Frequently Asked Questions?
Did you know that badminton is one of the most popular sports in Ireland? And that it's a sport that you can play throughout your life, both socially and competitively? Badminton is a great sport for all-round fitness.
Badminton is not only fun but is extremely beneficial to your health. Participating in badminton gives a huge number of health benefits and promotes a long, healthy life. Playing badminton keeps you feeling well, strong and motivated. It can help in coping with anxiety and stress and offers a release from the pressures of everyday life.
Another important benefit of the game is the hand eye co-ordination that you build using it and the numerous positions that you have to twist into build a strong spine. It is a skillfull and intelligent game. Tactics and mental stamina are skills that will be developed
Perhaps the most important factor of all is the Badminton Community; badminton is a very social sport and club nights and matches alike always include the opportunities to meet new people and catch up with old friends. Many clubs have hectic social calendars with club fun nights, fund raisers and Christmas parties.
Badminton is a totally inclusive sport and is open to all ages and all levels of ability. You can start to play from a fairly low level of fitness and ability. There are over 430 clubs in Ireland, many of which invite beginners to join in the fun. There are an estimated 100,000 people playing badminton in Ireland, in schools, youth clubs and sports halls around the country.
What is the history of Badminton?
The History of Badminton
To understand the History of Badminton, first you need to understand various games that were played long before Badminton. Let me bring you back to centuries ago where it all began...
In the 5th century BC, the people in china then played a game called ti jian zi. A direct translation from this word 'ti jian zi' is kicking the shuttle. As the name suggest, the objective of the game is to keep the shuttle from hitting the ground without using hand. Whether this sport has anything to do with the History of Badminton is up for debate. It was however the first game that uses a Shuttle.
About five centuries later, a game named Battledore and Shuttlecockwas played in china, Japan, India and Greece. This is a game where you use the Battledore (a paddle) to hit the Shuttlecock back and forth. By the 16th century, it has become a popular game among children in England. In Europe this game was known as jeu de volant to them. In the 1860s, a game named Poona was played in India. This game is much like the Battledore and Shuttlecock but with an added net. The British army learned this game in India and took the equipments back to England during the 1870s.
In 1873, the Duke of Beaufort held a lawn party in his country place, Badminton. A game of Poona was played on that day and became popular among the British society's elite. The new party sport became known as "the Badminton game". In 1877, the Bath Badminton Club was formed and developed the first official set of rules.
The International Badminton Federation (IBF) was formed in 1934 with 9 founding members.
- New Zealand
Since then, major international tournaments like the Thomas Cup (Men)and Uber Cup (Women) were held. Badminton was officially granted Olympic status in the 1992 Barcelona Games. From 9 founding members, IBF now have over 150 member countries. The future of Badminton looks bright indeed.
How To Play Badminton
Want to know How to Play Badminton? Then you've come to the right place! It is fun to play Badminton and not hard to learn.
What is the game all about?
The objective of the game is simple, that is to hit the shuttle over the net so that it lands in your opponent's court before it can be returned. You can hit the shuttle fast, slow, high, flat or low. You can smash it with maximum power or use the most delicate touch shots.
A rally is started when the shuttle is returned. Each rally begins with a stroke known as the serve. This gets the shuttle into play, and from then on you will be engaged in a battle to outwit your opponent by using strokes which aim to increase your chances of winning that rally.
You can win the rally when:
- You hit the shuttle on to the ground in your opponent's court. - Your opponent makes a mistake and hits the shuttle out of court.
Like tennis, Badminton can be played in singles or doubles. The diagram below identifies the playing area for each of those.
You shall always start to serve on the right and the player who reaches 21 points shall win the game.
Before you spend any money on the Badminton Equipment, you should get the feel of the game by trying it out. You can try borrowing a racket and a shuttle from a friend or to hire it from sports centers. Wear suitable training shoes and comfortable clothing which allows you to move and stretch with ease.
There are two sides to the racket head, the forehand face and the backhand face. You can hit the shuttle with either of them.
