Badminton Equipment

Badminton is not for the faint-hearted, while a shuttlecock may look pretty innocent don’t be fooled because it’s faster than a squash or tennis ball thanks to its amazing aerodynamic design. The Guinness book of Records has recorded them at 162 miles per hour, compared to 151mph for its closest racket sport rival, the squash ball.


Early game play with shuttlecocks (originally a piece of light wood or cork trimmed with feathers) dates back to Ancient Greece and travelled across the Indo-Greek kingdoms through India to China and Siam.  On arrival in Europe the popular medieval children’s game battledore and shuttlecock (AKA ‘jeu de volant’) was born, and all these games involved hitting the shuttlecock with a racket to and fro for non-specified numbers of players without letting it fall to the ground.


Badminton in its current form traces back to colonial India in the mid 19th century where it was a popular pastime for the British military officers stationed there.  With the addition of a net and a court, the introduction of sides and a scoring system it began to look a lot more like the game millions all over the world enjoy today.


The Badminton World Federation (formerly the International Badminton Federation) was established in 1934.  Today it governs the sport and builds interest and participation globally.


Because it’s played with a shuttlecock, competitive badminton is an indoor sport featuring a court 44 by 17 feet and requiring 6.5 feet of clear space alongside each edge.  The floor needs to be smooth and is typically wooden or composite.  The net sits 5 foot 1 inch high at each end and 5 feet high at the centre. 


Here in the UK there are plenty of courts available for the casual player and clubs for those keen to learn, improve and compete.


If you’re concerned you might not be able to keep up with those speedy shuttlecocks don’t worry, there are a range of rackets and shuttles for all abilities added to which the humidity of your playing environment will impact on the speed at which your shuttlecock flies. 


As well as investing in the right racket and shuttlecock good shoes are a must so you can keep your rallies going with some agile footwork.


And if the speed is the main appeal for you why not try ‘speedminton’ – the latest variation of the game played in any suitable outdoor space and net free with specially designed shuttlecocks.  It’s rapidly rising in popularity as an urban sport and a great way to build fitness and improve your level for all racket sports.

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