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 The Game of Badminton

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PostSubject: The Game of Badminton   4th March 2008, 11:03 pm



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 racquets 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 is a feathered projectile whose unique aerodynamic properties cause it to fly differently from the balls used in most racket sports; in particular, the feathers create much higher drag, causing the shuttlecock to decelerate more rapidly than a ball. Because shuttlecock flight is strongly affected by wind, competitive badminton is always played indoors. Badminton is also played outdoors as a casual recreational activity, often as a garden or beach game.

Badminton is an Olympic sport with five competitive disciplines: 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, strength, and speed. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racket skills. History and development
Battledore and Shuttlecock. 1854, from the John Leech Archive

Badminton was known in ancient times; an early form of sport played in ancient Greece and Egypt. 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 rackets. The game was called "Poona" in India during the 18th Century, and British Army Officers stationed there and they took a competitive Indian version back to England in the 1860's 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

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 Badminton.

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] However, in 1893, the Badminton Association of England published the first set of rules according to these regulations, similar to that of today, and officially launched badminton in a house called "Dunbar" at 6 Waverley Grove, Portsmouth, England on September 13 of that year. They also started the All England Open Badminton Championships, the first badminton competition in the world, in 1899.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) 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.

While originated in England, badminton has traditionally been dominated by a few Asian countries and Denmark from Europe on the world stage. China, Indonesia, South Korea and Malaysia are among the nations that have consistently produced world-class players generations after generations in the past few decades and dominating competitions on the international level, with China being the most dominant in recent years.

Laws of the gameThe following information is a simplified summary of the Laws, not a complete reproduction. The definitive source of the Laws is the IBF Laws publication, although the digital distribution of the Laws contains poor reproductions of the diagrams.


Playing court dimension
Badminton court, isometric viewThe court is rectangular and divided into halves by a net. Courts are almost always marked for both singles and doubles play, although the laws permit a court to be marked for singles only. The doubles court is wider than the singles court, but the doubles service court is shorter than the singles service court.
The full width of the court is 6.1 metres (20 ft), and in singles this width is reduced to 5.18 metres (17 ft). The full length of the court is 13.4 metres (44 ft). The service courts are marked by a centre line dividing the width of the court, by a short service line at a distance of 1.98 metres (6.5 ft) from the net, and by the outer side and back boundaries. In doubles, the service court is also marked by a long service line, which is 0.78 metres (2 ft 6 inch) from the back boundary.
The net is 1.55 metres (5 ft 1 inch) high at the edges and 1.524 metres (5 ft) high in the centre. The net posts are placed over the doubles side lines, even when singles is played.
Surprisingly, there is no mention in the Laws of a minimum height for the ceiling above the court. Nonetheless, a badminton court will not be suitable if the ceiling is likely to be hit on a high serve.

Equipment laws
The Laws specify which equipment may be used. In particular, the Laws restrict the design and size of rackets and shuttlecocks. The Laws also provide for testing a shuttlecock for the correct speed:
To test a shuttlecock, use a full underhand stroke which makes contact with the shuttlecock over the back boundary line. The shuttlecock shall be hit at an upward angle and in a direction parallel to the side lines. ; 3.2 : A shuttlecock of the correct speed will land not less than 530 mm and not more than 990 mm short of the other back boundary line....
Scoring system and service
The scoring system changed in May 2006. For more information, see Scoring System Development of Badminton.
The basics
Each game is played up to 21 points, with players scoring a point whenever they win a rally (this differs from the old system, where players could only win a point on their serve). A match is the best of three games.

At the start of the rally, the server and receiver stand in diagonally opposite service courts (see court dimensions). The server hits the shuttlecock so that it would land in the receiver's service court. This is similar to tennis, except that a badminton serve must be hit from below the waist in underhand form (upwards), the shuttlecock is not allowed to bounce, and in tennis the players stand outside their service courts.

In singles, the server stands in his right service court when his score is even, and in his left service court when his score is odd.

In doubles, if the serving side wins a rally, the same player continues to serve, but he changes service courts so that he serves to each opponent in turn. When the serving side loses a rally, the serve passes to their opponents (unlike the old system, there is no "second serve"). If their new score is even, the player in the right service court serves; if odd, the player in the left service court serves. The players' service courts are determined by their positions at the start of the previous rally, not by where they were standing at the end of the rally.

A consequence of this system is that, each time a side regain the service, the server will be the player who did not serve last time.
Details
When the server serves, the shuttlecock must pass over the service line or it will count as a fault.

If the score reaches 20-all, then the game continues until one side gains a two point lead (such as 24-22), up to a maximum of 30 points (30-29 is a winning score).

At the start of a match a coin is tossed. The winners of the coin toss may choose whether to serve or receive first, or they may choose which end of the court they wish to occupy. Their opponents make the remaining choice. In less formal settings, the coin toss is often replaced by hitting a shuttlecock into the air: whichever side it points to serves first.

In subsequent games, the winners of the previous game serve first. For the first rally of any doubles game, the serving pair may decide who serves and the receiving pair may decide who receives. The players change ends at the start of the second game; if the match reaches a third game, they change ends both at the start of the game and when the leading pair's score reaches 11 points.

The server and receiver must remain within their service courts, without touching the boundary lines, until the server strikes the shuttlecock. The other two players may stand wherever they wish, so long as they do not unsight the opposing server or receiver.
Faults
Players win a rally by striking the shuttlecock onto the floor within the boundaries of their opponents' court. Players also win a rally if their opponents commit a fault. The most common fault in badminton is when the players fail to return the shuttlecock so that it passes over the net and lands inside their opponents' court, but there are also other ways that players may be faulted. The following information lists some of the more common faults.

Several faults pertain specifically to service. A serving player shall be faulted if he strikes the shuttlecock from above his waist (defined as his lowest rib), or if his racket is not pointing downwards at the moment of impact. This particular law changed in 2006: previously, the server's racket had to be pointing downwards to the extent that the racket head was below the hand holding the racket; now, any angle below the horizontal is acceptable.

Neither the server nor the receiver may lift a foot until the shuttlecock has been struck by the server. The server must also initially hit the base (cork) of the shuttlecock, although he may afterwards also hit the feathers as part of the same stroke. This law was introduced to ban an extremely effective service style known as the S-serve or Sidek serve, which allowed the server to make the shuttlecock spin chaotically in flight.

Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes back over the net; but during a single stroke movement, a player may contact a shuttlecock twice (this happens in some sliced shots). A player may not, however, hit the shuttlecock once and then hit it with a new movement, nor may he carry and sling the shuttlecock on his racket.

It is a fault if the shuttlecock hits the ceiling.

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