You have to be on your best behaviour at Pan Am Games badminton.
The Badminton World Federation is trying to take the “bad” out of badminton and make the players “honourable.” But what’s bad in badminton doesn’t seem that bad.
Rachel Honderich of Toronto got a lecture for her breach Tuesday morning in the women’s doubles semifinal during a loss to the U.S. in Markham.
En route to winning a bronze medal with partner Michelle Li, Honderich was called over to the umpire’s chair for a word.
What was said?
“The official wanted to talk to me because I was celebrating facing the opponent,” she explained.
Honderich got off without a yellow warning card.
A greater blasphemy, apparently, occurred after the match when the Americans celebrated their 21-11, 21-8 victory over the Canadians with their coach, before shaking hands with their opponents.
That called for a yellow warning card. The American player looked puzzled, holding her hands out in a gesture of “What?”
A player faces a fine after three yellow cards.
There was no repeat behaviour in Canada’s mixed doubles semifinal victory later in the morning.
Alex Bruce and Toby Ng were a picture of restraint in a scrappy 21-17, 21-16 victory over Brazil to advance to the gold-medal match.
Bruce made sure to always turn away from the Brazilians when she fist-pumped, and even then, her fist went down as quickly as it went up.
Bruce accepts the conduct rules, saying it’s about respect and “not celebrating in their face.”
She said she’s never been given a warning.
Her partner, Ng, added that the rule is well known around the circuit.
“It’s been an existence for at least a year and half,” Ng said, “because the celebrations got so wild that it almost ended up that the players never even got a chance to shake hands. So people who lost kind of would just pick up their bags and leave.”
Ng said fines were introduced ranging from $250 to $500 per person and that would be “huge” based on his budget.
He joking talked about his nationality as if it’s a shield.
“We’re Canadians so we’re always very polite to people,” the Vancouver native said with a smile.