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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. Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes over the net. A rally ends once the shuttlecock has struck the floor. The shuttlecock (or shuttle) is a feathered projectile whose unique aerodynamic properties cause it to fly differently than 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 affected by wind, competitive badminton is 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 consists of a man and a woman. At high levels of play, especially in singles, the sport demands excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, explosive strength, speed and precision. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements.

Where and When the Game Badminton Originated

Badminton was known in ancient times; an early form of the sport was played in ancient Greece and Egypt. In Japan, the related game Hanetsuki was played as early as the 16th century. In the west, badminton came from a game called battledore and shuttlecock, in which two or more players keep a feathered shuttlecock in the air with small racquets. The game was called "Poona" in India during the 18th century, and British Army officers stationed there took a competitive Indian version back to England in the 1860's, where it was played at country houses as an upper class amusement. Isaac Spratt, a London toy dealer, published a booklet, "Badminton Battledore - a new game" in 1860, but unfortunately no copy has survived. The new sport was definitively launched in 1873 at the Badminton House, Gloucestershire, owned by the Duke of Beaufort. During that time, the game was referred to as "The Game of Badminton," and, the game's official name became Badminton. Until 1887 the sport was played in England under the rules that prevailed in India. The Bath Badminton Club standardized the rules and made the game applicable to English ideas. The basic regulations were drawn up in 1887. In 1893, the Badminton Association of England published the first set of rules according to these regulations, similar to today's rules, and officially launched badminton in a house called "Dunbar" at 6 Waverley Grove, Portsmouth, England on September 13 of that year. They also started the All England Open Badminton Championships, the first badminton competition in the world, in 1899. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) was established in 1934 with Canada, Denmark, England, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales as its founding members. India joined as an affiliate in 1936. The BWF now governs international badminton and develops the sport globally.

Different Terms Used in Playing Badminton

Attacking clear : An offensive stroke hit deep into the opponent's court. Backcourt : Back third of the court, in the area of the back boundary lines. Backhand : The stroke used to return balls hit to the left of a right-handed player and to the right of a left-handed player. Base position : The location in the centre of the court to which a singles player tries to return after each shot; also called "centre position". Baseline : The back boundary line at each end of the court, parallel to the net. Carry : An illegal stroke in which the shuttle is not hit, but caught and held on the racket before being released; also called a "sling" or "throw". Centre line : A line perpendicular to the net that separates the left and right service courts. Clear : A shot hit deep into the opponent's court. Doubles : A game where a team of two players play against another team of two. Doubles sideline : The side boundary of a doubles court. Drive : A fast and low shot that makes a horizontal flight over the net. Drop shot : A shot hit softly and with finesse to fall rapidly and close to the net in the opponent's court. Fault : A violation of the playing rules.

Feint : Any deceptive movement that disconcerts an opponent before or during the serve; also called a "balk". Flick : A quick wrist-and-forearm rotation used to surprise an opponent by changing an apparently soft shot into a faster passing shot. Forecourt : The front third of the court, between the net and the short service line. Forehand : The stroke used to return a ball hit to the right of a right-handed player and to the left of a left-handed player. Game : The part of a set completed when one player or side has scored enough points to win a single contest. Hairpin net shot : A shot made from below and very close to the net and causing the shuttle to rise, just clear the net, then drop sharply down the other side so that the flight of the shuttlecock resembles the shape of a hairpin. Halfcourt shot : A shot hit low and to midcourt, used effectively in doubles play against the up-and-back formation. High clear : A defensive shot hit deep into the opponent's court. Kill : Fast downward shot that cannot be returned. Let : A minor violation of the rules allowing a rally to be replayed. Long Service Line : In singles, the back boundary line. In doubles a line 21/2 feet inside the back boundary line. The serve may not go past this line. Match : A series of games to determine a winner. Midcourt : The middle third of the court, halfway between the net and the back boundary line.

Net shot : A shot hit from the forecourt that just clears the net and drops sharply. Passing shot : A shot which passes the opposing player or team. Push shot : A gentle shot played by pushing the shuttlecock with a little wrist motion. Rally : The exchange of shots that decides each point. Serve : The stroke used to put the shuttlecock into play at the start of each rally; also called a "service". Service court : The area into which a service must be delivered. Different for singles and doubles. Set : To choose to extend a game beyond its normal ending score if the score is tied with one point to go. Short service line : The front line of the service courts 1.98 metres from the net. Singles : A game where one player plays against another player. Singles sideline : The side boundary of a singles court. Smash : A hard-hit overhead shot that forces the shuttle sharply downwards into the opponent's court. Wood shot : A legal shot in which the shuttle hits the frame of the racket

Different Equipment Needed in Playing Badminton

Badminton Racket
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. 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.

The badminton shuttlecock, also referred to as a birdie, acts similarly to a ball in other racket sports. However, the design of the birdie creates more drag as it is propelled through the air due to its feathered shape. The shuttlecock is made up of a cone shape with a hard cork at its tip. Shuttlecocks can be made from a variety of materials -- more expensive models are actually made from feathers, and less expensive models are made from plastic. A Shuttlecock shall have 16 feathers fixed in a cork base covered in kid leather. Interestingly, the best Badminton Shuttlecocks are made from feathers from the left wing of a goose. The feathers shall be measured from the tip to the top of the base and each shuttle shall be of the same length. This length can be between 62mm and 70mm. The shuttle shall weigh between 4.74 to 5.50 grams.

Badminton Court
Badminton courts measure 44 feet long by 20 feet wide with a center net line separation that creates a 22-feet-long by 20-feet-wide area on each side. Badminton courts have boundary lines marking the 44-feet-long by 20feet-wide outline; these lines are the long service lines for singles play and the sidelines for doubles play. Single side lines are marked 1 1/2 feet from the doubles sideline, or outer boundary line. Lines on the court marked 6 1/2 feet from the center line are the short service lines. A center line running from the short service line to the back boundary line separates the left and right sides of the court.

Badminton Net
A badminton net is 2 1/2-feet deep and is raised 5 feet high across the center of the badminton court, over the net line. Often made from vinyl mesh, most nets have a leather or cotton top. At the beginning of the badminton game and whenever the server's score is an even number, servers serve the shuttle over the net to the opposing player from the right side of the court. Servers serve the shuttle over the net from the left side of the court when their score is an odd number. Servers serve from the opposite side of their court when they win a rally and a point. Doubles badminton play observe the same serving rules as singles badminton play with the exception of passing the serve. Serves pass consecutively to players opposite each other on the badminton court.

Accessories Badminton Clothes

Always wear shirts and shorts that are comfortable and will not hinder your movements. You can wear a cotton round-neck or a collar t-shirts with a pair of light shorts. Badminton is a game with much cardiovascular activity. So there will always be a lot of sweat. Usually a normal cotton t-shirt will do well to absorb your sweat, but you can always go for a more fancy shirt that does it better. A track suit is useful too, so that you can warm up before play and cool down gradually afterwards.

Badminton Shoes
Badminton shoes are light and have thin soles that allow the player to move quickly in any direction. The soles are made of high-grip rubber or another type of non-marking material.

Wrist Band
If you are those that perspire a lot, consider getting a wrist band. It will prevent your sweat from flowing to your racket handle.

Wear a pair of thick cotton socks as they help to absorb sweat. It will prevent your feet from slipping inside your shoes. Nylon socks can stretch and provide good fit but are not suitable for badminton as they can't absorb much sweat.

Head Band
Wear a Head Band if you are wearing spectacles. It will prevent your lenses from getting wet. Head Bands will also stop the sweat from getting into your eyes.