Badminton

Badminton is 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 always 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.

Origin

The sport of badminton has its origins in ancient civilizations in Europe and Asia. The ancient game known as battledore (bat or paddle) and shuttlecock probably originated more than 2000 years ago.

In the 1600s Battledore and Shuttlecock was an upper class pastime in England and many European countries. Battledore and Shuttlecock was simply two people hitting a shuttlecock backwards and forwards with a simple bat as many times as they could without allowing it to hit the ground.

History

The history of the development of modern badminton is a very long and complex one. Below is a brief account of the history of the game.

Origins of the Game

The sport of badminton has its origins in ancient civilizations in Europe and Asia. The ancient game known as battledore (bat or paddle) and shuttlecock probably originated more than 2000 years ago.

In the 1600s Battledore and Shuttlecock was an upper class pastime in England and many European countries. Battledore and Shuttlecock was simply two people hitting a shuttlecock backwards and forwards with a simple bat as many times as they could without allowing it to hit the ground.

Contemporary Badminton

A contemporary form of badminton – a game called ‘Poon’, was played in India in the 1800s where a net was introduced and players hit the shuttlecock across the net. British officers in the mid 1800’s took this game back to England and it was introduced as a game for the guests of the Duke of Beaufort at his stately home ‘Badminton’ in Gloucestershire, England where it became popular.

In March 1898, the first Open Tournament was held at Guildford the first ‘All England’ Championships were held the following year. Denmark, USA and Canada became ardent followers of the game during the 1930s.

IBF Established in 1934

Then in 1934, the International Badminton Federation was formed with the initial members including England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Holland, Canada, New Zealand and France with India joining as an affiliate in 1936.

The first major IBF tournament was the Thomas Cup (world men’s team championships) in 1948. Since then, the number of world events has increased with the addition of the Uber Cup (women’s team), World Championships (individual events), Sudirman Cup (mixed team), World Junior Championships and the World Grand Prix Finals.

Commonwealth Games Sport – 1966

Badminton was introduced as a Commonwealth Games program sport in Kingston Jamaica in 1966 and has been part of every Commonwealth Games program since then. Initially all five disciplines were included – singles (men, women), doubles (men, women) and mixed doubles with the Teams Event included in the program in later Commonwealth Games.

Olympic Games Sport – 1992

Badminton is a relatively new Olympic Games sport. After being a demonstration sport in Munich in 1972, badminton became an Olympic sport in Barcelona in 1992 with the singles and doubles disciplines introduced for the first time in the Olympic Games. In Atlanta in 1996, a mixed doubles event was included and this is the only mixed doubles event in all of the Olympic sports.

The following countries have won medals in badminton at an Olympic Games since its introduction in 1992 – China, Denmark, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Russia.

Susi Susanti from Indonesia won the women’s singles in Barcelona, becoming Indonesia’s first medalist in the 40 years Indonesia had competed at the Games. In the same Olympic Games, Alan Budi Kusama won Indonesia’s second gold medal in the men’s badminton singles.

Governing Bodies

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the international governing body for the sport of badminton recognized by the International Olympic Committee IOC. Founded in 1934 as the International Badminton Federation with nine member nations (Canada, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales), the BWF has since expanded to 176 member nations around the world. On 24 September 2006 at the Extraordinary General Meeting in Madrid, it was decided to adopt the new name Badminton World Federation (BWF).

Its head office was located in Cheltenham, UK since its founding but on 1 October 2005, it was relocated to Kuala Lumpur. Its current president is Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen

Foundation

The process to found the IAAF was started at a meeting in Stockholm, Sweden on July 17 1912 soon after the completion of the 1912 Summer Olympics in that city. Here 27 representatives from 17 national federations agreed to meet at a congress in Germany the following year overseen by Sigfrid Edström who was to become the fledgling organization’s first president. The congress that started on August 20 1913 in Berlin is when the foundation of the IAAF was formally completed.

Qualification

The IOC sets minimum qualifying times for each running event. Those that achieve this minimum standard and are selected by their National Olympic Committee compete at the Olympic Games. Track events are decided by running heats with the top two to four athletes qualifying for the next round all the way up to the final.

Events

Athletics can be divided into four areas: track events ranging from 100m sprints to long distance races of 10,000m, field events such as long jump, discus and javelin, road events comprising the marathons and long distance walks and the combined events of heptathlon for women and decathlon for men.

Area Associations

The IAAF has a total of 214 member federations divided into 6 area associations.

  • AAA – Asian Athletics Association in Asia
  • CAA – Confederation of African Athletics in Africa
  • CONSUDATLE – Confederación Sudamericana de Atletismo in South America
  • EAA – European Athletic Association in Europe
  • NACACAA – North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association in North America
  • OAA – Oceania Athletics Association in Oceania

Game Rules

The Laws of Badminton and Competition Regulations in the BWF Statutes provide the detail on every aspect of the game of badminton.

Below is a brief overview – simplified rules.

Scoring System

  • A match consists of the best of 3 games of 21 points.
  • Every time there is a serve – there is a point scored.
  • The side winning a rally adds a point to its score.
  • At 20 all, the side which gains a 2 point lead first wins that game.
  • At 29 all, the side scoring the 30th point wins that game.
  • The side winning a game serves first in the next game.

Interval and Change of Ends

  • When the leading score reaches 11 points, players have a 60 second interval.
  • A 2 minute interval between each game is allowed.
  • In the third game, players change ends when the leading score reaches 11 points.

Singles

  • At the beginning of the game (0-0) and when the server’s score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When the server’s score is odd, the server serves from the left service court.
  • If the server wins a rally, the server scores a point and then serves again from the alternate service court.
  • If the receiver wins a rally, the receiver scores a point and becomes the new server. They serve from the appropriate service court – left if their score is odd, and right if it is even.

Doubles

  • A side has only one ‘service’.
  • The service passes consecutively to the players as shown in the diagram.
  • At the beginning of the game and when the score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When it is odd, the server serves from the left court.
  • If the serving side wins a rally, the serving side scores a point and the same server serves again from the alternate service court.
  • If the receiving side wins a rally, it scores a point and becomes the new serving side.
  • The players do not change their respective service courts until they win a point when their side is serving.

If players commit an error in the service court, the error is corrected when the mistake is discovered.

In a doubles match between A & B against C & D. A & B won the toss and decided to serve. A to serve to C. A shall be the initial server while C shall be the initial receiver.

Equipments

  • Shuttlecock: Also called a shuttle, it weighs between 4.74 and 5.5 grams and can be made from natural or synthetic material, the premium versions using cork and 16 goose feathers.
  • Racket: At 67cm it is longer than a tennis racket and with a smaller head, designed to combine a lightweight feel (weighing just 85g-100g) and fast response.