It will be a busy first half of 2018, where three European championships are going to be organized. (Photo: BadmintonPhoto)
Six busy months ahead
Date: 1/5/2018 9:01 AM
Published by : Emma Lollike
It is not only the turn of year that makes the beginning of a new year special. 2018 is also the beginning of a new event structure for BWF’s (Badminton World Federation) international tournaments. 

Badminton Europe (BEC) is also excited to organize four continental championships during the first six months of 2018. The Europe’s best club, best men’s team, best women’s team, best U15 players, best senior players, and, best elite high-performance players will be crowned in 2018. Read through the first part of our 2018 preview to prepare for what is in store the coming six months.

The first tournament of the new year and of the new structure is a BWF level 5 in Bangkok, Thailand. A handful European players from France, Germany, Sweden and Netherlands have entered Thailand Masters from 9-14 January.

The first circuit tournament of the year kicks off in Tallinn, Estonia, where BEC will be streaming live. Follow the stream from YONEX Estonian International 2018 on BEC’s YouTube BE.TV on 11-14 January.

Already the following week, Sweden’s international series Swedish Open will commence in Lund. Once again, the BE.TV will provide live streaming from 18-21 January.

In the first quarter of the year, the continental team championships will be an important event for many European member associations. All the best European teams will return to Kazan, Russia, to compete against each other at the 2018 European Men’s & Women’s Team Championships, from 13-18 February, and furthermore, the best U15-players will compete at the 2018 European U15 Championships, from 16-18 February.

Several national championships in Europe will be organized in in first week of February. National champions will be crowned in Germany, France, Scotland, Austria, Finnish, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Wales, and, Ireland, while it will be the following week in Denmark. 

YONEX Swiss Open 2018 will be the first international tournament of BWF’s new structure to be organized in Europe this year. Graded at level 5, the tournament will be organized from 20-25 February in Basel. 

In the beginning of March, the next European level 5 tournament is scheduled. YONEX German Open will be organized from 6-11 March in Mulheim an der Ruhr, leading up to the first level 2 tournament of the year.

Alcudia in Spain will host the first para-badminton event in Europe this year. Spanish Para-Badminton International 2018 will also take place from 6-11 March.

Later in March, the prestigious and legendary event, YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships 2018 follows. Hosted in and by a European nation, the BWF level 2-tournament is a big priority for many badminton players, and is always a very popular event on the international tour of BWF tournaments.

2018 also holds the change of the back-hand service, a so called ‘Experimental Service Law (Fixed Height)’ which will be enforced at YONEX All England this year. All Grade 1 events – except the BWF World Junior Championships – will undergo testing as will Grade 2 events and continental championships in April. BWF reported that as of now, testing is expected to run from 1 March until year-end.

Orleans Masters starts on 27 March and concludes on 1 April. France was granted a level 6 tournament and the first edition of what was before known as Orleans International is now a graded BWF event.

BE.TV’s live stream will be available from Finnish Open which will be organized in Vantaa, Finland. From the 5-8 April, players will be competing at this European circuits’ international challenge-tournament.

April is the month for the Badminton Europe’s flagship event; the individual 2018 European Championships. This year, hosted in the Spanish city of Huelva, from where we look forward to welcoming all badminton fans durint 24-29 April. The city is the hometown of the reigning European and Olympic champion Carolina Marin, and the tournament will be organized in a venue named after her.

The para-badminton tour returns to Europe from 8-13 May for Turkish Para-Badminton International 2018, in Konya.

The qualified European nations from the 2018 European Men’s & Women’s Team Championships will travel to Bangkok, Thailand, to compete at the 2018 Thomas & Uber Cup Finals. As Denmark’s men’s team is the reigning champions from 2016, it will be exciting to see if they will be able to defend their title. But we will have to wait for 20-27 May. 

In week 25, Badminton Ireland will host 2nd Irish Para-Badminton International 2018 in Dublin. The best para-players from all over the world are invited to compete from 19-24 June.

The dates for the 2018 European Club Championships will be 19-23 June. The best clubs of Europe can expect to be invited to compete in Białystok, Poland.
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