Badminton is a
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
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 each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it
passes over the net.
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
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 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.
1992, badminton has been an
Mixed doubles, in which each pair consists of a man and a woman.
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
and the development of sophisticated racquet movements.
History and development
beginnings of Badminton can be traced to mid-19th century British India,
where it was created by British
military officers stationed there.
Early photographs show Englishmen adding a net to the traditional English
game of battledore and shuttlecock.
International Badminton Federation (IBF) (now known as
Badminton World Federation)
was established in 1934 with
Wales as its founding members. India joined as
an affiliate in 1936. The BWF now governs international badminton and
develops the sport globally.
Laws of the game
information is a simplified summary of the Laws
Playing court dimensions
The court is
rectangular and divided into halves by a net. Courts are usually 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 both are the same length. The exception, which often causes
confusion to newer players, is that the doubles court has a shorter
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 ft
6 inch) 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 sidelines, even
when singles is played.
There is no
mention in the Laws of Badminton 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.
specify which equipment may be used. In particular, the Laws restrict the
design and size of racquets 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.
A shuttlecock of the correct speed will
land not less than 530 mm and not more than 990 mm short of the other back
Scoring system and
Each game is
played 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
server hits the shuttlecock so that it would land in the receiver's
service court. This is similar to
except that a badminton serve must be hit below waist height and with the
racquet shaft pointing downwards, the shuttlecock is not allowed to bounce
and in badminton, the players stand inside their service courts unlike
tennis. When the
serving side loses a rally, the serve passes to their opponent(s) (unlike
the old system, there is no "second serve" in doubles).
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. If the
opponents win the rally and 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
regains the service, the server will be the player who did not
serve last time.
server serves, the shuttlecock must pass over the short service line on
the opponents' court 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
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 the corked end points will be the
side that serves first.
games, the winners of the previous game serve first. These can also be
called rubbers. If one team wins a game they play once more and if they
win again they win that match, but if they lose they play one more match
to find the winning team. 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 insight the
opposing server or receiver.
Players win a
rally by striking the shuttlecock over the net and onto the floor within
the boundaries of their opponents' court ( Singles: the side tramlines are
out, but the back tramline is in. Doubles: the side tramlines are in, but
the back tramline is out (service only)). 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.
faults pertain specifically to service. A serving player shall be faulted
if the shuttlecock is above his
(defined as his lowest rib) at point of contact, or if his racket's head
is not pointing downwards at the moment of impact. This particular law was
modified 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; and now, any angle below the horizontal is acceptable.
server nor the receiver may lift a foot until the server has struck the
shuttlecock. 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
Each side may
only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes back over the net; but
during a single stroke movement, a player can 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.
let is called, the rally is stopped and replayed with no change to the
score. Lets may occur due to some unexpected disturbance such as a
shuttlecock landing on court (having been hit there by players on an
adjacent court) or in small halls the shuttle may touch an overhead rail
which can be classed as a let.
receiver is not ready when the service is delivered, a let shall be
called; yet, if the receiver attempts to return the shuttlecock, he shall
be judged to have been ready. There is no
let if the shuttlecock hits the tape (even on service).
are light, with top quality racquets weighing between 79 and 91 grams
including the strings. They are composed of many different materials
ranging from carbon fibre composite
reinforced plastic) to solid steel, which
may be augmented by a variety of materials.
has an excellent strength to weight ratio, is stiff, and gives excellent
transfer. Before the adoption of carbon fibre composite, racquets were
made of light metals such as aluminum. Earlier still, racquets were made
of wood. Cheap racquets are still often made of metals such as steel, but
wooden racquets are no longer manufactured for the ordinary market, due to
their excessive mass and cost. Nowadays, nanomaterials such as
and carbon nanotubes
are added to rackets giving them greater durability.
a wide variety of racquet designs, although the Laws limit the racquet
size and shape. Different racquets have playing characteristics that
appeal to different players. The traditional oval head shape is still
available, but an isometric
head shape is increasingly common in new racquets. They are most popular
to most players.
Badminton strings are thin, high performing strings in the range of about
0.65 to 0.73 mm 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 N
(18 to 36
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).