Now, try a few simple strokes with the shuttle before going on court to play a game. Use the forehand grip and practice hitting the shuttle upwards with the forehand face of the racket. Change to the backhand grip and do the same, using the backhand face of the racket.
First try hitting the shuttle high into the air, then hit it more gently so that it stay closer to the racket. Next, hold the shuttle by its feathers with the fingers of your non-racket hand. Using an underarm action, hit it forward over an imaginary net.This is the action you will use when you serve.
Practice this action both on your forehand and backhand. In this early practice you should hit the shuttle with a flat racket face. Later on there will be times when you slice across the base of the shuttle with an angled racket face.
After a little practice, you will be able to hit the shuttle in different directions and to various distances. You can now begin to play badminton with your friends. I am sure you will love the game and want to play more and better.
How do I set up a New Badminton Club?
Basics for New Badminton Clubs
Interested in setting up a Badminton Club in your area?
Is there a hall in your area?
Does it have badminton courts lined in it?
What is the cost of hiring the hall - can you get a discount for hiring more than one hour or for booking the same time each week?
Does the hall have posts and nets?
Do you need to provide racquets for people to try out badminton before they get their own? The BUI sell cost price kit bags with 20 racquets, 2 dozen plastic shuttles and a net
Shuttles - are you going to use feather or plastic? - You are better to source these through your local county/league association as they will be able to advise you on the cheapest suppliers
Do you have help to get a new club running - you should have a group of people involved and not do everything yourself. Can you get a committee started?
Is there a coach in the area who will help beginners?
Is there an interest in badminton in the area - will people turn up if you start a club?
How are you going to advertise the club to get people interested in trying it out?
Are you going to start a senior club/juvenile club/both?
If you are going to start a club involving any juveniles (those under the age of 18) you need to be aware of and follow the BUI Code of Conduct for Childrens Sport
You need to get insurance in place as soon as possible - the BUI have an insurance scheme available for clubs. Contact the BUI office for details
New clubs can often access funding to help get themselves started - your regional badminton development officer and local county/league association can give you advice on where to look
How much are you going to charge for membership fees/nightly fees/both?
More detailed help and information is available from your regional development officer, your local county/league association and the Badminton Ireland office:
Tel. 01-8393028 -
How do I become a Badminton Coach?
1. Introductory/Level 0 Coaching Course (1 day/6hrs and 16yrs+)
2. Instructor's Coaching Course (2 days/1 weekend and 18yrs+)
either 1 or 2 above must be completed before continuing on to a Level 1 course
3. Level 1 Coaching Course (4 days/2 weekends and 18yrs+)
4. Level 2 Coaching Course - syllabus currently under review
For more information check Badminton Irelands website
What is the basic Scoring System in Badminton
Currently, this is the official format used by the IBF. Here are the basic badminton rules for this format.
- To win a match, you have to win 2 out of 3 games.
- To win a game, you have to score 21 points.
- If a score becomes 20-20, the side which scores 2 consecutive points shall win that game.
- If the score becomes 29-29, the side that scores the 30th point shall win that game.
- There are no "service over", meaning you can score a point no matter who serves.
- One service only for doubles.
A common mistake made by most people is that they use the racket that their favourite badminton player uses.Different people have different styles of playing badminton. Some rackets may be suitable for some but not for others. Use a racket that works to your strengths!
Before you choose your own badminton racket, ask yourself whether you want to play a game of POWER or CONTROL (i.e. using a power racket or control racket)
You cannot have both power and control in one racket. However, you can choose to have a balance of both.
The picture above shows the names of the different parts of a racket.
How do you know whether a badminton racket is good?
When choosing your badminton racket in a shop, you can do a few simple things to test the quality of the racket.
Hold both ends of the racket and bend it slightly -please be gentle when you're in the shop If the racket is easily bent, it has a flexible shaft or otherwise, a stiff shaft.
Accuracy in Placing Shots
Hold the racket handle with one hand and use your other hand to twist the head of the racket sideways. If the head of the racket does not twist, it's perfect for shot placement. Flight direction is more certain when the racket head does not twist easily.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Own Badminton Racket
Stiffness of Shaft
Shape of the Frame
With today's technology, a good badminton racket should weigh 85 -92g (without the string and grip).
