At the January, 1997 California Community College Commission on Athletics conference in Sacramento, the COA Executive Committee approved the motion that women’s badminton be designated as an “emerging sport” in California’s community colleges.
This action means that for the 1997-98 school year, colleges throughout the state will be able to plan for the addition of the sport the following year. Coaching assignments, equipment needs, conferencing, and scheduling of opponents are among the many issues which must be dealt with before badminton begins play.
This is a significant step for the community colleges in their efforts to provide more opportunities for female athletes and move toward full gender equity. Several schools have already expressed interest in starting the sport on their campuses, and a number of schools throughout the state have full enrollments in badminton classes.
The Commission on Athletics will spend the next year focusing on ways to establish an annual state championship tournament and will be seeking the cooperation of established community badminton programs for guidance in starting the sport at the intercollegiate level. It has yet to be determined if women’s badminton will be contested as a fall or a spring sport.
“We are very excited about introducing badminton as a viable intercollegiate sport throughout the state. We feel the timing is perfect for the sport to take off and really add to the diversity of our offerings at the community college level,” said Suzanne Chock-Hunt, Chair of the COA Gender Equity Committee.
“We feel this sport will succeed just as women’s water polo has.” Women’s water polo, added just a year ago, has already expanded to more than 30 campuses throughout California as an intercollegiate sport.