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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. A
rally ends once the shuttlecock has struck the ground, and the shuttlecock may only be
struck once by each side before it passes over the net.

The shuttlecock (or shuttle) is a feathered projectile whose unique aerodynamic

properties cause it to fly differently from 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 stubbornly affected by wind,
competitive badminton is best 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
is a man and a woman. At high levels of play, the sport demands excellent fitness:
players require aerobic stamina, agility, strength, speed, and precision. It is also a
technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of
sophisticated racquet movements.

History and development

Badminton was known in very ancient times; an early form of the sport was played in
ancient Greece. 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 1860s, 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.[2]

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

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.[3] 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.[4] They also
started the All England Open Badminton Championships, the first badminton
competition in the world, in 1899.

The International Badminton Federation (IBF) (now known as Badminton World
Federation) 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.[3]

While originated in England, international badminton has traditionally been

dominated by Denmark from Europe. Indonesia, South Korea and Malaysia are
among the nations that have consistently produced world-class players in the past few
decades and dominated competitions on the international level, with China being the
most dominant in recent years.[5]


Badminton racquets are light, with top quality racquets weighing between 79 and 91
grams including the strings.[8][9] They are composed of many different materials
ranging from carbon fibre composite (graphite reinforced plastic) to solid steel, which
may be augmented by a variety of materials. Carbon fibre has an excellent strength to
weight ratio, is stiff, and gives excellent kinetic energy transfer. Before the adoption
of carbon fibre composite, racquets were made of light metals such as aluminium.


Badminton strings are thin, high performing strings in the range of about 0.65 to 0.73
millimeters thickness. Thicker strings are more durable, but many players prefer the
feel of thinner strings. String tension is normally in the range of 80 to 130 newtons
(18 to 36 lbf). Recreational players generally string at lower tensions than
professionals, typically between 18 and 25 lbf (110 N). Professionals string between
about 25 and 36 lbf (160 N).


The choice of grip allows a player to increase the thickness of his racquet handle and
choose a comfortable surface to hold. A player may build up the handle with one or
several grips before applying the final layer.

Players may choose between a variety of grip materials. The most common choices
are PU synthetic grips or toweling grips. Grip choice is a matter of personal
preference. Players often find that sweat becomes a problem; in this case, a drying
agent may be applied to the grip or hands, or sweatbands may be used, or the player
may choose another grip material or change his grip more frequentl.

A shuttlecock (often abbreviated to shuttle and also known as a birdie) is a high-drag
projectile, with an open conical shape: the cone is formed from sixteen overlapping

goose feathers embedded into a rounded cork base. The cork is covered with thin
leather or synthetic material.

Synthetic shuttles are often used by recreational players to reduce their costs as
feathered shuttles break easily. These nylon shuttles may be produced with a cork
made of a hard sponge instead of natural cork.


Badminton shoes are lightweight with soles of rubber or similar high-grip, non-
marking materials.

Compared to running shoes, badminton shoes have little lateral support. High levels
of lateral support are useful for activities where lateral motion is undesirable and

To win in badminton, players need to employ a wide variety of strokes in the right
situations. These range from powerful jumping smashes to delicate tumbling net
returns. Often rallies finish with a smash, but setting up the smash requires subtler
strokes. For example, a netshot can force the opponent to lift the shuttlecock, which
gives an opportunity to smash. If the netshot is tight and tumbling, then the opponent's
lift will not reach the back of the court, which makes the subsequent smash much
harder to return.


Both pairs will try to gain and maintain the attack, smashing downwards when
possible. Whenever possible, a pair will adopt an ideal attacking formation with one
player hitting down from the rearcourt, and his partner in the midcourt intercepting all
smash returns except the lift. If the rearcourt attacker plays a dropshot, his partner will
move into the forecourt to threaten the net reply. If a pair cannot hit downwards, they
will use flat strokes in an attempt to gain the attack. If a pair is forced to lift or clear
the shuttlecock, then they must defend: they will adopt a side-by-side position in the
rear midcourt, to cover the full width of their court against the opponents' smashes. In
doubles, players generally smash to the middle ground between two players in order
to take advantage of confusion and clashes

Mixed doubles

In mixed doubles, both pairs try to maintain an attacking formation with the woman at
the front and the man at the back. This is because the male players are substantially
stronger, and can therefore produce more powerful smashes. As a result, mixed
doubles requires greater tactical awareness and subtler positional play. Clever
opponents will try to reverse the ideal position, by forcing the woman towards the
back or the man towards the front. In order to protect against this danger, mixed
players must be careful and systematic in their shot selection.[