The Badminton Game
Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles), who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their opponents’ half of the court. A rally ends once the shuttlecock has struck the ground, and the shuttlecock may only be struck once by each side before it passes over the net.
The shuttlecock (or shuttle) is a feathered projectile whose unique aerodynamic properties cause it to fly differently from the balls used in most racquet sports; in particular, the feathers create much higher drag, causing the shuttlecock to decelerate more rapidly than a ball. Shuttlecocks have a much higher top speed, when compared to other racquet sports. Because shuttlecock flight is stubbornly affected by wind, competitive badminton is always played indoors. Badminton is also played outdoors as a casual recreational activity, often as a garden or beach game.
Since 1992, badminton has been an Olympic sport with five events: men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles, in which each pair is a man and a woman. At high levels of play, the sport demands excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, strength, speed, and precision. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements.
History of Badminton
A badminton-like game was known in ancient Greece and Egypt a game called battledore and shuttlecock – in which two players hit a feathered shuttlecock back and forth with tiny rackets.
In the 5th century BC, the people in china then played a game called ti jian zi. A direct translation from this word ‘ti jian zi’ is kicking the shuttle. As the name suggest, the objective of the game is to keep the shuttle from hitting the ground without using hand. Whether this sport has anything to do with the History of Badminton is up for debate. It was however the first game that uses a Shuttle.
About five centuries later, a game named Battledore and Shuttlecock was played in China, Japan, India and Greece. This is a game where you use the Battledore to hit the Shuttlecock back and forth. By the 16th century, it has become a popular game among children in England. In Europe this game was known as jeu de Volant.
India has a central place in the development of Badminton. British officers and Government officials posted in India brought the game with them, but it was here the net was added and the game took form as we know it today. There are descriptions of a game very close to Badminton played in the Indian town Poona in the 1860s. They played it in a garden hall with doors opening inwards in the middle with a net dividing to court into to halves the same size. From this arrangement the badminton court got its original shape an hourglass. The shape of the court as we know today was introduced in 1901.
The British officers and Government officials brought back with them the newest development in the game and in 1873, the Duke of Beaufort held a garden party in his country place, Badminton. A game like the one played in Poona was played on that day and became popular among the British society’s elite. The new party sport became known as “the Badminton game”. In 1877, the Bath Badminton Club was formed and developed the first official set of rules.
The first badminton association in the world was founded in England in 1893. It was called the Badminton Association and worked as the world federation until 1934 where the International Badminton Federation (now Badminton World Federation) was founded by 9 countries amongst them Denmark.
The first tournament ever played was in England in 1898. In 1899 “The Badminton Association Tournament” was played for the first time what we now know as “The All England Championships”.
The Danish players participated in The All England in 1935 for the first time without success but only 3 years later in 1938 the success started. Since that year except from the years during the Second World War where The All England wasn’t played the Danes have celebrated many victories on English soil and the latest was Tine Rasmussen’s victory in women’s singles in 2008.
Since the beginning Badminton has become much more organized with badminton associations in almost every country trying to develop the sport and taking it to the next level.
Badminton became an Olympic Sport in 1992 and ever since except in Beijing 2008 a Danish player/constellation has taken a medal.
The rules of badminton states that a toss shall be conducted before a game starts. If you win, you can choose between serving first or to start play at either end of the court. Your opponent can then exercise the remaining choice.
The shuttle must be hit below the server’s waist with the racquet head below the server’s hand, and the server must have part of both feet stationary in contact with the ground. The shuttle then must fall within the receiver’s service court to be deemed legal.
Once the shuttle is in play, the point continues with players attempting to hit the shuttle back and forth across the net. A side wins the rally by hitting the shuttle to the floor on the opponent’s side of or if the opponent fails to keep the shuttle in play.
The shuttle is declared out of play if it fails to cross the net, lands out of the court or hits the ceiling of the venue.
A rally is also lost if a fault is committed. A fault is called if a player touches the net during play with either body or racquet, hits the shuttle before it comes across the net or is hit by the shuttle.
Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles
You can have either two or four players on a badminton court: one player on each side, or a team of two players on each side. One-against-one is called singles; two-against-two is called doubles.
In doubles, either player can hit the shuttle; you do not have to take it in turns. The only exceptions are the first two shots of the rally; I’ll explain this when we discuss serving.
In total, there are five types of badminton
- Men’s singles
- Women’s singles
- Men’s doubles
- Women’s doubles
- Mixed doubles
Men’s doubles and women’s doubles are also called level doubles.
These are the only types of badminton played in serious tournaments. In casual play, however, women sometimes play against men
Rules of Badminton
- A game starts with a coin toss. Whoever wins the toss gets to decide whether they would serve or receive first OR what side of the court they want to be on. The side losing the toss shall then exercise the remaining choice.
- At no time during the game should the player touch the net, with his racquet or his body.
- The shuttlecock should not be carried on or come to rest on the racquet.
- A player should not reach over the net to hit the shuttlecock.
