to Boston Area MA and Southern NH Badminton Clubs

Winchester, MA Badminton Club

Special Notices

Here is the latest info updated 26-Dec-16.

The McCall gym has not available to use for badminton during the 2016-2017 school year. For the school year, the club has again relocated to the Dallin School in Arlington on Tuesdays, where there are three courts, one less than McCall has had. Play will tentatively return to McCall for the 2017 Fall Season. You can read about the Arlington venue here.

Contact Elaine if you are interested in getting a season pass for play at the Dallins School; be sure to include ALL of the following information: your full name, address, gender, phone number, email address, and a brief description of your experience playing badminton on indoor courts. Sending incomplete information will not hold a space nor get you a pass or get you on the waitlist. Elaine's email address is: or call Elaine at 781-646-8681 (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.).

Much of the following is obsolete, since the venue continues to be changed for the 2016-2017 school year!

The Winchester Badminton Club meets for open play on Tuesdays during the school year normally at the McCall School Gym in Winchester, MA from 7:00 to 9:50 p.m., unless a special night is scheduled. However, since the McCall Gym is not available this 2016 Fall from September to December, badminton will be held at the Dallin School Gym in Arlington located at George St. and Florence Avenue from 6:20 to 9:50 p.m. This activity is open to all adults (age 18 and older) with advanced game-playing skills. High attendance is expected as the season begins, and attendance at the end of last season had been very high, and therefore walk-in playing times are being limited. Players with lower skill levels will be encouraged to join Monday Doubles at 8:00 p.m. or the Thursday ArlRec Club at 7:10 p.m., which will also be at the Dallin Gym in Arlington.

Fees for season passes are NOT refundable, and previously-paid walk-in fees cannot be credited towards season pass fees. Passes are issued per season, and the fee is a "season fee", not based upon a certain number of nights. In the event that there are skipped nights due to weather or an unplanned school event, there will be an attempt made to schedule make-up nights. However, such make-up nights cannot be guaranteed. Nights a player decides to skip cannot be made up.

Walk-in rules:
On Tuesdays, walk-in attendance at the McCall Gym is welcome to start between 6:50 to 8:15 p.m.; however, if there are 70% of the club members playing at 8:15 p.m., you must stop playing. Then at 9:20 p.m., walk-in play can resume (fee $15). Or you may choose to play for the just the first 1.5 hours then quit for the night (fee $8). Bring exact change or be prepared to get no change.

Notices and cancellation notices are automatically sent out to all currently registered players by WinRec ( If your email address changes or your phone number changes, be sure to email Elaine so that she makes the correction in the town database. The database requires your email address, your phone number, and your gender as well as the usual information.

Winchester player Chauncy Liu, who also coaches and plays in Arlington on Mondays and Thursdays, restrings racquets, and he often has racquets for sale at reasonable prices.

You can get to this page with this shortcut URL:, and similarly, you can get to the Arlington Badminton Club web page using:

Honoring 85-year-old Paul Surette

Honoring 88-year-old Phil Bainbridge

This page is organized into the following sections:


This club has been operating since 1932. The International Badminton Federation (IBF) (now known as Badminton World Federation) was established in 1934, and thus Winchester has been involved with the sport longer than then the IBF!

For many years, this club has been meeting at the McCall Middle School at 458 Main Street in the center of Winchester, MA. The club meets most Tuesdays during the school year. Occasionally a make-up night may be scheduled on a different weeknight. Arlington Recreation offers an alternate place to play on Thursdays at the Dallin School in Arlington, MA.

The club does not play when there are special events being held in the school gym, or when the school is closed due to school holidays, school vacation days, or snow days. When in doubt, e-mail or call one of the club officials listed below, or call the Winchester Recreation Office at 781-721-7125.

Normal hours of play are from 7:00 p.m. to 9:55 p.m. Players are asked to abide by the requirement they be out of the building by 9:58 p.m. Players have been asked to not enter the building or gym prior to 7:00 p.m. Play may begin as soon as the custodians have completed putting up ALL the nets, including checking for the correct net heights. Dress is casual, with rubber-soled footwear required. The gym is set up with four standard badminton courts.

