The sport or game of Badminton is very popular in most countries now but it only came to England in 1873 and its current title was given after guests at a Badminton House lawn party held by the Duke of Beaufort introduced it to their friends as “the Badminton game”.
Shuttlecocks are used in the game of Badminton instead of a ball as in other sports. Historically, the shuttlecock (also known as a “bird” or “birdie”) was a small cork hemisphere with 16 goose feathers attached. These types of shuttles may still be used in modern play, but shuttles made from synthetic materials are also allowed by the Badminton World Federation.
Did you know that the best shuttlecocks are made from the feathers from the left wing of a goose, believed to be because of the direction in which the goose would normally fly?
Before 1873 in England a children’s game known as “battledore and shuttlecock” in which players used a paddle – a battledore – to keep a small feathered cork – a shuttlecock – in the air as long as possible – was popular from medieval times.
It was credit to the game of Badminton’s, popularity that in 1877 the first set of written rules were laid out by the Bath Badminton Club.
The rules of Badminton are:
- A game starts with a coin toss and 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 cannot strike the shuttlecock in a new movement or shot.
- The shuttlecock hitting the ceiling, is counted as a fault.
Badminton Racket Frames
The earliest badminton rackets had wooden frames. Players sought to have lighter-weight rackets to increase their speed on the court, and they switched to aluminum frames, and then later used carbon fibre composite materials for even lighter rackets.
Badminton Racket Head Shape
The traditional oval shape of the badminton racket has given way to other shape, such as isometric and diamond, or tear shaped. The isometric size increases the area of the racket known as the “sweet spot,” which is the area of the strings where the player can deliver the most powerful hit to the shuttlecock.
Badminton Racket Strings
Originally, badminton strings were made from natural animal gut. To improve string tension and to increase the speed of the game, most players use synthetic materials like nylon which are cheaper and provide the same qualities as the natural strings.
Badminton Racket Grip
The grip on the badminton racket has also moved toward the use of more synthetic materials. Polyurethane and other kinds of towelling grips help the player from losing his hold on the handle and build up its diameter, so his hand is comfortable.