On July 3, in Saulkrasti, a city in the dunes of the Baltic Sea, the first AirBadminton doubles tournament in Latvia took place – the Latvian Cup. 10 pairs from all over Latvia participated in the historic tournament.
The experienced XD pair Andis Bērziņš & Una Berga won in the mixed doubles, but the experienced junior WD pair Anna Kupča & Annija Rulle-Titava won the doubles title. The Latvian Cup took place in a closed area, near the hotel “Munchausen Unda”. There are two beach volleyball courts surrounded by pine forest, thus protecting players from the sun and wind.
The Latvian Cup was held in accordance with the rules of AirBadminton approved by the Badminton World Federation. The matches took place with best out of five 11 point games. If the score of the game is 10-all, then they continued to play until a two-point lead, but If the score becomes 12-all, the side scoring the 13th point shall win the game. It should be noted that in 20 tournament matches, 13 ended in overtime, which indicates a very equal competition.
The games were organised using the traditional Badminton planner, tournamentsoftware. Two decisive games were broadcast live on the YouTube channel “Badminton LV”.
This was the first AirBadminton tournament. Previously, only individual public games and training were organised in Latvia. In 2020, a new section “AirBadminton” was created on the Latvian Badminton Federation website Badminton.lv.
The Latvian Badminton Federation has not yet established a separate structure for the development of AirBadminton. However, there are great prospects for the development of the project. Airbadminton is a way to make badminton even more public.
“We also plan to host other AirBadminon tournaments, including singles, triples, team tournaments. A tournament is a way to demonstrate the power of AirBadminton, it is a way to initiate publications about the sport,” informed Kristians Rozenvalds, Secretary General of Latvian Badminton Federation.
“Our main focus is on the city’s courtyards, where the impact of wind is lower, as well as high demand for sports activities in a localised area where you can play football, basketball or volleyball,” explains Kristians Rozenvalds.
Another target group is beach court owners. Since 2020, presentations have been made at all major beach volleyball centres, demonstrating AirBadminton as another option next to beach volleyball and beach tennis. AirBadmitnon has the opportunity to diversify the use of beach courts, as well as gain new customers.
“We also believe in the future of AirBadminton sports. We believe that the Latvian, European and World Championships will take place. We believe that the development scenario can be the same as in the interaction of volleyball and beach volleyball, where players, fans and sponsors have found each their own place and opportunities,” think Kristians Rozenvalds.