It is often
argued that high string tensions improve control, whereas low string
tensions increase power. The arguments for this generally rely on crude
mechanical reasoning, such as claiming that a lower tension string bed is
more bouncy and therefore provides more power. This is in fact incorrect,
for a higher string tension can cause the shuttle to slide off the racquet
and hence make it harder to hit a shot accurately. An alternative view
suggests that the optimum tension for power depends on the player: the
faster and more accurately a player can swing their racquet, the higher
the tension for maximum power. Neither view has been subjected to a
rigorous mechanical analysis, nor is there clear evidence in favour of one
or the other. The most effective way for a player to find a good string
tension is to experiment.
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.
may choose between a variety of grip materials. The most common choices
synthetic grips or towelling 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, sweatbands may be
used, the player may choose another grip material or change his grip more
There are two
main types of grip: replacement grips and overgrips.
Replacement grips are thicker, and are often used to increase the size of
the handle. Overgrips are thinner (less than 1 mm), and are often used as
the final layer. Many players, however, prefer to use replacement grips as
the final layer. Towelling grips are always replacement grips. Replacement
grips have an adhesive backing, whereas overgrips have only a small patch
of adhesive at the start of the tape and must be applied under tension;
overgrips are more convenient for players who change grips frequently,
because they may be removed more rapidly without damaging the underlying
shuttlecock (often abbreviated to shuttle and also commonly known
as a bird) is a high-drag
with an open conical shape:
the cone is formed from sixteen overlapping
embedded into a rounded cork base. The
is covered with thin leather
or synthetic material.
shuttles are often used by recreational players to reduce their costs as
feathered shuttles break easily. These nylon shuttles may be constructed
with either natural cork or synthetic foam base, and a plastic skirt.
nylon shuttlecocks come in three varieties, each variety for a different
range of temperatures. These three varieties are known as green (slow
speed which will give you an extra 40% hang time/shot length), blue
(middle speed), and red (fast speed). The colours, and therefore speeds,
are indicated by coloured strips fastened around the cork. In colder
temperatures, a faster shuttle is used, and in hotter climates, a slower
one is chosen.
are lightweight with soles of
or similar high-grip, non-marking materials.
to running shoes, badminton shoes have little
High levels of lateral support are useful for activities where lateral
motion is undesirable and unexpected. Badminton, however, requires
powerful lateral movements. A highly built-up lateral support will not be
able to protect the foot in badminton; instead, it will encourage
catastrophic collapse at the point where the shoe's support fails, and the
player's ankles are not ready for the sudden loading, which can cause
sprains. For this reason, players should choose badminton shoes rather
than general trainers or running shoes, because proper badminton shoes
will have a very thin sole, lower a person's centre of gravity, and
therefore result in fewer injuries. Players should also ensure that they
learn safe and proper footwork, with the knee and foot in alignment on all
lunges. This is not only a safety concern, as proper footwork is critical
in order to move effectively around the court.
The high service
Return of Service
foremost idea in your mind when receiving service should be to hit the
shuttle down. The stance you adopted should be the same no matter whether
you are playing singles or doubles. You have to be capable of dealing with
every type of service. Stand in your receiving court, about 3 feet from
the center service line and one to two/three (lady) feet behind the short
service. Place your left foot forward so that your feet are comfortable
apart and you are evenly balanced. Bend the knees a little and lean
slightly forward, so that your weight is mainly over your front foot. Hold
your racket in front of you, with the head of the racket up and just above
the height of the net, in a forehand grip.
take time to develop the ability to stand so close to the short service
line and still be able to get back to deal with the flick service.
to a short serve will depend on how early you can intercept the shuttle.
Once you defined it as a short service, push off with the back foot, with
the racket raised in front of you, towards the shuttle and do not wait
until it reaches you, cut it off ASAP. If you can meet the shuttle just as
it crosses and is still above the net, a sharp dab downwards is the
answer. You will not have time for a backswing so you have to rely on a
wrist action for power.
download stroke is not possible, you will have to drop the racket head
beneath the shuttle and stroke it back as close to the tape as possible. If a high
service is delivered, you will have ample time to move back and deal with
the shot as you would any other overhead stroke. The best reply is a
smash. You may be deceived by a flick service and if you really are
deceived you must make the best of it. Move quickly backwards and if you
can smash the shuttle. Often you will not be able to get behind a good
flick service and you will be left with either a drop shot or a clear. Try
to ensure your reply is to a spot that your opponent have left unguarded.
a drive service, because a drive service is so flat and fast, the best
return is to put the face of your racket in its path to allow the shuttle
to bounce off it. Use your wrist to flick it downwards or upwards to a
suitable space or aim directly to your opponent so he will not have
sufficient time to return.
