Everything You Need To Know To Play Badminton
If you're looking for an entertaining sport that's also physically demanding, look no further: badminton may be the perfect option for you!
Badminton is one of the most dynamic racket sports you can play. It’s basically similar to combining tennis, volleyball and table tennis in one single discipline. Have you ever played it before? We’ll tell you all about it in this article!
We can track the origins of this Olympic sport all the way back to India, in the region known as Poona. However, it started to catch on in Badminton House, England around the year 1873. By 1893, the Badminton Association of England already existed.
The Badminton World Federation was founded in 1934, but it wasn’t until the second half of the twentieth century that the discipline expanded to the rest of the world. Nowadays, this federation includes over 165 countries.
Basic aspects to play badminton
Much the same as tennis and volleyball, the main goal in this game is to strike the shuttlecock and land it in the opponent’s court (the other side of the net). To do this, players use light rackets with a long grip.
You can play single matches, double matches (for both men and women) and also in mixed doubles. The types of shots that players can use in badminton are:
- Clears: they have a high trajectory, and players aim them towards the back of the opponent’s courtside from their own backcourt.
- Drive: like in tennis, a drive is a right-wing stroke.
- Drop: with this stroke, the shuttlecock will fall sharply near the net.
- Smash: it’s the offensive stroke par excellence; players use it to define the point.
- Net lift: it’s a high trajectory shot that aims to land in the back of the court, but played from the forecourt.
- Plain: it’s a shot that has no effect.
- Tense: players perform the shot from between their chest and knees.
- Jumping smash: players jump to achieve a steeper smash angle.
A badminton court has a similar shape to a tennis court. However, it’s a bit smaller: 44 feet long and 20 feet wide. The court is divided in half by a net that’s 5’1” tall. Just like in tennis, the sides of the court are only used in a doubles match (hence the name: doubles alley). When it’s a single match, the players stick to the inner part of the court, defined by the singles sidelines.
As for scoring, a match is the best of three sets. Players must reach 21 points in each set. The set ends whenever a player gets to that number of points as long as there is a two-point difference between them and their opponent. On the contrary, the set can extend up to 30 points.
In badminton, any of the two team players can shoot. Of course, each opponent can only hit the shuttle once. They have to wait until the other players return it in order to hit it again.
As for serving, both the server and the receiver must remain within the service courts until the server strikes the shuttlecock. The server must strike the shuttle from behind the line that divides their side of the court in half. The shuttlecock must always go over that same line on the opposite side of the court so that it’s not considered a fault.
Some of the characteristics in this movement are that: the head of the racquet must point downwards, the shuttlecock must stay below the waist of the server, and to the surprise of many, an opponent can intercept or block the served shuttle at the net.
Equipment needed to play badminton
Of course, there are several different things you need to play badminton. These are the essential pieces of equipment:
It can be a wood, metal graphite or carbon fiber racket. It has different parts: the grip, the shaft, and the head. They’re incredibly light. Professional badminton rackets weigh between 75 and 90 grams, while amateur rackets can be slightly heavier.
Also known as a bird or birdie. The most important aspect about the shuttlecock is its speed. It can go as fast as 124 mph after an offensive shot.
Another thing to note is that some shuttlecocks come with real or artificial feathers, and there are also some nylon shuttlecocks (it’s mostly beginners who use this type of birdie). The shuttlecock has a cork base with a rounded shape. Just like the racket, badminton shuttlecocks are very light. They weigh around 4.7 and 5.5 grams.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the most important badminton competitions are the BWF World Championships (founded in 1977), the Olympic Games and the All England Open Badminton Championships (an annual tournament in Birmingham, England).
Don’t wait to play badminton. It’s extremely fun!