Authored by paulking

Badminton: Not for Wimps Only

Badminton can be a fast and furious game of wits and agility if you know how to play. Or just enjoy this activity for all ages in your backyard.

Think of badminton as the little sport that could. It doesn't require the muscle of football or the daring of skiing, but it's a fast and furious game of wits and agility in the hands of pros.

Sure, badminton is easy to pick up - even for the young, the old and the less athletically inclined. But at its highest level, it's a physically demanding sport that requires speed, endurance and skill. In fact, it debuted as a full-medal event at the 1992 Olympics.

The name of the game A game resembling badminton goes back to ancient Greece and Egypt. The version we know, though, was brought to England by British army officers stationed in India. In the 1860s, it became a popular game at an English duke's country estate named Badminton.

Call it "tennis meets volleyball" with two or four players. You hit the shuttlecock - also called a bird - over the net with a lightweight racket. The bird is a small, round piece of cork or rubber attached to a cone of feathers or plastic.

You can buy a badminton set that includes a net, rackets and shuttlecocks. You can even stretch a string across the playing area - five feet off the ground - to serve as the net. Or many backyard games skip the net entirely.

The rules of the game Badminton can be played indoors or outdoors. The first to serve the shuttlecock stands in the right half of the playing area. He or she serves to the diagonally opposite side over the net.

Going by rules of the International Badminton Federation, you score when you serve or hit the shuttlecock over the net and it is not properly returned. The other side gets the point if the shuttlecock goes out of bounds, into the net or if it touches your clothing before it goes over the net.

The first team to win two matches of 21 points takes the game. If the score is 20-all, the side that gains a two-point lead first is the winner. If the game goes to 29-all, the side scoring the 30th point wins. After each match, players change sides. The winner of the last match serves first.

Other organizations play 15 points for men's matches and 11 points for women's. Rules may also vary between singles and doubles games.

The strokes Like tennis, badminton uses a forehand or backhand swing. You're either gripping the racket with the back of your hand facing you (forehand) or away from you.

You want to hit the shuttlecock as soon as possible during the volley. Once you get the hang of it, try these more advanced shots:

Clear: Aim for the back of the court. This will move your opponent back from the net and give you more time to prepare your next shot.
Drop: This is a slow, gentle shot that drops the bird just over the net.
Smash: This is a powerful overhead shot. You slam the shuttlecock into the ground when it's just above the net.
Drive: This fast line-drive shot slips just over the net.

Play to win If you're playing competitively, strategy is key. Start with what's called a "stance of readiness." Stand with your feet parallel and even with your shoulders, toes pointed toward the net. Bend your knees slightly and hold your racket with your arm against the front of your body. From this stance, you can move quickly in any direction.

Try to alternate clear and drop shots. When opportunity knocks, add smashes and drives. The idea is to keep your opponent on the defensive. As in any sport, look for his or her weakness and play to it.

Keep this up and you'll not only have fun, but you'll get a good aerobic workout. Just talk to your doctor before you increase your activity level. Badminton can be a more challenging sport than many people realize.


1 Byte
Markdown is supported
0% or
You are about to add 0 people to the discussion. Proceed with caution.
Finish editing this message first!
Please register or to comment