A heavy racket is considered a power racket. Heavier rackets accumulate more momentum during your badminton swing, hence giving you more power.
The downside is that a heavier badminton racket is harder to control. It's also less comfortable handling a heavy racket.
Therefore, if you want to play a game of control, lighter rackets will be perfect for you.
Sometimes, the weight of a racket is classified into a few categories, namely:
3Us and 2Us are common in the market, whereas 4U and 5U are rare.
The weights described above do not include the weight of the badminton string and the grip.
Therefore, when you're testing a badminton racket in a shop, take into account that the racket will be heavier after you string it and add a replacement grip.
2. Balance Point
This is the point on the badminton shaft that indicates the CENTER of the badminton racket.
The picture above is a simple test to find out about the balance point of your racket.
If your finger is closer to the racket head, it has a HIGHER balance point. Therefore it's more of a POWER racket.
If your finger is closer to the racket handle, it has a LOWER balance point. Therefore it's more of a CONTROL racket.
You can adjust the balance point of your racket to suit your playing style even after you have purchased the racket.
If you prefer more control
You may add more weight on the handle:
Wrap 2 badminton grips
Wrap a heavier badminton grip
Use lighter/thinner badminton string
If you prefer more power
You may add more weight on the racket head:
Wrap a lightweight badminton grip
After making some weight adjustments to your racket, you can always use the same test above to identify the balance point of the racket.
3. Stiffness of Shaft
When you're choosing a badminton racket, you have a choice between a flexible or stiff racket shaft.
A flexible shaft can bend easily, whereas a stiff shaft can hardly bend.
Before buying a baminton racket, pay attention to the stiffness of your racket. You can adjust the weight and balance point of a racket after the purchase. But the stiffness of the racket is fixed.
However, a racket shaft, like all other equipments, will 'season'. This means that over time, it'll become less stiff to a certain extent.
The table below tells you whether a stiff or flexible shaft suits your playing style.
A flexible shaft offers good repulsion of the shuttlecock in a badminton swing. This is because a flexible shaft bends slightly towards the back and stores energy during your swing motion.
As the shuttle comes into contact with the string bed of the racket, the stored energy will be released and then transferred to the shuttlecock.
Therefore the holder of the racket does not have to exert too much strength for badminton shots such as badminton clears from baseline to baseline.
Shuttlecock Placement: Less Accurate
Since the shaft of the racket is flexible and easily bent, you'll find it slightly difficult to do perfect shot placement. As the shuttle lands on the string bed of the racket, repulsion will cause the head of the racket to vibrate, leading to uncertainty in the flight direction of the shuttlecock.
Therefore it's difficult to control where you want the shuttlecock to land with a flexible shaft racket.
Suitable for: Stroke players, defensive players, defending smashes.
Stroke players are also defensive players. Their style of playing is more towards performing a series of badminton lobs and badminton drop shots. They smash ONLY when they have a clear chance. Their winning strategy is to force their players into errors via long rallies.
Flexible shaft rackets require less strength to generate power. Therefore, stroke/defensive players do not have to worry about exerting much strength in their swing motion when doing clears and drop shots. Instead, they're able to focus on playing their defensive game.
Flexible rackets are also good for defending smashes. When defending powerful badminton smashes, a soft touch with a flexible racket is able to return the shuttle to your opponent easily (repulsion).
Flexible rackets are suitable for beginners. This is because you don't have to exert a lot of strength in doing strong badminton shots. Hitting it from baseline to baseline also wouldn't be much of a problem.
Since not much strength is needed, beginners don't have to worry about failing to hit the shuttle far enough, rather, they can concentrate on perfect technique.
Although flexible rackets offer good power (repulsion), it lacks the speed in returning shots.
As the shuttle lands on the string bed, repulsion takes place (the shaft will bend backwards then forward before the shuttle is returned). In other words, the shuttle stays on the string bed for a longer period of time before it's returned.
Repulsion: Little or None
A stiff shaft offers little or no repulsion. The shuttle will bounce off immediately after it comes into contact with the string bed of the racket.
