Badminton Classes

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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All sporting endeavours don’t have to be about weight and grunt. Playing badminton allows you to add a smidgeon of grace to your competitive spirit. Badminton is also the sport with the most even participation rate of men and women, don’t you know. . .

For the uninitiated, badminton may not seem to be the most dynamic sport in the world. Perhaps you think of Victorian ladies in crinolines calling out “Super shot, Emily!” while indicating to the maid that more scones are in order. However, badminton is actually the fastest racquet sport in the world, with the fastest smash ever clocked at 260 kilometres per hour.

History of Badminton

As far back as the 500 BC, the Chinese played Ti Jian Zi, kicking the shuttlecock with their feet to score points. However, the resultant stubbed toes proved to be too much trouble and people began to use early versions of today’s racquets about five centuries later, in a game known as battledore and shuttlecock.

The game evolved into a children’s pastime, and by the 17th century the nobles of Europe liked to take time out from stepping on peasants with a variation called jeu de volant. By the 1800s, a game closer to modern badminton – poona – had evolved in India. British army members stationed there took up the game and taught it to their friends but the game really came into its own when the Duke of Beauford brought it to his country estate, (co-incidentally called Badminton House) in 1873.

His friends looked up, intrigued, from their cups of Earl Grey and gladly took up the racquet. Naturally, they modified the game somewhat to fit in with their British sense of propriety, but essentially it remained the same. The game soon took off amongst the Pekinese-hugging classes and four years later, the Bath Badminton Club had been formed, and a strong basis for today’s rules were laid. In 1934, the International Badminton Federation (IBF) was born, with a membership of nine countries. After becoming the exhibition sport in Seoul Olympics in 1988, badminton was given the full medal status in 1992 at the Barcelona Games.

What to expect from Badminton Classes

The rules of badminton are fairly basic. Each player uses their racket to keep the shuttlecock moving back and forward over the net without hitting the ground for as long as possible. The person who ends this rally by either hitting the net or landing the shuttle outside of the lines loses the point. You can play singles or doubles.

Badminton matches consist of the best of three games. Each game starts at love-all but then the scoring gets a little more complicated. In men’s singles and doubles, 15 points wins a game. However, if the score reaches 14-14, the side that first reached 14 can choose either to play to 15, or to set the game to 17 points. Scoring in women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles is somewhat different. In these matches, 11 points wins a game and there is the option to set to 13 points at 10-10.

In all variations of badminton matches, the shuttlecock must be hit below the server’s waist. They must also keep the racquet head below their hand, both of their feet on the ground, and perhaps most importantly hit the so-called birdie into their opponent’s service court. If the serving side wins a rally, then it scores a point and serves again. However, if the receiving side wins the rally, the score remains unchanged but the service passes to the next player in turn. (In singles, this is the opponent. In doubles matches, it’s the partner, or, if both players have just had a turn of serving, one of their opponents. )


Bear in mind that badminton is no slouch in the workout stakes. It provides you with a vigorous cardio-vascular workout due to all the running, jumping, stretching, striking and falling that a game involves. According to the Department of Physical Education at Physical Education at Baylor University in the US, it is “one of the finest conditioning game activities available, ” and top players run up to four miles in a single match.

Celebrities who reportedly enjoy a good badminton workout include Paul Newman, Padraig Harrington and Diego “Shuttlecock of God” Maradona. If you would like to be able to fling a few over the net the next time you visit their palatial homes, then why not take a class

Frank Bolger

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