We explain badminton, its basic rules, the playing field and its equipment. In addition, its history, records and main championships.
What is badminton?
Badminton is a racket sport played individually or in pairs. Each team stands on the opposite side of a net suspended in the air and makes a projectile called a shuttlecock or feather pass over it without letting it touch the ground, hitting it in turns with their rackets. It is an Olympic sport (since 1992), widely practised in Europe and Asia, the latter being the continent that hosts the most significant world champions.
Badminton can be understood as a sport similar to tennis and volleyball, marks in which a point is scored when the opponent fails in his attempt to pass the ball to the other side, with the exception that badminton is not played with a ball, but with a steering wheel, which is a hemisphere surrounded at its base by plastic feathers.
Badminton competitions are usually held in five categories: men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles (that is, one male and one female athlete).
history of badminton
Badminton gets its name from the Duke of Beaufort’s stay in Gloucestershire, England, called “Badminton House”. It was played for the first time in the way it is today. Its roots, however, can be traced back to Greece, China and India, where it was called Poona and passed on to the British colonial forces during the 19th century.
The British popularized the sport in Europe, organizing the first purely British badminton tournament in 1899. By the early 20th century, badminton was already popular in Western countries such as Denmark, the United States and Canada, and various national leagues such as the Badminton World Federation (originally the International Badminton Federation), whose first world championship was in 1977.
Badminton appeared at the Olympics in 1988 as an exhibition sport and in 1992 as an Olympic sport, both in its category and in same-sex pairs. The mixed competition was not allowed until 1996. Currently, Asian athletes (China, Indonesia and South Korea) hold the majority of titles and medals in this sport.
Basic rules and field of play
Badminton is played indoors, as the wind can affect the movements of the shuttlecock. The playing field is about 13.4 meters long by 5.18 meters wide (a little more significant if it is a game in pairs), and a net in the middle, about 1.55 meters high. The court is delimited by the outer lines on the side and the back, and there are two service areas at each end, two per team.
Each player must handle their racket, with which the shuttlecock must be hit to make it cross the net above. The serve is made diagonally, as in ping-pong, and the player receiving it must be at the other end of the same imaginary diagonal line. In addition, the server must be performed below the waist. From there, the players must hit the shuttlecock in such a way as to hold it in the air and try to make it fall into the opponent’s field.