VENUE - EAST COKER HALL
SatNavs, online maps and route planners seem to be reliable for East Coker Hall. Postcode is BA22 9JJ.
If approaching from the direction of Dorchester there's a left (probably signposted) from the A37 onto Netherton Lane or else you'll be heading into Yeovil and will need the East Coker Rd (just after Yeovil Showground) or left at the Quicksilver onto the West Coker Rd and left again on Sandhurst Rd.
Coming from the Yeovil direction go left at the t-junction triangle in East Coker, then right onto Halves Lane. Netherton Lane brings you in frtom the opposite direction (so left onto Halves Lane).
Preston Badminton Club started as a spin-off from Shuttlebusters playing matches on Fridays at Preston Sports Centre with entries in Division 2 of the West Dorset Mixed League and in the WD Four Two League (this latter a joint venture including players from Crewkerne Badminton Club) with a separate team in Division 3 of the Taunton Badminton League.
With Preston no longer a viable option as a venue the West Dorset teams played as Prestonians with matches on Fridays at Oxley Sports Centre, this time with the Mixed team in Division 1 being a joint venture with Crewkerne and the two clubs playing separately in the FourTwo league. The Taunton League team reverted to our previous team name as Preston Racketeers with matches at Westlands on Saturdays.
Prestonians disbanded at the end of the 2011-2012 season (after being relegated, 2nd bottom) and the Rackeeters withdrew from the Taunton League (after finishing 2nd in the division) to enter a new team in the West Dorset League with another change of venue (Saturdays aren't allowed in the WDL) and a 1st place finish in Divison 2.
Racketeers survived the season in Division 1 with the other promoted team being the team to be relegated. Three wins included one against an established 1st division side. One opponent went to the wrong venue and another went somewhere else entirely, both in spite of being provided with maps and instructions.
Racketeers finished bottom of Division 1 with only one win, being hampered by injuries and absences and stronger opposition. Results actually improved with a lot more close games, but the season showed that to be effective we need to have a team in the bottom division so that new players can start out in games that are more balanced - not playing pick-up-the-shuttles against county players.
Racketeers finished top of Division 2 with only one defeat - a close game away at the end of a long road trip - to earn a place back in Division 1.
Another yo-yo season finishing bottom of Division 1 with only one win but with better scores against the non-county teams.
Racketeers finished second in Division 2 behind a team fielding county players looking for even cheaper wins, even further below their proper level. Even so, this would have been winnable but for some players not making their best efforts.
This season we have a change of venue to East Coker and a better team ethic with new players introduced to replace those not invited back. This is a rebuilding season, but we're also preparing for new events that may be available to play next season. A top two or three finish still looks likely.
We don't have a club night but you will find our players in club nights at Shuttlebusters, Seasons, Crewkerne and probably everywhere else. We do have practice, training and coaching sessions. Members don't have to pay a sub or affiliation fees.
CLUB vs TEAM
We reckon league clubs have objectives that are often not compatible with those of a development club so Shuttlebusters plays only in friendly, social and development matches. We hope keeping our teams and club separate will mean the teams can keep a clear focus on match play and the club can keep a clear focus on player development.
We think clubs sometimes make life more difficult than necessary by trying to march in two directions at once. A team that's striving to win is interested first and foremost in the best players, quite rightly, but we need some clubs to be open and inclusive so new players can settle in and get up to speed in their own time. Club nights in most badminton clubs are either easy going & social (and not much help for team perfomance) or hard practice & training (which is too challenging for people who are still learning).
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