2004 RSM Tournament highlights

The president of Top Flight Badminton Club has written an article on the 30th Ray Scott Memorial. This was published in the November Flick Magazine of the Midwest Badminton Association. For those of you who are not members of MBA here is the text of that article.

Ray Scott Memorial

2 October 2004 at Papillion HS, Papillion, Nebraska by Robert Ericson

Should we or shouldn’t we? That was the question. Some club members said yes, some club members said

no. But the Guru must have been watching and urging us to “Press On, “cuz we did. Turned out ok. Glad we did. But the question nags at the back of my mind, should we or shouldn’t we? Low participation, current nemesis of tournament organizers, seemed to go hand-in -hand with increasing aggravation as the entry deadline approached.

As late as Wednesday, even Thursday before the tournament, the sanity of our decision seemed questionable. Top Flight was precariously close to the precipice of canceling the tournament with less than 10 entries received. Iowa State was coming but certain unresolved administrative details complicated attendance of 10-12 of their players, necessary to having the tournament. The St. Louis contingent was coming. Our own Top Flighter’s were signed up. Douglas Towne came all the way from Phoenix. Jack Elgin came from Iowa. Yong Sun represented South Dakota. Three first timers came from Kansas: Oleg Kheyfets and Arkady Zigelboym from Kansas City plus Peter Xindi from Pittsburg. Once the Iowa State University group entry info was sorted out the tournament was on.

Friday night prep was completed: sponsors A-boards were done and in place, seven nets were restrung and in place, seeding was done and draw sheets were printed and in place, directional signs were in place at strategic locations on streets surrounding the gym, scrap books were in place, tables were in place, trophies were in place … should we or shouldn’t we? Are we in place? You betcha.

Saturday dawned sunny and very cool. Participants began arriving. Our crack CHJ administrative staff (Carol Toris, Hank Schuring & Jim Ronni), were in place ready to sign folks in and “collect.” Pretty soon 9 a.m.rolled into view and it was time to get started. Should we or shouldn’t we? Too late now. After a Top Flight welcome, introductions, administrative announcements, plus a few words from director Len Williams and a moment of silence to remember tournament namesake Ray Scott, we “pressed on.”

Singles led the way, as always, with a simple 8 person draw. Herman Batelaan, a university of Nebraska physics professor, last year’s winner, defended his OMS title by defeating fellow Top Flighter Amit Agrawal 15-6, 15-7. No questions anymore. Perennial participant in many of the Ray Scott tournaments (look at the scrapbooks), Mary Ann

Bowles, from St. Louis, came out on top of the Open Women’s Singles 7 person draw when she defeated Suanne Au, from Lincoln, Nebr., last year’s winner, 11-6, 11-6. Senior Men’s Singles was won by DouglasTowne, from Phoenix, Arizona, over Yong Chen Sun from Vermilion, South Dakota15-2, 15-1. The consolation, was contested between fellow Kansas Citians Arkady Zigelboym and Oleg Kheyfets. Their match was vocal as it was enthusiastic and sweaty. No matter where you were in the gym you could hear their “yi yi’s and Ai ya’s” by the Russians. Arkady came out on top 6-15, 15-11, 15-10. Both newcomers were glad they came. Both said they “enjoyed the competition and the organization; ‘sure, they would come back again.’ Hmmm. That’s the answer to the lead paragraph question.

Master Men’s Doubles saw another repeat winner as the venerable duo of Len Williams/Russ Bowles defeated Bob Ericson/Tony Artman 15-6, 15-7. Aaaargh! In Grandmaster Men’s Doubles the Len/Jack team of Goldenmaster, Jack Elgin, from Van Meter, Iowa and Len Williams (who’s watching the scorers table?) got the upper hand over the Bobs: Ericson and McFarland, from Omaha and Grand Island, Nebr.respectively 15-10, 15-11. These old timers do know how to play don’t they? Maybe that’s why we agonize over should we or shouldn’t we.

Open Men’s Doubles provided some exciting and enthusiastic games as always. A service judge and an umpire were requested in the first round match between James Seal/Peter Xindi and Iowa Staters Mahesh Srinivasan/Kun Song. James and Peter

prevailed in three games 15-6, 8-15, 15-9. In the OMD final Hull Wu, St. Louis/Ron Wu, Omaha, lost to singles finalists Herman Batelaan/Amit Agrawal 15-8, 15-8. James Seal/Peter Xindi prevailed in the consolation match over another Iowa State team Chin-Chuen Teoh/Chen Koh Ing in three close games 15-17, 15-10, 15-13. Just a picnic game, right?

Open Women’s Doubles featured the OWS ‘ann’ finalists, Sue and Mary, winning the Round Robin competition. Open Mixed Doubles competition, always last on the docket, proved interesting and fun again for spectators as well as the contestants on the court. The “anns” split up to face each other from opposite sides of the net with partners James and Herman. James Seal/MA Bowles, losing nary a game, swept through the draw to hang defeat on Herman Batelaan/Suanne Au by scores of 15-9, 15-6.

Nice to see Jim Meier back again. His appearance, after a couple year hiatus, proved successful as he was a winner in Senior Men’s Doubles with Hull Wu and Senior Mixed Doubles with Mary Ann Bowles. Welcome back Jim. Mary, the medical nurse who was in place at her first ever badminton tournament remarked, “some of these guys, even the girls, hit the ball good.” First question she asked me when I met her in the morning was

“where’s the closest AED cabinet?” A quick trip through the hallways located one shortly thereafter. Just being prepared. Her relief, Janice, who came in at nooncame in at noon, has been to our past tournaments and knows all about our Olympic sport. Their services

weren’t required thankfully. It’s just comforting to have competent medical assistance on the premises.

Al “clickety clack” Toris was in his usual domain peeping from behind his printer and computer at the tournament desk. Len Williams was in place behind the scorers table. Hmmmm. A thought just occurred to me: was Al keeping Len straight, or was Len keeping Al straight? These two fine gentlemen, integral to smooth tournament operation, a Top Flight trademark, presided over the 30+2 RSM scheduling of 54 matches, 115 games that produced 2,341 points. And we were out of the gym before 7pm. There’s something to be said for these old timers. Their skills and experience complement

each other to give our tournament the reputation of being the best organized in the Midwest. Could this be another answer to the question from the first paragraph: should we or shouldn’t we? While discussing tournament activities and the state of badminton in general, I asked Russ, and then Mary Ann Bowles, their thoughts on should we or shouldn’t we continue the tournament. They both answered emphatically: “yes.” “It’s steeped in history and tradition,” they said. “Just look at the scrap books. Top Flight is the western anchor of Region 2. We’ll come as long as you have it.” Hmmm. A perceptive answer to that question: should we or shouldn’t we?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.