Controversy at Adult Nationals 2013
2013 USA Badminton Adult Nationals Tournament took place March 29-31 at Orange
County Badminton Club. There were exciting matches, such as the Men’s Doubles
Final with Howard Bach and Hock Lai Lee against Tony Gunawan and Christian Yahya
Christianto. It was fun to see the World Champion partners try to attack each
other with a National Title at stake.
Adult Nationals was also affected by a controversy regarding athlete
eligibility. USA Badminton in its Vision and Mission (see
USAB Bylaws page 3) is committed to serving all badminton players and
the development of the sport for everyone. It saddens us all when any athlete
cannot compete, just as it saddens us if any athlete’s attempts to reach goals
for which they have trained are blocked by an ineligible player.
one player was declared ineligible before the tournament began and a second
during the tournament, USAB would like to initiate an open review inviting
comments from all members of the Badminton Community on rules regarding
eligibility and rights of athletes.
will be no discussion of the specifics of the two cases from Adult Nationals
while any Grievance Proceedings or Legal Actions are outstanding as this could
jeopardize the rights of those involved.
OF ATHLETES – Athletes have a right to compete under the Ted Stevens Olympic
and Amateur Sports Act. “Amateur athlete” means an athlete who meets the
eligibility standards established by the national governing body or paralympic
sports organization for the sport in which the athlete competes. The Act
does not govern all amateur sports events in the USA. It does cover all
matters pertaining to United States participation in the Olympic Games, the
Paralympic Games, and the Pan-American Games, including representation of the
United States in the games. The USOC acts
as the coordinating body for amateur athletic activity in the United
States directly related to international
amateur athletic competition.
has By-Laws which detail the rights of athletes, including grievance procedures
USAB Bylaws – Section #15 page 35) relating to all matters about which
grievances may be filed. Grievances are heard within 10 days of filing or in
the case of emergency may be heard within 48 hours. In the controversy
occurring at Adult Nationals the players on both sides were advised of their
rights to file grievances. In addition USAB maintains an Athletes Advisory
Council with five members who are available to all USAB member athletes
regarding any issues. Athletes on both sides of the controversy were afforded
access to members of the USAB AAC.
CURRENT ELIGIBILITY TO COMPETE – There are
many different badminton events which occur
in the USA.
(e.g. US Open, Bill Graham Miami Pan Am International). Any USAB member who has
BWF membership (must be obtained through USAB) and is in good standing with
both USAB and BWF may enter. Any BWF member, in good standing, who is not a
USAB member, who is still under the jurisdiction of another National
Association and is residing in the USA may enter through their association. To
enter a BWF tournament under the flag of the USA a foreign player must complete
the full process of transfer of Association – change of jurisdiction (see Badminton
World federation General Competition Regulations # 8 & # 9) before
being eligible. The application procedure and process is also published on the
USAB website under “BWF New Player Process & Transfer Form” – Click this
– There are many unsanctioned badminton tournaments in the USA. USAB neither
facilitates nor forbids entry in any such tournament. A USAB member may play in
such events with no consequences, and is bound by whatever rules or regulations
the tournament sponsor employs. The rights, including grievance processes of
USAB are not available to any athlete for any problems which arise in
3) USAB sanctioned Tournaments - USAB
sanctions many tournaments. These tournaments (with the exception of Adult
Nationals and Team USA Adult Trials– see below) are open to any player who has
a valid USAB membership. There are no restrictions on residency, citizenship
status, visa status. All rights including grievance processes are available to
athletes for problems which arise in sanctioned tournaments.
4) Ranking Tournaments – USAB
designates certain tournaments as ranking tournaments for the purpose of
establishing adult rankings which govern seeding for sanctioned events. These
tournaments have the same eligibility requirements and rights for athletes as
general sanctioned tournaments.
5) Adult Nationals – USAB runs
one tournament to determine the U.S. Adult Champions. Eligibility is restricted
to citizens, Green Card holders (permanent residents), Visa holders who have a)
been in residence for the period of one year or 12 consecutive months. This has
been consistently interpreted as 365 days since the time of entry to the beginning
of the tournament. That is, for a tournament starting March 29, 2013, a player
must have been in residence in the USA since March 29, 2012. Twelve consecutive months has been
consistently interpreted to allow brief trips outside the USA for family visits,
vacation, or participating in competitions. Absence for full months or multiple
months is not considered consecutive months of residence.
Team USA Adult
– USAB conducts Team USA Adult Trials for the Sudirman Cup, Thomas/Uber Cup,
Pan Am Championships Team Event, Pan Am Games. These trials are limited to U.S.
USAB wants all athletes to have fair access to badminton events, the Board of Directors, Tournament Advisory
Group, and Legal/Ethics Committee invite all members of the U.S. badminton
community to send commentary on these rules to: firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1, 2013.
constructive remarks will be considered in a re-evaluation of these policies.