Yves Homayoon leads Cal badminton team

Sophomore ranked among top players his age in the U.S.


Photo courtesy of David Chiu

Yves Homayoon jumps to hit the birdie during a game for Cal High. The sophomore is No. 45th ranked badminton player in the US National Junior singles ranking for 17 and under.

At the age of 11, badminton was nothing other than a hobby for sophomore Yves Homayoon, back in his home country Taiwan.
Now, he has made it into something bigger as he’s become a nationally ranked player.
Homayoon is a dedicated badminton player who has been honing his skills on the court for a long time. Now the top-ranked player on Cal High’s inaugural badminton team, he shows his talent for the sport and the result of his prior training.
Homayoon brought success to Cal’s badminton team, helping the Grizzlies place second in league and fourth in NCS. He also qualified for the CIF State Regionals with his partner, Adarsh Swamy, but the duo lost in the first round.
“He’s an amazing player to watch live,” badminton coach Manny Vasquez said. “What I can see so far this season is his work ethic has gotten better every match.”
Badminton is a racket sport closely related to tennis, but with various aspects that are different.
Badminton is played on a court divided by a net that is positioned higher than tennis nets. It can involve two players in singles matches, or two teams of two players each, which is doubles.
The objective of the game is to hit a shuttlecock, also known as a birdie, over the net and make it land inside the opponent’s court while preventing them from returning it effectively.
Players or teams need to score 21 points to win a game. Matches are best of three games.
Homayoon quickly became interested in badminton and started playing competitively as a young teen.
Over the years, Homayoon has won various competitions to help him reach No. 45 in the US National Junior Boys single rankings in the 17 and under age group. His most prestigious award was placing third with his doubles partner at a UC Davis tournament earlier this year.
With all of these accomplishments, Homayoon’s skills have only improved over time. But he does not seem to want to take badminton to the next level after high school.
“Honestly, I’m too old now, and there are a lot of people better than me who are younger than me,” Homayoon said. “So I’m going to take the time I have left and enjoy it.”
Despite this, Homayoon still dedicates at least 12 hours a week outside of school sharpening his skills. Individually, he practices every weekday for at least two hours a day. This is on top of the time he puts in practicing with Cal’s badminton team.
With such a passion for badminton, his freshman teammate Swamy said his doubles partner is very encouraging.
“[Homayoon] is funny, nice, and really supportive of all of us,” Swamy said. “And when we win points, he would clap.”
With the recognition for being such a great team player, his skills are nothing to look down on either.
“He’s very good and plays very competitively,” Swamy added.
Vasquez said Homayoon and his personality inspires others to work harder and motivates them.
Junior teammate Sumedha Varanasi said Homayoon contributes to the team in many ways.
“On top of cheering for the team, he gives tips to his teammates as well, to help them improve for their future games,” Varanasi said. “ Yves has very good badminton techniques and is a great player.”