Badminton is a racquet sport played using racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net. Although it may be played with larger teams, the most common forms of the game are "singles" (with one player per side) and "doubles" (with two players per side). Badminton is often played as a casual outdoor activity in a yard or on a beach; formal games are played on a rectangular indoor court. Points are scored by striking the shuttlecock with the racquet and landing it within the opposing side's half of the court. Once the shuttle touches the ground, the rally is over. In this respect, badminton is not like tennis or squash, where the ball can bounce. You must hit the shuttle once only before it goes over the net (even in doubles). In this respect, badminton is not like volleyball, where multiple players can touch the ball before sending it back over the net.
The game developed in British India from the earlier game of battledore and shuttlecock. Since 1992, badminton has been a Summer Olympic sport with four events: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, and women's doubles, with mixed doubles added four years later.
- Court: The court is rectangular and divided into halves by a net. Courts are usually marked for both singles and doubles play, although badminton rules permit a court to be marked for singles only. The doubles court is wider than the singles court, but both are of the same length. The exception, which often causes confusion to newer players, is that the doubles court has a shorter serve-length dimension.
- Serving: Serving is how you start the rally. When the server serves, the shuttlecock must pass over the short service line on the opponents' court or it will count as a fault. The receiver is the person who hits the second shot in the rally. In doubles, the receiver’s partner is not allowed to hit this shot. In badminton, the serve must be hit in an upwards direction, with an underarm hitting action. You are not allowed to play a “tennis style” serve.
- Scoring: Each game is played to 21 points, with players scoring a point whenever they win a rally regardless of whether they served (this differs from the old system where players could only win a point on their serve and each game was played to 15 points). A match is the best of three games.
- Lets: If a let is called, the rally is stopped and replayed with no change to the score. Lets may occur because of some unexpected disturbance such as a shuttlecock landing on a court (having been hit there by players playing in 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 attempts to return the shuttlecock, the receiver shall be judged to have been ready.
Governing bodies: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the world governing body for badminton recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The BWF regulates, promotes, develops and popularises the sport globally and organises inspiring world events. Five regional confederations are associated with the BWF:
- Asia: Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC)
- Africa: Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA)
- Americas: Badminton Pan Am (North America and South America belong to the same confederation; BPA)
- Europe: Badminton Europe (BE)
- Oceania: Badminton Oceania (BO)
Badminton in India: Badminton is a popular sport in India. It is the second most played sport in India after Cricket. Badminton in India is managed by Badminton Association of India. Badminton Association of India (BAI) is the governing body of badminton in India. It was formed in 1934, and has been holding national-level tournaments in India since 1936.
Competitions: The BWF organizes several international competitions, including the Thomas Cup, the premier men's international team event first held in 1948–1949, and the Uber Cup, the women's equivalent first held in 1956–1957. The competitions now take place once every two years. The Sudirman Cup, a gender-mixed international team event held once every two years, began in 1989. Teams are divided into seven levels based on the performance of each country. To win the tournament, a country must perform well across all five disciplines (men's doubles and singles, women's doubles and singles, and mixed doubles). It became an official Summer Olympic sport at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and its gold medals now generally rate as the sport's most coveted prizes for individual players. In the BWF World Championships, first held in 1977, currently only the highest ranked 64 players in the world, and a maximum of four from each country can participate in any category. The Thomas, Uber, and Sudirman Cups, the Olympics, and the BWF World (and World Junior Championships), are all categorized as level one tournaments.
At the start of 2007, the BWF introduced a new tournament structure for the highest level tournaments aside from those in level one: the BWF Super Series. The players collect points that determine whether they can play in Super Series Finals held at the year-end. Among the tournaments in this series is the venerable All-England Championships, first held in 1900, which was once, considered the unofficial world championships of the sport.
Level three tournaments consist of Grand Prix Gold and Grand Prix event. Top players can collect the world ranking points and enable them to play in the BWF Super Series open tournaments. These include the regional competitions in Asia (Badminton Asia Championships) and Europe (European Badminton Championships), which produce the world's best players as well as the Pan America Badminton Championships.
The level four tournaments, known as International Challenge, International Series, and Future Series, encourage participation by junior players.
For BWF (Badminton World Federation) tournament calender visit: Tournament Calender
For BAI (Badminton Association of India) tournament calender visit: Events Calender
Badminton Academies in India: The game of Badminton has seen a massive turnaround with more and more youngsters enrolling themselves for this sport. Now with the growing popularity of Badminton it is featured as a lucrative career prospect which has resulted in springing of a number of academies where training is being imparted to youngsters. Some of the well known academies which provide state-of-the-art training in badminton and help youngsters make a career in the sport are:
- United Shuttlers Badminton Academy: started in the year 2011 by the badminton couples Ajay and Manjusha Kanwar at Delhi this is the only Academy to be affiliated with the Hyderabad based Gopichand Academy in North India.
- MV Bisht Academy: was started by Madhumita Bisht the famous Badminton Player who besides being a National Champion several times won a bronze medal at the Asian Games in Delhi in ’82. She was in the core group of coaches who coached the Indian Badminton team for the London Olympics in 2016 together with her husband Vikram Bisht, bronze medalist in badminton in Asian Games 1982 she opened this academy which has three branches in Delhi.
- SAI’S Badminton training centre: in the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, is run by SAI under the ministry of sports, the govt. of India, which started right after the Asian Games in 1982 and has produced many national and international level players.
- The most famous badminton academy for now is the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy(PPBA)which in collaboration with TATA has produced multiple national and international champions and is renowned around the country for producing World class Badminton players. PPBA was launched in October 1st 1994 in the heart of Bangalore city by the stalwarts of Indian Badminton; Mr. Prakash Padukone, Mr.vimal Kumar and Mr.Vivek Kumar.
- Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad is another Badminton training facility started by Pullela Gopichand in 2001 after he won the All England Open Badminton Champion in the same year. It was his dedication and commitment and also his tireless effort in raising funds from almost everywhere to establish his dream Academy. This Academy also has all modern facilities of training and physiotherapy.
- Ardor Badminton Academy: Located in Rohini, Delhi, Ardor Badminton Academy is run by top professionals who provide the right kind of training. The academy has four courts and good infrastructure.
- Surjit Singh Badminton Academy: Located in Pitampura, Surjit Singh Badminton Academy is run by Surjit Singh who for many years worked as a senior coach at the Sports Authority of India. Founded in 1995, the academy has produced many top players.