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Articles: Badminton

Badminton

Badminton is a fast paced racquet sport played by men and women in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles format. The game takes place on a rectangular court bisected by an elevated net. Because it is played with a shuttlecock, not a ball, it is unique amongst racquet sports. The main objective of the game is to strike the shuttlecock over the net and into the field of the opponent’s court.

Although games similar to badminton go back over two millennia, the modern game of badminton has its origins in the mid 1800s in British India. It was exported to the rest of the world by returning British servicemen. As its popularity grew, the first club was established in Folkstone, UK, in 1875. After a few games had been played under the old Indian rules, the modern rules were laid down in Portsmouth in 1893. The first ever badminton tournament was held in Guilford, UK, in 1898. With its growth, badminton was introduced to the Olympics as a demonstration sport in 1972.

Due to its earlier success, badminton has been an Olympic sport since 1992. The game is very popular in Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, South Korea, and in Europe where the hot seat of badminton popularity is in Denmark. It is a global sport, with over 14 million players spread in 160 countries. The global competition is fierce, especially for the most prestigious tournaments, the All England Open, the Thomas Cup, the Uber Cup, and the Sudirman Cup.

The game of badminton

Badminton is played by men and women in singles and doubles format against competitors of the same sex, or in a mixed doubles format which is a mixed sex game. Players compete as individuals, teams or nations depending on the format of the individual tournament.

The game is normally played indoors on a court that measures 13.4 m X 5.18 m for the singles game. For the doubles format the court is 0.46 m wider. The court is split in half by a raised net that is 1.524 m high in the middle and 1.55 m high at the side posts. The service box at the back of the court starts 1.98 m from the net, and is then further divided to split the back of the court into halves lengthways. Although played indoors, normal attire is t-shirt, shorts and badminton shoes. Players use a light weight racquet, which can be made from a variety of materials. The unique part of badminton is the use of a shuttlecock during the game, a small dome of leather covered cork with 16 short feathers attached to it to form a conical shape.

Beginning of a Badminton match

The game begins with a coin toss, and the victor can choose either to serve first or a side of the court. The serve is played diagonally across the court from the service box; it must pass the short service line and be within the service box. When the server’s score is even, he serves from the right to left side of the court, and when it is odd, he serves from the left to right side of the court. Every point starts with the all-important serve and return of serve, which are used to try and dominate the game for that point.

Rules of Badminton

The rules of badminton are quite straight-forward. Matches are played as a best of 3 games, with each game consisting of 21 points. During the game, a point is won when the shuttlecock is struck over the net and touches the opponent’s court floor. A point is lost when the shuttlecock is hit into the net, or is played over the net but out of bounds. Additionally, a point is lost if the shuttlecock hits any part of the player’s body. After the opening serve of the game, the winner of a point serves the next point. To give players adequate rest time, there is a 1minute break when the leading score reaches 11, and there is a 2 minute break between each game. There is one match official, an umpire who sits in a raised chair in line with the net, and on top of officiating the game he, is also responsible for keeping the score. The overall world governing body for the sport is the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

Game play and tactics

The option for a draw does not exist in badminton; every game and match has to end in a victory for one side. The games can not end with a difference of 1 point, there must be a clear 2 point difference at the end of each game. The tactics of badminton vary depending on the format. In the singles game, it is mainly a game of maneuvering the opponent by using a combination of long shots to either side of the court and short shots. The objective of the movement is to force the opponent into an error, or to force a weak return in the rally which can be dispatched with a winning shot.

Doubles is a much more aggressive fast-paced game, with both parties crowding the net and focusing on an all-out smashing attack. Mixed doubles is quite similar to doubles, but at a slightly less aggressive level. Generally, the standard formation is that the woman player is in the forecourt and the man in the backcourt.

Badminton competitions

There is no set route for turning professional for badminton players; it is merely a process of training and competing, and wining more and more matches and tournaments. Tournaments in badminton generally have three forms; the most popular is the consolation tournament, where every player is guaranteed at least 2 matches before elimination. This is achieved by having an auxiliary draw which is populated by the losers from the first round main draw. The second is the simple knock out single elimination format. The third and least popular is the round robin, which is very time-consuming and therefore is quite rare.

The main tournaments are the Olympics and the yearly world championships; although these are prestigious, they offer no prize money for the players. Other notable prize tournaments are the Badminton World Federation (BWF) super series, the gold grand prix, and several other satellite tournaments. At international level, the Thomas and Uber Cups are held simultaneously every 2 years, and are the men and women’s national team world championships. All tournaments are held under the auspices of the world governing body, the BWF.

Betting on Badminton

The badminton season runs year round with on average one major tournament every month. The main betting market is on the 12 BWF super series events, 1 super series final, several grand prix over the course of the season, the Olympics, and the above-mentioned tournaments. The main form of betting in badminton is a straight up bet the winners of a match.