Badminton was invented long ago; a form of sport played in ancient Greece and Egypt. Badminton came from a child's game called battledore and shuttlecock, in which two players hit a feathered shuttlecock back and forth with tiny rackets. The game was called "POONA" in India during the 18th Century, and British Army Officers stationed there took the Indian version back to England in the 1860's. The army men introduced the game to friends, but the new sport was definitely launched there at a party given in 1873 by the Duke of Beaufort at his country place, "Badminton" in Gloucestershire. During that time, the game had no name, but it was referred to as "The Game of Badminton," and, there upon, Badminton became its official name.
Until 1887 the sport was played in England under the rules that prevailed in India. They were, from the English viewpoint, somewhat contradictory and confusing. Since a small army of badminton players had been recruited, a group formed itself into the Bath Badminton Club, standardized the rules, made the game applicable to English ideas and the basic regulations, drawn up in 1887, still guide the sport. In 1895, the Badminton Association (of England) was formed to take over the authority of the Bath Badminton Club, and the new group made rules, which now govern the game throughout the world.
Badminton quickly spread from England to the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and made big strides in Europe. Although men first played it, women became enthusiastic about it, and interest now is about equally divided. Badminton was first contested as an official Olympic sport at the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.
The fastest recorded tennis stroke is Ivo Karlovic's 156 mph (251 km/h) serve, whereas the fastest badminton stroke during game play was Fu Haifeng's 206 mph (332 km/h) recorded smash.
Rules of the Game
· 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 . 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.
· When the serving side loses a rally, the serve passes to their opponents (unlike the old system, there is no "second serve").
· 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. 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
· When the 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 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 the corked end points will be the side that serves first.
· 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.
Drop Shot: Used when the opponent is in the back of the court. The shuttle should land in the front of the court and pass low over the net.
Clear: A shot that lands deep in the court.
Defensive clears are used to give your team an opportunity to reset their positions. These should be high arching strokes. Underarm clears are performed when you are close to the net, but have the same result.
Attacking clears are used when the defenses is near the net and will not have an opportunity to easily play the shot. These strokes are a much lower arch and tend to be more forcefully hit, but to the same final location.
Smash: A smash is similar to the overhead clear, but contact should be made with the shuttle further in front of the body. The angle of the stroke should be sharply downward.
Drive: like the smash, this is a quick, powerful shot, but with a flat trajectory. The racquet, however, will be swung with a sidearm motion.
The Overhead Backhand Strokes Most players 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 players, 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.
A sound 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 timing.
Court and Equipment
Serving and Scoring
Drive Serve: The drive serve is comparable to hitting a line drive in baseball. This serve can be driven at the opponent preferably to hit just below shoulder level.
High, Deep Serve: The high, deep serve is an underhand forehand serve hit high so that the shuttle will land deep in the court, near the back line.
Low, Short Serve: The low, short serve should be made in such a manner that the shuttle barely clears the net, is on a downward trajectory the moment it passes over the net, and lands close to the short line in the opponent's court.
Backhand and Forehand Serves
Serves may be performed using a backhand or forehand stroke, however the shuttle must contact the head of the racket below waist level. The following diagrams show proper technique for the backhand serve and also service faults.
Players win a rally by striking the shuttlecock over the net and 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.
Several faults pertain specifically to service. A serving player shall be faulted if the shuttlecock is above his waist (defined as his lowest rib) at point of contact, or if his racket's head is not pointing downwards at the moment of impact.
The server must hit the base (cork) of the shuttlecock, although he may afterwards also hit the feathers as part of the same stroke.
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.
If a 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.
If the receiver is not ready when the service is delivered, a let shall be called; yet if the receiver makes any attempt 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).
How you should hold a badminton racket is like shaking a hand with a friend: a normal but firm handshake without crushing the grip.
· Is the V formed by the thumb and index finger on the top edge of the racket handle?
· Are the fingers slightly spread along the handle and not bunched together like a fist?
· Is the index finger higher up the handle than the thumb?
This should be a firm but relaxed grip. There must be no feeling of tension in the wrist. You should feel that the control is mainly with the thumb, index finger and little finger. The paramount importance is to get the racket out of the palm of you hand and into your fingers.
This, then, is the forehand grip which is used by most people for shots played on the forehand side of the body and many players also find that this is also an all purpose grip which they can use to play shots on the left-hand side of the body as well, i.e. the backhand.
If you are a kind of a player who can cope with all sorts of shots using the same grip, you may not find that it is easier to change the grip slightly to play shots on the backhand swing.
· Your thumb should be resting on the flat side of the handle of the racket and it should be higher up the handle than the index finger.
· Press hard with the thumb and you will feel the tremendous amount of leverage you can now exert against the handle and therefore against the backhand face of the racket.
This grip is achieved by turning the racket from the forehand grip through 90 degrees so that the face of the racket is horizontal to the floor. The V of the thumb and index finger runs down the back, flat edge of the handle. The advantages of this grip are that as the face of the racket is always facing the net, no change in grip is needed to play shots like forehand and the backhand. This grip enable player to execute very sharp dabbing shots at the net.