CIF SOUTHERN SECTION BADMINTON HISTORY
In 1972 the CIF Southern Section added the sport of girls badminton as part of their mission to increase the number of sports and opportunities for girls in high school sports. At the inception of the team championships, there were close to 150 schools competing from Barstow to Newport Beach. Badminton became the first, and still only, truly Co-Ed CIF sport in 1980. CIF Southern Section badminton maintained about 100 schools participating through the 1990's, when the numbers began to drop. Universities eliminated the sport and the opportunities for post high school play diminished.
At the same time, the demographics of the sport in general were shifting. As the most popular racket sport in all of Asia (indeed, in the world), and with the migration of many families from that part of the world to Southern California, the sport became incredibly multi-racial. Nonetheless, the Southern Section gave consideration to dropping badminton altogether. The sport thrived however in other sections throughout the state of California. One by one, other CIF Sections added the sport. Some girls only, others co-ed. It appealed to what was described as: "a population that does not commonly receive CIF Championship opportunities." As such, the decision was made to add co-ed and girls badminton as a State Conference Championship sport.
In 2016 badminton debuted as a Conference Championship event. Qualifying players from the CIF Southern Section play in the Southern California Regional Championships against players from as far south as San Diego and as far north as Fresno. As a result, the number of high schools participating in CIF badminton competition in the Southern Section has been increasing, with a number of schools reviving old programs and others joining for the first time.
Universities and Colleges have very organized Club/Teams. The CCCAA (State of California Community Colleges) offer badminton as a Varsity Sport in the spring each year.
Over the years, the Southern Section has produced many USA junior and adult national champions and even a couple of Olympic Games participants. We look forward to this new era of growth and participation.