With less repulsion, shots are less powerful. This means that the holder of the badminton racket will have to swing harder in order to generate more power.
Shuttlecock Placement: Accurate
A stiff shaft is excellent for accurate shuttlecock placement.
Unlike a flexible racket shaft, a stiff racket does not bend much. When the shuttle hits the string bed of the racket, it will NOT vibrate and cause uncertainty to the flight direction of the shuttlecock.
Suitable for: Fast Attacks, Deceptions, Net kill
Badminton is a game of speed. Flexible shafts offer you power but lack the speed in executing a badminton shot. With a stiff shaft, you are sacrificing power for speed in returning the shuttle.
Since the shuttle bounces off the string bed of a stiff racket immediately, the shuttle will be returned FAST. With a stiff racket head, it's more about using your wrist power rather than a swing motion. The power of your wrist will be completely transferred to the shuttle.
Advanced badminton skills such as fast attacks (overhead smash) and deceptions require fast executions and are usually performed via a quick flick of your wrist.
Many top badminton players today use stiff shaft rackets to inject pace and power into the shuttle. They return the shuttle so quickly that their opponents are usually not ready to defend those shots.
Level: Intermediate or Advanced
A stiff racket head is for badminton players who would like to perform the advanced skills of badminton. Since stiff rackets don't offer much repulsion, you'll have to assert more strength into your swing to generate more power.
I'm not saying that beginners don't have the ability to produce powerful shots. But since flexible shafts generate more power, it requires less strength in a swing. Beginners should use this opportunity to master the correct techniques, rather than focussing on exerting strength.
If you're a beginner using a stiff badminton racket, you'll find yourself concentrating on exerting sufficient strength into your swing, rather than concentrating on correct techniques.
Intermediate or advanced players who are very familiar with correct badminton techniques can consider switching to a stiff racket to try out more advanced skills.
Disadvantage: Requires stronger swings or quick wrist action
In order to maximise your performance with a stiff racket, you'll need to have good technique for stroking to generate sufficient strength in your swing motion.
With a stiff racket, the strength in your swing motion will not be fully transferred to the shuttle when it hits the string bed (no repulsion).
Besides, using stiff rackets are more about utilising your wrist action to produce speed and power. Unlike a swing motion, the power from the flick of your wrist will be fully transferred to the shuttle.
Therefore, you must possess good technique for badminton strokes and able to make use of your wrist action for power and better performance.
4. Shape of the Frame
When buying a badminton racket, choose between an isometric (squarish) frame and a conventional (oval) frame.
The only difference between an isometric and conventional frame is the SWEET SPOT.
The sweet spot is a specific area on the string bed of the racket (usually the center of the string bed). A shuttlecock will only be hit excellently if it lands on the sweet spot of the string bed.
Has a larger sweet spot. Therefore there's a much higher chance that you'll perform more quality shots.
Has a smaller sweet spot. However if the shuttle lands on the sweet spot, it would be a very high quality shot.
Conventional frames are rarely present in the marketplace today because most people prefer isometric shaped rackets.
Contact Tommy Hehir on 086 3998894 for any questions on rackets, he sells various types in his shop located in the GLTC
Here are some Facts about Badminton that you may not know yet and may find it interesting.
- The official game of Badminton was born in a stately home in Gloucestershire, England, home of the Duke of Beaufort.
- Badminton is the Fastest Racket Sport with shuttle clocking speed in excess of 200 mph.
- The best shuttlecocks are made from the feathers from the left wing of a goose.
- The International Badminton Federation (IBF) was founded in 1934 with nine members and now has over 150 members.
- The IBF is now headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- Badminton was introduced into USA in the 1890s and became popular in the 1930s.
- Badminton is the second most popular sport in the world, after soccer.
- Badminton is an Olympic Sport played first in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
- More than 1.1 billion people watched the 1992 Olympic Badminton competition on television.
- Only 3 countries have won the Thomas Cup since it's inception in 1948: Malaysia, Indonesia and China.
- Only 4 countries have won the Uber Cup since its inception in 1956: USA, Japan, China and Indonesia.