MUSCATINE, Iowa–Though Tony Snyder had played badminton on and off since the age of 13, he never considered helping organize a badminton club. Shortly after moving to Muscatine in 2013 though, the opportunity to help get one going presented itself. While playing racquetball at the Muscatine Community Y, Snyder saw a small group of people playing badminton in one of the gyms. They invited him to join in, and soon, he found himself playing regularly with them.
Over time, the original members of the club moved away, but Snyder kept it going. Each week, the group meets on Wednesdays from 6:30 to about 9 p.m. and on select Sundays (particularly in the winter) from 11:30 a.m. until around 3 p.m. On a typical day, at least four players will attend, but sometimes as many as eight to 10 will join in. A completely drop in group, the Muscatine Badminton Club does not have any fee to join, though non Muscatine Community Y members will have to pay a modest guest fee to enter the facility. Those who attend regularly frequently do chip in to help cover the cost of good quality feathered birdies to play with.
Although badminton may seem like a simple sport, it actually provides a good work out, as players must move quickly to return the birdie before it hits the floor. As Snyder put it, “I find it an enjoyable game to play–there’s power, artistry, and a lot of movement.” Snyder says returning players also refer to the Muscatine Badminton Club as the “Home of the LOL” or lots of lunges, as a lighthearted reference to the amount of lunging players do to keep the birdie in the air. “You’re going to get a good leg work out,” Snyder emphasized.
The Muscatine Badminton Club welcomes players of all ages, and works to help newcomers learn the basics of the sport. Snyder especially encourages kids and teens to try it out as a way to gain exposure to a unique sport.
The Muscatine Badminton Club hopes to attract more regular players, as it would allow them to expand on to a second court and host more games each week. “If we got more players, say seven or eight on a regular basis, we could get another court or more gym space,” outlined Snyder. If you would like to learn more about the Muscatine Badminton Club and to see when they play next, Snyder encourages you to join their public Facebook group, “Muscatine Badminton, Home of the LOL (Lots of Lunges)!“