Badminton is a popular and physically demanding game with an interesting history. Like most
sports, it requires that players be physically fit and alert. The game demands intense playing
time on the court—in fact, games can last anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes. Badminton
is considered a good sport to help build and maintain overall fitness. During an average game,
players jump, run, turn and twist in many different directions. In fact, a top-level amateur
badminton player runs more in a badminton game than a football end does during a one-hour
football game. A badminton player also uses his/her arms more than a pitcher does in the
average one and one-half hour baseball game! In short, badminton is great aerobic exercise.
It’s a fun sport and also is a means to better physical fitness.
HISTORY OF THE GAME
Badminton is said to have been played centuries ago in China; the earliest written records
of the game date back to the twelfth century. However, the game that we know today as
badminton was first played in England in 1873 by soldiers returning from military ser
vice in India. There the game was called “poona.” In 1903, the first international badminton
competition was played in Ireland. The International Badminton Federation (IBF) was founded
in 1934. The IBF claims that today, more than 53 countries participate in international badminton
competitions. Badminton is not just a local or national activity. It is an Olympic sport.
HOW BADMINTON IS PLAYED
In many ways, badminton is similar to tennis. Once it is determined which player will
serve first, play starts from the right service court. A “shuttlecock” or “shuttle” is used
instead of a ball. One popular form of shuttle has a cork base with sixteen feathers arranged
around the edges. This type of shuttle is light in weight — only one-sixth of an ounce,
although it is more expensive than the plastic version. The plastic shuttle is thought to be as
effective as the feathered version, is more durable and less expensive. When served, the
shuttle has to fall into the corresponding court diagonally opposite the server. The receiving
player then returns the shuttle and continues to do so until one player either fails to return the
shuttle or commits a fault. In badminton, a fault consists of a shuttle falling outside the
boundaries, failing to go over the net, and/or going through the net. Striking the shuttle before
it crosses the net and touching the net with the racquet or part of the body also qualify as faults.
The server is the only player who can make points. If the server wins the point, he or she
continues to serve. However, the second serve then is made from the left side of the court.
The serve lasts until the player fails to hit the serve into the proper court or makes a fault.
When this happens, the second player serves his/her first service from the right court. The
serving player alternates from the right to the left service court until the serve is lost.
The International Badminton Federation’s new scoring rulenumber 9.3 states that for men’s
singles or doubles gamesif a player (or side) achieves the score 15-0, the game is won. A
match is considered the best two out of three games. The same rules that apply tosingles play
also apply to doubles play except for the order or serving and receiving. TheIBF scoring rules
for women’s singles and doubles list 11 points as needed to win a game.
Basic forehand shots are similar to throwing a ball: the hand flexes at the wrist. Basic backhand
shots are best described as flicking: the hand extends at the wrist. Both types of basic shots are
best executed when the player is in a ready stance—knees bent, arms at waist level and weight
The serve is an underhand shot. The racquet head must be below the level of the server’s
hand while the shuttle is hit below waist level. It is especially important to follow through
the serve by continuing to keep the racquet moving upward after the shuttle is hit. If the
racquet does not complete the follow-through, the shuttle may end up in an undesirable location.
This type of shot is considered the ultimate “attacking” shot and requires a powerful arm
stroke. It can be played from anywhere on the court, although it is usually played between
the doubles back and the front service lines.
This unusual defensive stroke is employed in singles and generally used sparingly. The
object is to hit the shuttle high and deep to the opponent’s back court. This shot is played
well behind the shuttle. The point of impact is directly above or slightly behind the head.
The arm moves straight up as racquet head and shuttle meet.
This shot is sometimes referred to as a “controlled smash” shot. It differs from the smash
because it is hit with less force. The drop is considered a sure way to score a point when
the opponent is out of position. To execute this shot, the player must use the same motion
as with any overhand stroke except that he/she tilts the racquet head slightly to cause the
shuttle to move downward.
This shot is used when the shuttle is too low to smash. The forehand drive is hit hard
with the full racquet face slightly in front of the body at full arm’s length.
FOREHAND UNDERARM CLEAR
This can be a tricky shot. It is best described as hitting a high serve, only lower down.
The player lunges forward with the front knee bent and the back leg slightly bent while
he/she leans toward the shuttle.
The overhand backhand shot is performed the same way that the clear and smash are played.
This shot demands both excellent timing and wrist-snap action.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING
The equipment needed to play badminton is simple. Aside from the regulation court (22 feet
in length by 17 feet in width) and net, badminton requires only a racquet and shuttlecock.
The badminton racquet resembles a tennis racquet, although it is lighter in weight—usually
between three and five ounces. Most contemporary players prefer metal racquets over wooden
ones. Clothing is similar to that worn by tennis players: light polo shirts or blouses are worn to
provide freedom of movement. Footwear should provide good support and an adequate grip
on the surface of the court.
BADMINTON NOTES AND NEWS
In recent badminton news, the 2001 Seville World Championship saw some outstanding
play. In the men’s singles Hendrawan of Indonesia beat Peter Grade of Denmark (15/6,
17/16). The winner of the women’s singles was Gong Ruina of China. She beat out ZhouMi
also of China (11/9, 11/4). In the men’s doubles Tony Gunawan and Halim Haryantoof
Indonesia beat Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon of Korea (15/0, 15/13). The women’s
doubles saw Gao Ling and Huang Sui of China beat Zhang Jiewen and Wen Yili ofChina
(15/11, 17/15). Mixed doubles winners were Zhang Jun and Gao Ling of China.The World
Cup competition was held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Men’s Singles championship was won
by Joko Suprianto of Indonesia and the Women’s Singles was won byChina’s Ye Zhaoying.
Badminton is also an Olympic sport. The top two finishers in each group at the Sydney
Olympic competition in 2000 are listed below.
1. XINPENG JI (CHINA)
2. HENRA WAN (INDONESIA)
1. ZHICHAO GONG (CHINA)
2. CARMILLA MARTIN (DENMARK)
WHAT TO DO
The following questions will help you to have a greater appreciation and understanding
of badminton. Write your answers in the spaces below the questions. If there is not
enough room, write on the backs of these sheets. Be neat, spell correctly, and write in
1. Why is badminton a good game to help maintain and improve physical fitness?
2. What equipment is needed to play badminton?
3. Who can make points in a badminton game?
4. How is a badminton game won?
5. Describe a forehand shot.
6. What is a smash shot?
7. What is a drop? a backhand drop?
8. When is a forehand drive used?
9. What is especially tricky about the forehand underarm clear?
10. Give a brief history of badminton.
Short Answer Questions:
1. Acronym for badminton federation founded in 1934
2. This is always an underhand shot
3. A badminton racquet is ______ than a tennis racquet
4. Name of badminton played by British in India
5. The ultimate attacking shot
6. A controlled smash
7. When a shuttlecock falls out of bounds
8. What you hit in badminton
9. Number of points needed to win a game
10. This is 22 feet long and 17 feet wide
11. Best of three games
12. Vanes used to be made of them
13. A shuttlecock weighs one-sixth of one
14. The only player who can score a point
15. A rarely used high and deep defensive stroke
16. Motion similar to throwing a ball
17. Shuttlecocks are now made of this
18. Where badminton was played hundreds of years ago
19. The traditional shuttlecock base was made of this material
20. Done with a “flicking” motion