question about badminton in UK and counties
Those are the leagues – the Middlesex club leagues are Mens, Mixed and Ladies, e.g., Middlesex mens league has divisions 1-6. It says so on the site, click on competitions at the top and then you can select the Mens, Ladies, or Mixed league division tables. The clubs in each division play against the others in that division to win points that decide who wins the league division, a fixture is just a scheduled match between two clubs in a division. If a team wins a match it wins points, if it finishes the season with the most points in the division it wins its division and it will get promoted to a higher division, if it finishes bottom with the least points it will get demoted to a lower division. The club which wins division 1 is the strongest club in the league.
County badminton isn’t really anything to do with club badminton and vice versa. There’s no difference between a baofe league organised by a county and one that isn’t and there’s no such thing as a ‘County affiliated club’, it’s not that formal. There’s only so many people who want to organise badminton leagues so it’s just often convenient for a county organisation to organise a league and its not only clubs in the county that can participate. Some clubs in Sussex play in the Surrey league. Smaller counties like Middlesex will have a league, but Sussex doesn’t have a “Sussex league”, instead there are strong leagues within the county such as Brighton and Worthing, Yorkshire has both the Yorkshire League and the York & District League. Some leagues are intentionally created for weaker players, some have 6 players, some have 4. Someone can play for a club in Middlesex during the week because that’s where they are living, but travel to play for Essex County on the weekend because that’s the County they represent.
If you go along to Paddocks who are quite well known in badminton circles in the home counties they play in Middlesex Mens league division one and they have county players/internationals/ex internationals playing for the team. They’re not all Middlesex county players, some of them play for and live in Essex, it’s just that the club is located in Middlesex and it’s strong so people will travel further to play there.
Whereas If you go along to Barnet who play in Mens league division six you’ll find players barely beyond Beginners who have no idea what County badminton is.
I played in various division 1’s when I was County level, sometimes for University teams who also play in the University leagues. Usually division one of a large league has the occasional Countyplayer, the league I play in now has some county players that play for the stronger teams but most of us in the league are ex-county/just below county level. Some division 1 leagues are stronger, some are weaker. Sometimes leagues merge into a larger league or separate into smaller ones. Mostly teams and players find their level within leagues as no-one wants a game that’s too difficult or easy. County players only really show up for strong matches.
The county leagues are on this site,
as well as the county/national/junior/masters tournaments. The county teams also play each other in different divisions. There’s a huge number of different leagues and competitions. As Cheung said you have to be getting to the late stage of county restricted competitons to play for a County, just as you have to be winning National competitions to play for England. County players are generally playing national level tournaments too, or have played on the circuit. If someone’s good enough to play for a County they’ve been through the process for years and know everyone on the County scene anyway. People often see County players and think the gap isn’t that big between a County player and good club players, it’s actually huge. Even when I’ve been going to 3 with them this year I’d need to up my training by 2 hours a day to get on that level and I doubt my body could take it these days.