The United States Badminton Association (USBA), the recognized national governing body for the sport of badminton in the United States, oversees all U.S. badminton competition and prepares the best players in America for the Olympic Games.
Nearly 2,700 members belong to the USBA (as of January 1995). However, the USBA estimates there are thousands more recreational badminton players in the United States. The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) reports in its 1991 study that 300,000 people play badminton weekly in the United States, and 760,000 people call badminton their favorite sport.
The USBA in 1991 moved its National Office from Papillion, Nebraska, to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Shortly after that, the USBAís Executive Committee conducted its first annual Long Range Planning summit. At this meeting, the Committee determined that the organizationís mission be to serve as the national governing body of the sport, to increase participation in the sport, to provide the highest possible quality of service to its members, and to achieve outstanding performance in international competition. The USBA solidified its commitment to improve international performance by forming the Olympic Player Development Committee in 1993.
In accordance with this mission, the USBA sends players to the World Championships, Sudirman Cup (world mixed team championship), Thomas Cup and Uber Cup (world menís and womenís team championships, respectively) , World Junior Championships, and Pan American Games. Major U.S. competitions conducted by the USBA include annual U.S. National Championships, U.S. Junior National Championships, and U.S. Senior National Championships. The prestigious U.S. Open Championship is currently a two-star event ($35,000 prize purse) on the IBFís World Grand Prix circuit.
The USBA also conducts the "BCD" National Championships, a grassroots event at which the nationís non-elite, recreational players can compete against one another for a national title.
The USBA Classic Series is Americaís own "grand prix circuit," in which top U.S. players compete in five regional tournaments for a minimum $2,000 prize money per event. These and hundreds of other USBA-sanctioned events throughout the country allow players to enjoy regular badminton competition.
As a service to its members, the USBA publishes the quarterly BADMINTON USA magazine and a monthly newsletter, BADMINTON NEWS. The USBA also maintains a player ratings system and holds regular training camps and coaching clinics. Officials are certified at the regional and national levels.
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