With the start of the spring sports season comes several different sports, including the girls badminton team at Naperville Central. However, with the success of the program comes a new question: what about boys badminton?
Badminton, an Illinois High School Association- sanctioned sport, is exclusively for girls.
“Boys badminton is not an IHSA sport, and no other school in the area that I know of has a team,” Athletic Director Andrew Lutzenkirchen said.
This is due to the Title IX Equal Opportunity in sports clause, which mandates that schools have an equal number of sports for both boys and girls. Currently, there are 14 sports available to boys and 14 sports available to girls.
“If we added a boys badminton team, then we would have to add another girls sport,” Lutzenkirchen said.
Currently, the only way for a boy to play badminton at Central is to become a manager for the girls team and practice with them.
However, players from the girls team are not opposed to a boys team.
“I think it would be great to have a boys badminton team,”seniorandcaptainNancyLiusaid.“I know some really good guys who train with me and are going to Central in the coming years.”
Junior Adi Yerabati, a boy who plays club badminton at Midwest Badminton Club, agrees.
“I think that there should be a team because I think it is unfair to have a girls team but not a boys team,” Yerabati said.
Even if there was a boys team, there would be many logistical hurdles to overcome.
“Questions would include when will we play it, as spring is full now, where we would play it, as there is limited space and who would coach the teams?” Lutzenkirchen said.
For now, the only logical step toward a possible boys badminton team would be for interested players to form a club and start from there, just as both bowling and lacrosse did.