Secretary of SLBA Amal Dias (left) explaining about the tournament while president Suraj Dandeniya looks on (Pic by Chandana Wijesinghe)

Enhanced prize money should entice a record number of entries at the 63rd National Badminton Championship that will be held at the Mike Cooke Indoor Stadium and the Anuradhapura Municipal Indoor Stadium from October 22 to 27.

A total of Rupees one million will be given away to the winners, runners-up and even the semi-finalists at the tournament organised by the Sri Lanka Badminton Association. Taking it to the sacred city of Anuradhapura for the first time in its 63-year-history is another way to promote the game to the village folks where hidden talent can be unearthed.

Another new initiative will also provide all players who will compete to bring honour to their Province, school, club or company. The players who reach up to the quarter-finals and upwards will contribute achievement points to their respective province, school, club or company.

The points system will be five points for the champion, four points to the runner-up, three points to the semi-finalists, two points to the quarter-finalists and one point to the pre-quarter finalists.

Another new concept to be introduced is in the draw that will be conducted electronically with the introduction of a software made available by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). The seedings and the opponents will automatically fall into place by means of this system. Everything will depend on how the competitor fills in the entry form and the data provided by them.

“Anyone is entitled to attend the draw when it is held on October 19 at 4 p.m. at the Badminton headquarters at Maitland Place,” said Suraj Dandeniya the president of the SLBA.

The events to be held are for boys and girls in the age groups of under-11, 13, 15, 17, 19 singles, for boys and girls under-15, 17 and 19 doubles. Open men’s and women’s singles and doubles, mixed doubles, men’s and women’s singles in over-35 years and over-40 years. There will also be events for Masters over-50 years and over-55 years. Men’s veterans doubles (over-50 and over 55) Men’s and women’s doubles over-40 years and a mixed doubles for those over-40 years.

The matches will be played on a knock-out basis. A Plate singles event will be played for men’s/women’s singles to losers in the first round of the main draw.
A qualifying round will be conducted depending on the number of entries received.