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Badminton Rules and History

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The game of badminton was derived from the game of POONA which was played in India centuries ago. Some English Army officers stationed in India introduced the game to their homeland about the middle of the 19th century.

The Badminton Association was formed in England in 1895 to standardize the rules and serve as a governing body. Although some records show that the game in this country was first played in New York City in the latter part of the 19th century, it did not really become popular until after World War I. It is now an Olympic sport.

Badminton is one of the few sports that do not use a ball. Instead of a ball, shuttlecocks or birdies are hit back and forth over the net. When a shuttlecock is gently tapped, it will fly in a slow arching pattern. When it is hit hard, the shuttlecock can leave the racket at speeds over 110 miles per hour! However, the shape of the shuttlecock quickly slows down its speed, making it possible for the defender to return some of the hard hit shots.

The racket has three parts to it: the head, the neck, the grip.

There are five different types of badminton shots or strokes: Serves, clears, smashes, drives and drops. Each of the five different shots used in different situations throughout the game. Since the object of badminton is to hit the shuttlecock so that your opponent cannot return it, each of the five types of shots has its own definite advantages and disadvantages.

Serves: The serve is the way the shuttle is put into play. Typically, the serves in badminton are different for singles and doubles play. In singles, you want to serve with a high long shot that will land near the back of your opponent’s court. In doubles, you want to use a low and short serve that will land near the front of your opponent’s court.

Clears: A clear is hitting the birdie high and deep into the opponent’s court. It can be used as a defensive hit to make sure your opponent cannot smash the shuttle at you or use it to keep your opponent on the move. There is an underhand clear, which is hit using the same motion as the serve. On the overhand clear, you want the birdie behind your body.

Smash: A smash is an offensive hit which is very similar to a spike in volleyball. You will find that the smash will be your main offensive shot in winning points. When doing a smash, you want the shuttle in front of the body.

Drive: A drive is a quickly hit shot that travels without much arch. Like a line-drive in baseball, the drive is a strong shot that travels about shoulder height. The racket should contact the shuttle in a straight up and down position so that the flight is straight.

Drop shot: A drop shot can be hit as a forehand, backhand or overhand hit. The drop shot is hit so that the shuttle gently drops over the net and lands in the front of your opponent’s court.

The Rules
Who serves: A spin of the racket is used to determine the first server. You may call name side “heads” and the reverse side “tails”. The winner is given a choice of either serving first or selecting which side of the court they wish to play.

Changing sides: In both doubles and singles play, players serve from and receive the serve from their right hand courts on the first serve of the game. As points are made, service switches from side to side. This means whenever your score is even you should be serving from the right side and if your score is odd you should be serving from the left side.

Serving: In badminton only the side serving can score. One point is given each time the serving team wins a rally. In doubles play, a game consists of 15 points. The first team to get the required points is the winner.

The service must be delivered underhand to the diagonal service court. Only one service try per player is allowed unless the shuttle is missed entirely. A let serve is one which the birdie touches the top of the net but lands in the proper service court; it is served over. It is a fault unless it lands in the service court. A fault on the part of the server results in the loss of the serve, while a fault on the part of the receiver results in a point for the server.

Doubles serving order: In doubles, if a player on Team A serves first and loses the serve, the next server is a player from Team B, who will serve until he/she loses the serve. The next server is the other player on Team B. It will then go back to the person who did not serve on Team A and then the first server and continue from there.

Setting the Score: One of the more interesting rules of badminton is “setting” the score. This happens when a game is tied near the end of play. In doubles, if the score is tied at 13-13, the side to first reach 13 points has a choice of “setting” the game 5 additional points to make a total of 18 rather than 15. If it is tied at 14-14, the side that reaches 14 first may “set” the game 3 points. Then, the first team reaching 17 would win. If you do not wish to set the score, then the first player(s) to 15 will be the winner.

The winner of a match is the side that wins 2 out of 3 games. Players change courts at the end of each game and the winner gets to serve the next game.

A fault is an infraction of the rules. It is a fault when:
*The service is illegal.
*The serve or player shots land outside the boundary line; on the line is good (in).
*If the server or the receiver steps out of his/her proper court before delivery of the serve. Only the person served to may return the birdie.
*The player reaches over the net to hit the shuttle.
*The player touches the net with any part of his/her racket or body.
*A player hits the birdie twice or momentarily holds or throws the shuttle with the racket.
*A player fails to return the birdie to the opponent’s court.

Playing Courtesies
Like tennis, badminton emphasizes sportsmanship and playing courtesies. Following are a few hints on how to conduct oneself in badminton:
*If in doubt about the shuttle’s landing, always call it in favor of your opponent.
*Spin the racket for choosing of serve & courts.
*Never tease or put down opponents.
*If there is any question about throwing the shuttle, call it.

Ace – A good serve that the receiver is unable to touch with the racket. Backhand – Any stroke made on the side of the body opposite the racket side. Birdie – The shuttle or shuttlecock, the object being hit. Carry – An illegal stroke occurring when the birdie is carried by the racket. Clear – A high shot or lob which falls close to the back line. Cross Court – Hitting the birdie diagonally over the net.

Doubles – A game played between two teams of two players.
Drive – A hard stroke that just clears the net and does not rise high enough to smash. Drop – A low shot close to the net that falls immediately after crossing the net. Fault – Any infraction of the rules whose penalty results in the loss of the serve or point. Forehand – Any stroke made on the racket side of the body. Hand-out – The loss of the serve.

Let – A birdie that touches the top of the net but falls into the proper court. Match – Consists of 3 games.
In-side – The side that is serving.
Out-side – The side that is receiving.
Rally – The continuous volley of the birdie back & forth across the net.
Setting the Game – Choosing how many points to play to when the score is tied. Smash – The most powerful overhand stroke that sends the birdie downward. Throw – A shot in which the birdie is carried or thrown by the racket. Handshake Grip – the type of grip used to hold the racket. Face – The part of the racket that the birdie should hit; the strings. Wood shot – Hitting the shuttle with the frame of the racket rather than the strings.

Things To Remember
Learn to serve well.
Know how to hit the shuttle high and far & short and low.
Always be ready.
Try to hit the birdie so your opponent has to run to get it. Use a variety of shots in the game.
Never smash from the baseline.
Keep your eyes on the birdie!!

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