Because this is a recreational activity for adults only, anyone under the age of 18 is not permitted to participate as a player.

If it is snowing, sleeting, raining, or sandy, please do not wear your court playing shoes from the car to the gym. If you have no other shoes that you can wear, put plastic bags over your sneakers. Please do not wear shoes into the gym that have snow, ice, sand, or water residing in the treads.

This club uses the 21-point game rules for all games.

The club supplies, at no additional charge, tournament-grade yellow Yonex 350 nylon birds for play, but if the players assigned to a court agree unanimously to use an alternative bird for their match, they may do so.

Nightly attendance has generally ranged from 25 to 40 players. The evening consists primarily of game play, although you can frequently get in some practice early or late. Play is almost exclusively doubles, but there are not regular partnerships. Instead, as explained below in the "Ladder System" section, attempts are made to arrange matches with even strength on both sides, as well as to diversify partnerships throughout the evening. The club does not provide refreshments or snacks, and no shower facilities are available. There are bleachers on which to sit and relax between games. Restrooms and water fountains are located just outside the gym.

Club Contacts

Questions, such as whether or not the club will be playing on a particular evening, should be directed to:

Map Showing the Club Location

You can view a map, showing where the club meets.

Directions to McCall School from Route 128 Northbound

Take Route 128 (same as I-95) to Exit #34, labelled "Winn Street". Head Southeasterly towards Woburn. You will be going essentially in a straight line for just under 5 miles. Along the way, when you get to Woburn Center, you will go 180 degrees around the rotary there. From this rotary you will be on Route 38 most of the way to either of the club locations. Route 38 turns left at a traffic signal just before a Stop and Shop Supermarket on your left, but you should keep going straight into Winchester Center. As you approach Winchester Center, you will come to a rotary underneath a train overpass. Go around the rotary 180 degrees and proceed on Main Street to the first traffic signal, where you will see a large stone Unitarian church on the far right corner. Continue on Main Street for a block, and the McCall School is on your right.

Directions to McCall School from Route 128 Southbound

Take Route 128 (same as I-95) to Exit #37A, which is I-93 South towards Boston. Take I-93 one exit to Montvale Avenue, and join with the next set of directions below to finish this route.

Directions to McCall School from Interstate 93

Take the Montvale Avenue exit off of I-93 and head West towards Woburn. The Montvale Avenue exit is one exit South of the interchange with Route 128. You quickly pass Polcari's Restaurant on your left and an Exxon gas station on your right. At the traffic signal, which is about 0.3 miles from I-93, you will be turning LEFT onto Washington Street. At that corner, there is a Citgo station on your near right.

Proceed on Washington Street into Winchester, measuring your distance from the left turn you just made. Along the way, there are a few signals; when you come to the signal at 1.9 miles, it's better to be in the left of two lanes. When you go through that corner, you will bear left a bit, and immediately after passing the Winchester Public Library on your right, you will come to a traffic signal. Go straight ahead for one block until you come to a flashing red light and a STOP sign. This is Main Street, and the McCall Middle School is across Main Street directly in front of you. You may park anywhere along the street, except in the handicap parking space.

Directions to McCall School from Lexington Center

Take Routes 4/225 East, merging with Route 2A, past the center of town. Follow Route 2A as it turns LEFT onto Maple Road. Take Maple Road to a signal at Lowell Road - Route 2A turns there, but you keep going straight on Maple. Then go 2.2 miles to a signal, which is both Cambridge Street (Route 3). Turn RIGHT onto Cambridge Street (Route 3), and go 0.4 miles to the next traffic signal at Church Street. Turn LEFT onto Church Street, and proceed 0.8 miles. Then turn RIGHT onto Waterfield Road, just opposite a Bank of America building on the left. Go 0.1 miles on Waterfield Road (passing under a train bridge), and turn LEFT at the STOP sign at the end of Waterfield Road. Go a very short distance to the signal, and turn RIGHT onto Main Street. The school is on the RIGHT just past the big stone Unitarian church around which you are turning.

Entering the School

Looking at the McCall Middle School from the street, enter at the right end where there is a rounded set of stairs leading to glass doors. Walk straight through, and the gym is straight ahead. There is no locker room, but you can change clothes in a restroom.

