Badminton is a racket (or racquet) sport played between two teams of one or two people. The objective of badminton is to use a racket to launch a small projectile, called a shuttlecock, over a raised net. A point is earned by a team when the shuttlecock goes over the net to the opposing team's side and the shuttlecock touches the ground in-bounds, or the opposing team commits a fault. Badminton is a competitive sport that has been included in the Olympics since 1992, but it's also a prevalent casual backyard sport. Badminton can be played indoors or outdoors.
In badminton, there is a net in the middle to separate the two sides of the court. The objective is to hit the shuttlecock, or birdie, over it. The net is 5 feet and 1 inch at the ends and 5 feet high in the middle, due to a slight slope. The net itself is 2 feet 6 inches, leaving about 2 foot 6 inches between the bottom of the net and the ground. The poles of the net are placed over the doubles sidelines, even for a singles match.
A badminton racket has a frame of 68cm, with the head being 28cm long and 22cm wide. The head is where the racket's stringed area is. The handle, where players hold the racket, is at the bottom. A racket is usually priced between $10 and $25 and is available at Badminton Warehouse. Due to how tightly the racket is strung, the shuttlecock bounces off of it pretty well. Top quality badminton rackets weigh between 70 grams and 95 grams. Today's rackets are composed of a carbon fiber composite.
A badminton equipment bag is large enough to hold all important equipment, while also being accessible and easily portable. There is a part to put your racket in, along with shuttlecocks. The bag has room to hold shoes and athletic clothing, as well. Badminton players will put a towel in their equipment bags too. High quality bags could be purchased for $50 up to $100. There are multiple compartments to make organizing the bag simple.
Badminton players often will wear a headband when they play. Headbands are worn to keep hair and sweat out of a player's eyes. There are some sweatbands that are better for sweat prevention and others that are better for holding the hair back. Players wear whatever they find more comfortable and helpful for them. These could be as cheap as $5 and are found at most sporting goods stores.
Badminton shirts are essentially athletic shirts. They are dri-fit and fit well so they don't affect a player's swing. Some badminton shirts are collared. The company Yonex makes badminton clothing and sells athletic t-shirts for around $25. Badminton shirts are mainly made out of a mix of microfibers, polyester, and spandex. The spandex makes the shirts tighter and helps them fit well. The polyester makes the shirts more comfortable, and the microfibers are a part of the dri-fit aspect of the shirts.
Badminton shoes are designed to assist the movement in badminton. Anti-slip and wear-resistance rubber makes great material for the soles of badminton shoes. The midfoot part of the shoe requires high quality shock absorption and resilience. The heel has multiple layers of support and cushion. Badminton shoes usually cost between $75 and $100. Yonex also makes high quality badminton shoes, and they have multiple models for the sport. Asics also makes a great badminton shoe.
Badminton shorts are athletic shorts that are also dri-fit and fit well. The shorts usually have a lining or compression on the inside, which is great for competitive badminton. Shorts are made with a majority of polyester and some spandex, as well. Yonex makes badminton shorts too. Li-Ning makes badminton shorts as well, with 87% polyester and 13% spandex. The cost of badminton shorts tends to fall between $20 and $30, regardless of the company.
A shuttlecock is essential to the game as it is what badminton players hit back and forth across the net. It is a cork with feathers attached to form a cone shape. It is made of plastic. When hitting a shuttlecock, players usually hit the cork part of it, as it weighs the most and is the most springy. A shuttlecock is also referred to as a birdie. A shuttlecock, or a birdie, is usually about $2. They are usually bought in a bulk package. They tend to be sold in tens, so ten would go for around $20.
Badminton players could also wear skirts when they play the sport. Badminton skirts are usually worn by female players. They have lining inside them as well. They are sold by most sporting goods companies. Badminton skirts are the same as tennis or racquetball skirts. These skirts go for around $30 and cost a little bit more than badminton shorts.
There are socks designed for badminton players; they provide more support with extra cushioning. They are more durable for the quick feet movements of badminton players and will last longer than normal sport socks. Badminton socks aren't very stretchy and have a high knit count. They are a little more expensive than normal sport socks, but they are helpful for badminton players, especially those who play the sport very often. They are around $10 online.
Badminton players will use a towel to keep themselves dry by wiping off their sweat in between points, sets, games, and matches. The towels they use are like any sports towel and they are able to fit well into a badminton equipment bag. Players will also sometimes use a towel grip around the handle of their rackets. They will do this to give themselves better grip and so when they sweat it doesn't make the handle as slippery.
A badminton wristband is similar to a badminton headband. They are the same as any athletic wristband. They are worn on a player's wrists and used to wipe sweat off of their face during the game. They also absorb sweat on a player's forearms and wrists. Wristbands are very simple and cheap as well. You could find them online with most sporting goods company's and in person and most sporting goods retail stores. They tend to cost between $5 and $10 depending on the brand.
With any physical activity, it is important to be hydrated. Badminton players should make sure to be hydrated before, during, and after they play the sport of badminton. They could do this by bringing a water bottle with them when they go play badminton. Water bottles are able to fit in a badminton equipment bag really well. Like wristbands, water bottles could be found in most sporting good stores, online and in person. There are many different kinds of water bottles. High quality ones that hold plenty of water will usually cost between $15 and $30.
Something special about badminton equipment is that it is unique to the sport, just like equipment for soccer or football. There are badminton shoes, which are explicitly made for badminton, where you must often come to a quick stop without running into a net. Also, the shuttlecock is a unique item among all sports that you will find nowhere else!
The badminton racket is not quite like a tennis racket, as it is much lighter and has less string area than a traditional tennis racket.
You won't need very much to get started playing badminton. For the bare minimum, you will need:
You can play badminton with those three pieces of equipment and nothing else. However, for the complete competitive experience, you're going to need:
These aren't essential to playing badminton, but they will come in handy! The essential pieces of equipment to buy for badminton are the racket, the net, and the shuttlecock. You will need nothing else to play the game of badminton than these three items, and anything else is to add to the experience only.
You can purchase a badminton set from anywhere between $20 to $40, attaining the important and essential equipment, which you will learn about below. Of course, the more you're willing to spend, the higher the quality of the product. As badminton is often a recreational sport; most of the sets you buy will likely be of lower quality, so you may consider buying your equipment individually.
A racket can cost anywhere between $10 to $25. You can buy a shuttlecock set (usually 10-12) for about $15, depending on the quality. You can also find a decent quality net for between $10 to $20, but you could probably find cheaper for a lesser quality, especially if you don't play very often.