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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

An uphill battle: Webb badminton schedule needs “rescheduling”

Lisa Peng
Due to a badminton competition, the athletes were released early. Cathy Hou (24’) and Elsa Li (24’) express joy when they went down the gym hill in the afternoon instead of the evening.

The sky darkens — almost pitch black — and the wind blows in, carrying with it drops of rain. Then, a few students come into view. They hold things that resemble huge, fattened stakes. It is not a scene from a horror movie, or from pure imagination, but of badminton students climbing up gym hill for practice at the Les Perry Gym.  

Due to scheduling issues between boys’ volleyball and the preference of the previous badminton coach, junior varsity badminton players are scheduled for practice from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Varsity players practice even later, from 7:15 p.m. to almost 9:00 p.m. 

This time is not only different from all the other afternoon activities, but also creates inconvenience for both boarding students and day students. It is also late at night, which comes with negative side-effects. 

According to the National Library of Medicine, exercise is the most effective between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day. Due to the high body temperature the body exerts during this window of time, it is the most effective time of day to work out. On the other hand, evening workouts are much less practical and often makes it harder to fall asleep after such intense physical activity. 

For many students, the late practice time also disrupts their daily schedule.  

“I prefer to practice right after school,” Cathy Hou (24’) said. “I would appreciate going back home without having to spend excess time at school while not having commitments.” 

This time period can also interrupt the pattern of their day. Usually, afternoon activities mark the end of an academic day at Webb, however, in this case, the late practices create a gap in the students’ schedules. Even worse, for those who cannot manage their time wisely, the few hours waiting for badminton practice might not be put to good use. 

 “The badminton late-night practice messed up my schedule because I usually study in big chunks of time,” Elsa Li (24’) said. “My focus is not as good.”  

The practices also place day students in an awkward position. On days where Hooper might be closed for events, where can day students go? The library closes at 5:30 p.m. every day, so that is not an option. On rainy days, outdoor lounges are also not an option. Going to the boarders’ dorms every day and sitting in the dining hall alone becomes uncomfortable after a short period of time.  

Given all the negative effects, why don’t we change the practice time? The answer: a lot more behind-the-scenes reasoning prevents badminton from having earlier practices.  

“There are going to be night practices, that is just not optional for badminton or volleyball,” said Steve Wishek, Director of Athletics. “So, we can express preferences, and we can talk about that. It’s going to have to be a discussion between the volleyball coach, the badminton coach, and myself, so there is going to be compromises involved.”  

However, the current system involves only a one-sided compromise from the division-one Webb badminton team –– a group of around 40 students collectively switching to evening practice –– while the volleyball team with their nine members and three managers use the gym during the afternoon. If an outsider were to speculate, they might attribute this disparity to the school valuing volleyball over badminton, which is clearly not the case.  

One of the best solutions to this problem might be an alternating schedule. Where badminton can have one-week late practice and volleyball the next. Although this might create inconvenience for some people, due to the frequent time change, it can still be more equal to both sports.  

Given that coordinating training time among the many different activities vying for a spot at the gym is so difficult, why not simply build another facility to allow both sports to practice in the afternoon?  

“There is awareness of the issues that we struggle with, the fact that there is not enough gym time and gym space to accommodate, and it is not just badminton and volleyball,” Mr. Wishek said. “Conversations have begun and there is probably a capital campaign coming up at some point.” 

However, he also expressed that a new gym will not be built any time soon. As the prospect of a second gym is still far on the horizon, the current badminton practice schedule remains unchanged. As of now, unbalanced evening scheduling only exists between badminton and volleyball, so it is crucial to find a solution. We must acknowledge the negative effects that students face with late-night practice and take immediate action to plan for future activities.   

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About the Contributor
Lisa Peng
Lisa Peng, Co-Editor of Photography
Zodiac signs might not mean much to you, but once you meet Lisa Peng ('24), you will see that she embodies her astrological sign, a Capricorn. Lisa, like a Capricorn, is known for being persistent, hardworking, loyal, ambitious, and often making her achievements seem like they take no effort at all. Over the summer, Lisa exemplified these traits by immersing herself in rigorous programs that exposed her to different creative writing styles. She attended the New York Times program where she learned new techniques and practiced her writing skills. As a Photography Editor at the WCC, Lisa will make full use of the techniques she learned and continue her love for highlighting individual people. In other words, you had better keep an eye out: you may be featured in her next story.  Besides being a part of the WCC, she is also bringing her Capricorn energy to as a day student prefect and plans to be involved in organizing more Webb events. This year, Lisa plans to keep up her hard work taking on her new editing position while also incorporating many new creative pieces to the WCC using her greatest talent: an effortless ability to bring things from her imagination to reality. Favorite Song: "Fallin' Flower" by Seventeen 

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