(Last Updated on : 14/01/2012)
In India, the sport of badminton began as a recreational activity in certain elite clubs. It acquired some organization in India around the 1920s, and in a decades time tournaments were held at both the national and regional level.
The game is now ubiquitous in India, and the country has produced several world renowned players like Prakash Padukone
and Chetan Anand to name a few. Some of the major equipments needed for the game are:
There are two types of shuttles - 14 to 16 feathers with light fan 64 mm to 70 mm and the other of nylon. The base of the feather shuttle is of cork, which is completely rounded except by what is generally known as the skirt weight 4.74 to 5.50 gm.
The modern badminton racket is made of either hickory carbon alloys or steel. It has about 16 horizontal and vertical strands of thin gut strung tightly. It is 680 mm long and the head is 230 mm in width. Though there is no stipulation in the rules as to its dimensions or composition, a racket weighs 92 gm to 156 gm.
Mainly the badminton racquets are light weight and of top quality. These racquets are made of various materials like graphite reinforce plastic to solid steel, and different other material. The carbon fibre is excellent material and is stiff, and also helps in exceptional kinetic energy transfer. Prior to the use of carbon fibre, badminton racquets were made of aluminium. Even earlier, racquets were made of wood.
Nowadays racquets are also made of steel to make it cheap, but the manufacturers have done away with the production of wooden racquets. In order to provide durability racquets are also made of nano-materials like fullerene and carbon nanotubes.
The string used for badminton games are usually high performing and thin and the thickness range from .62 to .73 mm. But the ones that are thin are actually more durable. The tension of the string is mainly of 80 to 160 N (18 to 36 lbf). It is often said that low string tension helps to generate more power and high string tension is for improving control.
Grip plays a crucial role in terms of handling a racquet. The thickness is essential as it helps a player to handle the racquet properly. A player can build up a perfect grip for handling by using one or more grips. There are varieties of materials to choose from, and the most commonly chosen material is the PU synthetics or towelling grips. The choice of grip depends on the players and varies from person to person. As sweat becomes a problem, so a drying agent can be applied on the grip or hand, or sweatbands can also be used, or a player may also choose to change the grip or use a different grip material.
Generally two main types of grips are there, namely over grips and replacement grips. While replacement grips are thicker and used to enhance the size of the handle, the over grip are generally thinner, and used for final layering. Many players choose the former as final layer. Towelling grips are always replacement grips.
Replacement grips have a sticky backing but over grips have only a tiny patch of adhesive at the beginning of the tape and must be used under tension.
Shoes used in Badminton are generally light weight with soles made of rubber. It helps to provide proper grip and are made of non-marking material. Badminton shoes, when compared to running shoes, have less lateral support. High level of lateral support is necessary for action where lateral movement is not necessary. This game requires powerful lateral movement. Since swift and agile footwork is a necessity for badminton so, proper shoes are also crucial.
Badminton Court and Net
The court is laid out on a level and smooth surface, wood and composite flooring, being common. The floor must not be slippery. A minimum of 2 m clear space is essential on all four sides. The markings are in white paint or by white tape and must be 4 cm in width. For doubles play, the entire court is used but for the singles the court is 91 cm narrower, on the sides.
It is made of cord with a mesh of 1.5-2 cm. White tape should be doubled over the top and strained over the top of the post. The net is 1.550 m high at the post and 1.524 m high in the centre.