The Overhead Forehand
most of the advanced user can deal with smash, clear and drop shot with
forehand as well as backhand, the clear is the most important in the group
when backhand is played. Most player especially novices find the backhand
corner of the court rather difficult to cope with and naturally their
opponents tend to take advantage of this fact.
backhand clear has therefore come to be recognized as the main defensive
measure to be taken. The ability to execute an effective backhand clear
depends entirely on a very powerful wrist flicking action and perfect
player can be really effective with the fackhand smash unless it is a
sitter near the net. It is not a shot to be played from the base line area
nor even from as far back in court as you would expect to be able to play
your forehand smash. Play it from mid or forcourt area and place the
shuttle in proper position to make it an effective skill.
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.
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.
court is narrower than the doubles court, but the same length, serve in
the single and double back box is out. Since one person needs to cover the
entire court, singles tactics are based on forcing the opponent to move as
much as possible; this means that singles strokes are normally directed to
the corners of the court. Players exploit the length of the court by
combining lifts and clears with drop shots and net shots. Smashing is less
prominent in singles than in doubles because players are rarely in the
ideal position to execute a smash, and smashing often leaves the smasher
vulnerable if the smash is returned.
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 smashes that are more
powerful. 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.
World Federation (BWF) is the internationally recognized governing body of
the sport. Five regional confederations are associated with the BWF:
Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC)
Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA)
Badminton Pan Am (North America and South
America belong to the same confederation; BPA)
Badminton Europe (BE)
Badminton Oceania (BO)
Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the international governing
body for the sport
Founded in 1934 as the International Badminton Federation with nine
member nations (Canada,
the BWF has since expanded to 159 member nations around the world. On
September 24, 2006, at the Extraordinary General Meeting in Madrid,
it was decided to adopt the new name Badminton World Federation (BWF).
office was located in Cheltenham,
UK since its founding, but on October 1, 2005, was relocated to
Its current president is Kang Young Joong.
organizes several international competitions, including the
the premier men's event, and the
the women's equivalent. The competitions take place once every two years.
More than 50 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within
continental confederations for a place in the finals. The final tournament
involves 12 teams, following an increase from eight teams in 2004.
The Sudirman Cup,
a mixed team event held once every two years, began in 1989. It is divided
into seven groups based on the performance of each country. To win the
tournament, a country must perform well across all five disciplines (men's
doubles and singles, women's doubles and singles, and mixed doubles). Like association football
(soccer), it features a promotion and relegation system in every group.
Individual competition in badminton was a demonstration event in the 1972
and 1988 Summer Olympics.
It became a Summer Olympics
sport at the Barcelona Olympics
The 32 highest ranked badminton players in the world participate in the
competition, and each country submitting three players to take part. In
the BWF World Championships,
only the highest ranked 64 players in the world, and a maximum of three
from each country, can participate in any category.
tournaments, along with the BWF World Junior Championships, are level one
start of 2007, the BWF also introduce a new tournament structure: the
BWF Super Series.
This level two tournament will stage twelve open tournaments around the
world with 32 players (half the previous limit). The players collect
points that determine whether they can play in Super Series Final held at
the year end.
paybtawsan tournaments will consist of
Grand Prix Gold and Grand Prix event.
Top players can collect the world ranking points and enable them to play
in the BWF Super Series open tournaments. These include the regional
competitions in Asia (Badminton
Asia Championships) and Europe (European
Badminton Championships), which produce
the world's best players as well as the
Pan America Badminton Championships.
The level four
tournaments, known as International Challenge, International Series and
Future Series, encourages participation by junior players.
other racquet sports
frequently compared to tennis. The following is a list of uncontentious
In tennis, the ball may bounce once
before the player hits it; in badminton, the rally ends once the
shuttlecock touches the floor.
