these the best badminton announcers in the world? Why wouldn't they be. I mean, this is the Olympics. How does one become a world-class badminton announcer? Are there badminton announcer scouts? NBC must have to sign contracts with these announcers, obviously.

One of the announcers just said that the player from Ireland currently competing is something like the 47th ranked badminton player in the world. I took a step back. To say that means there is some sort of international badminton ranking committee. Which means there have to be a lot of people who follow all the random players from different countries. Do you think they have some sort of BCS-style ranking system (using different computer models) for badminton?

I wonder, what do the best announcers of badminton in the world do when they are not announcing Olympic matches?

Well, it turns out there are several international organizations that coordinate badminton. There's even a European championship. More importantly, there is an association in the United States, and if I want to play, I can go to a gym at MIT and pick up a match. I notice the marketing on the U.S. site is pretty advanced, they lead the web page by saying "Badminton - The world's fastest racquet sport." How about that.


Chuck Tanowitz said...

Through Asia, especially Korea, Badminton is a HUGE sport, just as ping pong is great outside of the US.

I knew one company out west, a printing company, that expanded by opening a Badminton facility and then a Thai restaurant so everyone can get exercise (and lunch) on the premises.

Ross Levanto said...

Thanks Chuck! The Olympics are providing much for my cultural literacy!

Leon Grodski de Barrera - The Sushi Bar said...