The most accessible racquet sport universally, badminton has come a long way. It might even be the new favourite sport in the country. Usually played indoors, with racquets and shuttlecocks, a badminton match is played either singles (1v1) or doubles (2v2). But did you know that badminton finds its origin in India?
The game was originally a leisure activity for the British officers posted in Pune (then Poona). The first set of rules was even formulated in this very city, giving the game the name it was initially known as – âPoonaâ.
British soldiers returning to their home, started a badminton club in the town of Folkestone where it garnered more attention. The shuttlecocks back in the days were made with goose feathers tied together to a cork while the racquets were made out of wood.
As the sport became more popular in England, several clubs started springing up in the country. The Bath Badminton Club was crucial to the evolution of the sport to become what we know as Badminton today.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF), the governing body for the sport, started in 1934. Badminton, since, has seen several matches that put the sport on the map.and
The Pune rules were in place until 1887. After which, it went through several changes to become the popular sport we know and love.
Despite being a popular backyard sport for many, a professional game of Badminton is always played indoors. The court is rectangular and 13.4 metres long. It is divided into halves by a net that runs along the width.
During serving, the shuttlecock must be hit from underneath the serverâs waistline with the racquet head pointing downwards. It has to pass diagonally over the short service line on the opponentâs court. Failure to do so is considered to be a fault and the serve will be given to the opposite team.
Singles matches are played between two players. The width of the court during a singles match is 5.18 meters while the length remains the same.
The player serves from the right side of the court to the respective side of the opponentâs court when the serverâs score is zero or an even number. The player serves and receives from the left side of the court when the score is even.
Doubles, as the name suggests, has two players on one side. The width of the court in a doubles game is 6.1 metres with the same length of 13.4 metres.Â
In a doubles game, the first serve starts from the right side of the court. The team that scores the first point gets to serve again. But this time from the left side owing to the odd score. When a team loses the rally, the service goes to the opposite team, while the score remains the deciding factor for the side.
The deciding factor, however, for which player in a team serves is based on the rally. If a team loses the rally, the player who served that rally wonât serve again, but the partner will their next chance to serve.Â Â
All games are played till a team gets 21 points. In case of a tie at 20, the winning team will have to get two extra points. If the game is tied at 29 points, the team scoring the 30th point is deemed the winner for that game. A match consists of 3 games.
Find out the basic rules of badminton here!
The most important equipment involved in the sport includes shuttlecocks and racquets. The racquets used for badminton are different from tennis racquets. With longer, thinner handles and a smaller head, these racquets come much lighter than their tennis counterparts, usually within the range of 100 grams.
Shuttlecocks have a conical shape and are made of 16 feathers tied together at the base of the cork. Synthetic shuttlecocks are also available in the market, but used mostly by recreational players for their lower cost and higher durability.
With the shuttlecocks travelling at speeds of more than 400 km/h, one can imagine how quick the playersâ movements should be. To enable this, a person must be equipped with the right pair of non-marking shoes for efficiency, comfort and to reduce chances of injuries.
Playing badminton is one of the most effective sports to burn calories. The player has to be swift and have good hand-to-eye coordination. Regular playing can strengthen forearm and leg muscles and bones. The sport is also proven to reduce stress and increase heart health and metabolism rate.
While the sport serves several mental and physical benefits, it is imperative that the player should be fit for the game as well. Regular physical exercise that is tailor-made for badminton players can help combat the problems that you might face.Â
Inculcating warmups and cooldowns after every game can also ensure that your body is not pushed to the limit each time youâre on the court and made to succumb to the injuries that may happen.
As a sport thatâs been established for over a century, there are various techniques that players have to employ in the game. The most important aspect of a badminton game is the service. While serving, it is essential to make sure you use the proper serving techniques in order to not lose the service to the opposite team.
To end a rally and win a point, it is essential to learn how to smash the oncoming shuttlecock. There are techniques to return a smash as well. Some of the other most common shots include drop shot, lift shot, net shot and toss, all of which work best when played with the right technique and strategy.
Since the techniques are almost as old as the game and constantly evolving, it is important to keep in mind the different tips to perform them more efficiently. Engaging in badminton specific drills is also a great way to help you play better.
India has seen several world-class badminton players over the years and still continues to do so. There is more appreciation for badminton (that was once a leisure activity) all over the world as a serious sport.
Luckily, the rise of the sport in the past years has given birth to new badminton courts in the country. These are professional courts catering to the standards of BWF, helping you finesse your skills in a professional setting.
We also have a repository of information on how to choose the right racquet to a curated list of racquets and other equipment available online for you to refer to every step of the way in your badminton journey.
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