The Game of… Badminton
What sport are you playing if you are using a “shuttlecock” or a “birdie”? Well, that would be badminton. The game of badminton dates back to 18th century India where it was called “Poona”. British Army Officers that were stationed in India took the game back to England in the 1860′s where it eventually became known as the sport of badminton.
Badminton has been an Olympic sport since 1992. There are currently five Olympic events as follows: men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles (each pair consists of a man and a woman).
Badminton is a fun and popular sport that can be played by anyone. Competitive badminton is played on an indoor court and can be quite challenging. Players require quick reflexes, strength, accuracy and aerobic stamina. On the other hand, backyard badminton is a terrific sport for players of all skill levels. Once you learn the basic rules and strokes, it can be a great way to spend your time in the summer.
Badminton is played with two players (singles) or four players (doubles) on opposite sides of a net. The net is stretched across the center of the court and attached to two poles, dividing it in half. Competitive badminton is always played indoors. The object of the game is to volley the shuttlecock or birdie back and forth over the net until it hits the ground or falls out of bounds. Shots that land on the line are considered “in bounds”. Players must return the shuttlecock with just one hit per side. An individual player or team can only score a point on their serve – not when the opponent serves. The first player or team to reach 21 points wins the game. A match may consist of the best 2 out of 3 games.
Equipment You Will Need:
- Shuttlecock aka shuttle, bird or birdie. The shuttle can be made of natural and / or synthetic materials. For example, a natural shuttle consists of a round cork base covered in a thin layer of leather. Sixteen goose feathers are embedded into this cork base. Recreational players typically use a synthetic shuttle because they are less expensive and they don’t break as easily as the feathered version. The length of the shuttle is usually between 64 to 70 millimeters (2.5 to 2.8 in.), provided that all feathers are about the same length. Each shuttle should weigh between 4.74 to 5.50 grams (0.17 to 0.19 ounces). The speed of the shuttles is also affected by weight and atmospheric conditions. [source: Badminton Canada]
- Badminton Racquet – There are two different shapes available: (1) the traditional Oval shape, and (2) the Isometric or Square head shape has become popular. The frame is made from metal alloys (steel/aluminum) or from ceramic, graphite or boron composites. It is usually strung with synthetic strings or natural gut. The racquet face measures about 17.8 cm (7 in.) across and 29 cm long (11.4 in.). A racquet may be up to 68 cm long (27 in.) and 23 cm wide (9.1 in.) and its weight is about 90 grams (3 ounces).
- Net – the net’s height is 1.55 metres (5 ft. 1 in.) at the edges and 1.524 metres (5 ft.) in the centre.
- Badminton shoes – are lightweight with soles made of rubber or a comparable high-grip, non-marking material. It is important that your shoes provide plenty of traction and grip that will allow you to move quickly in all directions.