A little-known fact about badminton is that it demands high fitness levels from its players in addition to agility, speed and accuracy. Introduction of badminton at the Olympics added to its appeal. Read on to find out about the history of badminton. Learn more about the various badminton tournaments organized the world over.
The history of badminton shows that it had its roots in an old children’s game in England known as battledore and shuttlecock. British Army officers in India played a grown up version of this game. Known in its early days as ‘poona’, it was played with many people who tried to keep the ‘bird’ in air. A net came to be added later and badminton in its present form was born. This sport derived its name from Badminton House in Gloucestershire where the game was played at a lawn party. The International Badminton Federation (IBF) that was started in 1934 now has more than 130 member countries. The Asian countries now dominate the badminton scene and they continue to rule the roost as far as tournaments go. Badminton matches draw thousands of spectators in Malaysia, Indonesia and China.
Badminton in the U.S. began as a weekend meeting place for New York’s society leaders with the formation of the Badminton Club of New York in 1878. Clubs and YMCAs and educational institutions began to offer training in badminton. Several Hollywood personalities like James Cagney, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were avid badminton players. The United States Badminton Association (USBA) has its national office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This body focuses on promoting badminton within the country and developing players.
Badminton – Little Known Facts
A badminton shuttle has known to clock in excess of 180 mph. Did you know that the best badminton shuttle is one that is made from the feathers from the left wing of a goose?. Badminton players need to possess quick response and agility. With badminton matches lasting even up to a couple of hours, it is little wonder that badminton players need to have rigorous training to build up stamina and concentration. In addition, quick reflexes and rapid hand-eye coordination are a prerequisite for any aspiring badminton player. Badminton, unlike most other racquet sports does not use a ball but a shuttlecock that cannot touch the ground during a rally.
Look at these amazing statistics comparing a badminton match with a tennis match. Badminton provides a vigorous cardiovascular workout for the player. In fact, the Department of Physical Education at Baylor University describes it as ‘one of the finest conditioning game activities available’.
A statistical comparison reveals the following:
Tennis Time duration: 3 hours 18 minutes
Badminton Time duration: 1 hour 16 minutes
Tennis Ball/Shuttle in play: 18 minutes
Badminton Ball/Shuttle in play: 37 minutes
Tennis Match intensity: 9%
Badminton Match intensity: 48%
Tennis Shots: 1004
Badminton Shots: 1972
Tennis Shots per rally: 3.4
Badminton Shots per rally: 13.5
Tennis Distance covered: 2 miles
Badminton Distance covered: 4 miles
The badminton rule regarding the shuttle is that it can be made from natural, synthetic or a combination of both materials. The badminton shuttle is a combination of a few bird feathers, a wooden cork, string and glue. It must have 16 feathers fixed in the base. Test a shuttle using a full underhand stroke. The badminton racket also must conform to the badminton rulebook. A badminton racket is usually made from hickory carbon alloys or steel. The badminton game rally is aimed at hitting the shuttle over the net onto the opponent’s court. You lose the rally by either hitting outside the opponents court or hitting the shuttle into the net or even if the shuttle touches you or your clothing. The badminton rule allows you to accumulate points until you have reached the winning target before your opponent. The attacking and defensive factors are crucial to win a badminton game. The attacking game attempts to increase your chance of accumulating points. The defensive game aims at decreasing the opponent’s chance of accumulating points. The badminton rulebook prescribes the following scoring system:
* A match shall consist of the best of 3 games unless otherwise arranged.
* In doubles and men’s singles, the first side to score 15 points wins a game.
* In ladies’ singles, the first side to score 11 points wins the game.
* The side winning a game serves first in the next game.
* The badminton rule for scoring is that the serving side can add a point to its score.
Badminton Court - Badminton Court Size
The American Badminton Association recommends a ground space of about 1620 square feet for a badminton court size. The Singles badminton court is 17’ X 44’ whereas a doubles court is 20’ X 44’. There should be a minimum 5’ unobstructed area on all sides of the badminton court. The recommended surface for a badminton court is concrete or bituminous material. The badminton court can be optionally protected with a color coating if it is a permanent installation. The badminton court must be leveled and smooth but not slippery. The badminton court net can be made of fine cord of dark color and even thickness. The specifications for the badminton court net are that it should have a mesh of not less than 15 mm and not more than 20 mm. The net must be at least 6.1 meters wide.
Badminton Lesson Plan
Any badminton lesson plan begins with serving. Aiming a good serve is vital – you need to either aim for the opponent’s backhand side of the service area or serve it short just over the net. Hold the badminton racket as if you were shaking hands with it. The doubles service needs short and accurate serving.
Nimble footwork is also a key focal point of any badminton lesson plan. It is vital to cover all corners of the court with minimal steps. A fast drop that is well placed can put the opponent under pressure. Making the opponent run back and forth on the court is another good badminton lesson plan.
Any badminton lesson plan needs to be adapted to suit your fitness levels. Extending your rally is a good strategy if your fitness level is superior to that of your opponent. This type of game hinges on your opponent making a mistake. In contrast, if you are facing an opponent with better fitness levels, you can resort to accuracy and consistency to control the pace of the game. Timing is another crucial area that any badminton lesson plan needs to address. It can make the difference between making and missing the match.
Badminton at the Olympics
Badminton made an entry on the Olympic scene in 1992. All eyes are now trained on the coming Summer Olympics at Athens. The last Olympics saw China leading the Badminton medals tally followed by Indonesia and Korea. In fact, the Chinese badminton squad swept the men’s singles and women’s doubles and made Olympic history by earning the gold, silver and bronze. They romped home with eight medals at the 2000 Olympics.
Badminton China Open
The China Open Badminton Championships 2007 was held at Guangzhou in the P. R. of China from November 20 – 25 2007. The Badminton China Open this year was marked by the dominance of Chinese women who took most of the medals
Top seeded Men’s Singles Players
1 BAO Chunlai China
2 Chong Wei LEE Malaysia
3 Sung Hwan PARK Korea
Top seeded Women’s Singles Players
1 Mew Choo WONG Malaysia
2 Xingfang XIE China
3 Lan LU China
It was in the 1980s that badminton became a professional sport when the IBF started the World Grand Prix Circuit. The USBA Classic Series is the premier badminton tournament in the U.S. wherein players compete in five regional tournaments.
The first Thomas Cup tournament was held in 1949 at Queen’s Hall in Preston. Late Sir George Thomas was the founder president of the IBF. The Cup has stayed with 3 Asian countries since its inaugural match – Indonesia, Malaysia and China. This badminton tournament is held every two years. The Thomas Cup is played over the best of five matches over one day.
The Uber Cup was held in Lancashire in Britain as an alternative to the Thomas Cup in the Women’s category. U.S.A, Japan, China and Indonesia have retained the Uber Cup between themselves in all these years
Badminton is played as a recreational and professional sport. A badminton club is the ideal place to begin your initiation into the sport. Most educational institutions and private clubs offer badminton coaching. A coach at the badminton club can guide with the right techniques to get your game going. Regular family memberships are also offered at many a badminton club. Badminton is an excellent aerobic sport that can enhance your fitness levels and provide you and your family a recreational activity.