In tennis, the serve is dominant to
the extent that the server is expected to win most of his service games; a
break of service, where the server loses the game, is of major
importance in a match. In badminton, however, the serving side and
receiving side have approximately equal opportunity to win the rally.
In tennis, the server is allowed two
attempts to make a correct serve; in badminton, the server is allowed only
In tennis, a let is played on
service if the ball hits the net tape; in badminton, there is no let on
The tennis court is larger than the
Tennis racquets are about four times
heavier than badminton racquets, 10-12 ounces (approximately 284-340
grams) versus 70-105 grams. Tennis balls are more than eleven times
heavier than shuttlecocks, 57 grams versus 5 grams.
The fastest recorded tennis stroke
153 mph (246 km/h) serve; the fastest recorded badminton stroke is Tan
Boon Heung's 261 mph (420 km/h) smash.
Comparisons of speed
and athletic requirements
such as the 261 mph (420 km/h) smash speed, above, prompt badminton
enthusiasts to make other comparisons that are more contentious.
balanced approach suggests the following comparisons, although these also
are subject to dispute:
Badminton, especially singles,
requires substantially greater aerobic stamina than tennis; the level of
aerobic stamina required by badminton singles is similar to
singles, although squash may have slightly higher aerobic requirements.
Tennis requires greater upper body
and core strength than badminton.
Badminton requires greater explosive
leg strength than tennis, and badminton men's doubles probably requires
much greater explosive leg strength than any other racket sport due to the
demands of performing multiple consecutive jumping smashes.
Badminton requires much greater
explosive athleticism than tennis and somewhat greater than squash, with
players required to jump for height or distance.
Badminton requires significantly
faster reaction times than either tennis or squash, although table tennis
may require even faster reaction times. The fastest reactions in badminton
are required in men's doubles, when returning a powerful smash.
tennis techniques differ substantially. The lightness of the shuttlecock
and of badminton rackets allow badminton players to make use of the wrist
and fingers much more than tennis players; in tennis the wrist is normally
held stable, and playing with a mobile wrist may lead to injury. For the
same reasons, badminton players can generate power from a short racket
swing: for some strokes such as net kills, an elite player's swing may be
less than 5 cm. For strokes that require more power, a longer swing will
typically be used, but the badminton racket swing will rarely be as long
as a typical tennis swing.
characteristics of the shuttlecock
shuttlecock differs greatly from the balls used in most other
Aerodynamic drag and
impart substantial drag, causing the shuttlecock to decelerate greatly
over distance. The shuttlecock is also extremely aerodynamically stable:
regardless of initial orientation, it will turn to fly cork-first, and
remain in the cork-first orientation. One
consequence of the shuttlecock's drag is that it requires considerable
skill to hit it the full length of the court, which is not the case for
most racquet sports. The drag also influences the flight path of a lifted
(lobbed) shuttlecock: the parabola
of its flight is heavily skewed so that it falls at a steeper angle than
it rises. With very high serves, the shuttlecock may even fall vertically.
Balls may be
spun to alter their bounce (for example, topspin and backspin in tennis),
and players may slice the ball (strike it with an angled racket face) to
produce such spin; but, since the shuttlecock is not allowed to bounce,
this does not apply to badminton. Slicing the
shuttlecock so that it spins, however, does have applications, and some
are particular to badminton. Slicing the shuttlecock from the side may
cause it to travel in a different direction from the direction suggested
by the player's racket or body movement. This is used to deceive
Slicing the shuttlecock from the
side may cause it to follow a slightly curved path (as seen from above),
and the deceleration imparted by the spin causes sliced strokes to slow
down more suddenly towards the end of their flight path. This can be used
to create dropshots and smashes that dip more steeply after they pass the
When playing a netshot, slicing
underneath the shuttlecock may cause it to turn over itself (tumble)
several times as it passes the net. This is called a spinning
netshot or tumbling netshot. The opponent
will be unwilling to address the shuttlecock until it has corrected its
Due to the way
that its feathers overlap, a shuttlecock also has a slight natural spin
about its axis of rotational symmetry. The spin is in a counter-clockwise
direction as seen from above when dropping a shuttlecock. This natural
spin affects certain strokes: a tumbling netshot is more effective if the
slicing action is from right to left, rather than from left to right.