Your First Time

There is no club-joining fee, but you are expected to sign in and either pay the per-session walk-in fee or pay the season fee. On your first visit, you will be asked to fill out a small form, so the club can keep you informed of news, such as cancellations. Part of data collected includes an e-mail address. An e-mailing list is maintained by Mike Wolfberg, especially to inform players of cancellations. Mike maintains one list to cover announcements for both Winchester and Arlington badminton activities. If you ask Mike to be added to the e-mail list, please also say in what town you live. If you provide an e-mail address but would also like to be informed of a cancellation via phone, please make that known. These addresses are not publicly available - Mike keeps them on his own computer.

You will also be asked to fill out a magnetic name-card on which to print the name you prefer to be called - perhaps your nickname. Elaine may make this card for you. This name-card will be used on a ladder arrangement to determine the make-up of courts of 4 players.

The Ladder System for Selection of Team Players

At the very beginning of an evening, until the courts begin to fill, there may be time to get in a few games of singles, should you be so inclined. But after more than 8-12 players are available, the rest of the evening reverts to doubles play.

Name magnets of available players are arranged vertically on the left side of the PLAYING BOARD, under WAITING TO PLAY. The player (PICKER) whose name is at the top of the WAITING TO PLAY list (ladder) picks three players to make up a court. The selections must be made from among the top ten names on the ladder. The PICKER places the names on the first top-most empty magnet card in the center of the board under WAITING FOR COURT, keeping the names in the same order as on the WAITING TO PLAY list, except with the PICKER being the last player (#4) on the magnet card. If you are a newcomer, seek some guidance on the selection and pairing of partners from either the attendant on duty or one of the more experienced players.

Please inform the other 3 selected players immediately that they have been selected, and how many courts need to be emptied prior to your team playing. This is very helpful in keeping games moving quickly. As courts become available, the top WAITING FOR COURT card of 4 players will be moved to the first empty court in the PLAYING ON COURT column.

When the four players have finished their game and come off the court, the vacated court is then available for the first team under WAITING FOR COURT. Please yell out "COURT" as you are walking off the court to alert everyone about the court availability for the next players. Courts are numbered sequentially, with Court 1 being nearest the entry to the gym. When leaving the court, the team PICKER is responsible for removing his/her group from PLAYING ON COURT, and replacing it with the first team under WAITING FOR COURT.

The PICKER of the team leaving the court, then moves the individual player name magnets back onto the WAITING TO PLAY list, immediately below the last name and in the same order in which they had been arranged on the team's magnet card. After placing the team's names back on the ladder, the now empty card is moved to the bottom of the WAITING FOR COURT column.

After completing your game and replacing your team card with a WAITING team, it is helpful to call out the name of that team's PICKER and the court number you have vacated. When there are many players waiting, the attendant on duty will often move the magnets to help keep games moving quickly.

If you are selected and elect to not play with the selected group, you have the option of declining to play. The PICKER will place your name at the bottom of the WAITING TO PLAY list. If you wish to take a break from playing, you may place your name at the bottom of the WAITING TO PLAY list or remove it from the board. When you wish to resume play, you would again place your name magnet at the bottom of the WAITING TO PLAY list.

When you are done playing for the evening, please remove your magnet from the PLAYING BOARD and return it to the STORAGE BOARD, replacing it in the correct Alphabetical Order by the bold magnet name.

Please, do not hesitate to seek some guidance on picking and pairing teams.
Please mix your selection of players for more interesting play.
Not-so-great players, please limit choosing the more experienced players to just once a night.

Rules for Play

The following are standard badminton rules - new as of 2006 - but are included here for the benefit of newcomers:

Experienced players will help explain the boundary lines and other rules of play to first-timers. The USA Badminton web site includes a description of the rules of the game, but it doesn't seem to describe the boundary lines.

Mike Wolfberg 978-496-1397 (Westford)
Elaine Gampp 781-646-8681 (Arlington)
Winchester Recreation Office
back to the top of this page This page, maintained by Mike Wolfberg, was last updated on November 03, 2018 .