- A serve must carry cross court (diagonally) to be valid.
- During the serve, a player should not touch any of the lines of the court, until the server strikes the shuttlecock. During the serve the shuttlecock should always be hit from below the waist.
- A point is added to a player’s score as and when he wins a rally.
- A player wins a rally when he strikes the shuttlecock and it touches the floor of the opponent’s side of the court or when the opponent commits a fault. The most common type of fault is when a player fails to hit the shuttlecock over the net or it lands outside the boundary of the court.
- Each side can strike the shuttlecock only once before it passes over the net. Once hit, a player can’t strike the shuttlecock in a new movement or shot.
- The shuttlecock hitting the ceiling, is counted as a fault.
- Learning and inculcating the 10 rules of badminton is the first step towards getting into the game. Besides these, it’s a good idea to get to know more about the equipment laws, which govern what equipments can be used – the design of the racquet, the weight and shape of the shuttlecock (for correct speed). Surprisingly there is no rule for the minimum height of the ceiling, but nevertheless, a low ceiling would be problematic.
Badminton Fouls or Fault
Basically, there are 5 types of faults in badminton.
- Contact Fault
- Over the Net Fault
- Service Fault
- Receiver Fault
- Doubles Hit
I highly recommend you know these basic Badminton Fouls.
- A point is scored when the birdie hits the floor on the opponent’s side, regardless of who is serving.
- The first team to reach 21 points wins the game. However, the winning team must win by two points.
- In the case of a tie (20 points each), the first team to score two additional points is the winner.
- The first team to reach 30 points is the winner, no matter what the other team has scored.
- The first team to win two out of three games wins the match.
Court and Court Equipment
- The court shall be a rectangle marked out with lines 40 mm wide as shown in Diagram A.
- The lines marking out the court shall be easily distinguishable and preferably be colored white or yellow.
- All the lines shall form part of the area which they define.
- The posts shall be 1.55 meters in height from the surface of the court and shall remain vertical when the net is strained as provided in Law 1.10.
- The posts shall be placed on the doubles side lines as in Diagram A irrespective of whether singles or doubles is being played. The posts or its supports shall not extend into the court beyond the sidelines.
- The net shall be made of fine cord of dark colour and even thickness with a mesh of not less than l5 mm and not more than 20 mm.
- The net shall be 760 mm in depth and at least 6.1 meters wide.
- The top of the net shall be edged with a 75 mm white tape doubled over a cord or cable running through the tape. This tape shall rest upon the cord or cable.
- The cord or cable shall be stretched firmly, flush with the top of the posts.
- The top of the net from the surface of the court shall be 1.524 meters at the center of the court and 1.55 meters over the side lines for doubles.
- There shall be no gaps between the ends of the net and the posts. If necessary, the full depth of the net at the ends shall be tied to the posts.
The badminton racket is one of the most important tools a player has in the game. Badminton rackets are much lighter than most other sports rackets because they are made from materials such as carbon fiber or lighter metals such as aluminum. Parts of the racket include the head, throat, shaft and handle with a maximum length of 27.77 inches and a width of 9 inches. It Strings that are stretched across the opening of the racket in a checkerboard pattern, which acts as the hitting surface. Badminton rackets can vary widely in cost depending on whether they are purchased as part of a basic backyard set or as more expensive professional models.
Plastic shuttlecocks are far more durable compared to the feathered types which are commonly used. However, plastic shuttlecocks are only recommended for beginners who are just starting out. This is because feathered shuttlecocks are expensive and fray easily especially if the wrong technique is used. Hence, plastic shuttlecocks are good for beginners to use for training. Plastic shuttlecocks are usually used by young children who play badminton for recreation.
Plastic shuttlecocks tend to travel shorter distances as they are heavier. Hence, they are good for building strength as you make the transition to feathered shuttlecocks. Most people will progress to using feathered shuttlecocks as they are used at all competitive tournaments.
Badminton shoes are designed to give you better traction and grip to stop in time to return a shot. They should also be lightweight have good cushioning to absorb impact when you jump or land.
Regular players will find heel cups useful to prolonging the lifespan of your shoes.
Do not wear jogging shoes as they usually lack grip and traction. You might end up crashing through the badminton net if you are unable to stop in time to receive a drop shot.
For casual to non-competitive players, a comfortable pair of shorts and cotton or dri-fit t-shirt is sufficient. Some players may want to equip themselves with hand grips, wristbands and ankle guards. Each of these items serve a purpose and might also add a dash of colour to the entire get-up. When it comes to badminton equipment, select what is appropriate before turning your attention to aesthetics.
A mesh net divides the badminton court into two sides. A badminton net is placed lower than a volleyball net at five feet and one inch high on the sides and five feet high in the center. The length may vary depending on whether doubles or singles are playing, with singles reaching 17 feet and doubles reaching 22 feet. The net is 30 inches wide with a 3-inch white tape doubled over the top.
Read about other games here