DEC. 01, 2011 MS. HERCEY

A badminton like game was known in ancient Greece and Egypt - a game called battledore and shuttlecock - in which two players hit a feathered shuttlecock back and forth with tiny rackets. The game was called "Poona" in India during the 18th Century. In the 1860s it was adopted by British Army officers stationed in India. The officers took the game back to England, where it became a success at a party given by the Duke of Beaufort in 1873 at his estate called "Badminton" in Gloucestershire. Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles), who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their opponents' half of the court. Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes over the net. A rally ends once the shuttlecock has struck the floor. The shuttlecock (or shuttle) is a feathered projectile whose unique aerodynamic properties cause it to fly differently from the balls used in most racquet sports; in particular, the feathers create much higher drag, causing the shuttlecock to decelerate more rapidly than a ball. Shuttlecocks have a much higher top speed, when compared to other racquet sports. Because shuttlecock flight is affected by wind, competitive badminton is played indoors. Badminton is also played outdoors as a casual recreational activity, often as a garden or beach game. Since 1992, badminton has been an Olympic sport with five events: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles, in which each pair consists of a man and a woman. At high levels of play, especially in singles, the sport demands excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, explosive strength, speed and precision. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements. •

History and development
Battledore and Shuttlecock. 1854, from the John Leech Archive[1] The beginnings of Badminton can be traced to mid-18th century British India, where it was created by British military officers stationed there.[2] Early photographs show Englishmen adding a net to the traditional English game of battledore and shuttlecock. Being particularly popular in the British garrison town Poona (now Pune), the game also came to be known as Poona.[2][3] Initially, balls of wool referred as ball badminton were preferred by the upper classes in windy or wet conditions, but ultimately the shuttlecock stuck. This game was taken by retired officers back to England where it developed and rules were set out. Although it appears clear that Badminton House, Gloucestershire, owned by the Duke of Beaufort, has given its name to the sports, it is unclear when and why the name was adopted. As early as 1860, Isaac Spratt, a London toy dealer, published a booklet, Badminton Battledore – a new game, but unfortunately no copy has survived.[4] An 1863 article in The Cornhill Magazine describes badminton as "battledore and shuttlecock played with sides, across a string suspended some five feet from the ground".[5] This early use has cast doubt on the origin through expatriates in India, though it is known that it was popular there in the 1870s and that the first rules were drawn up in Poonah in 1873.[4][5] As early as 1875, veterans returning from India started a club in Folkestone. Until 1887, the sport was played in England under the rules that prevailed in British India. The Bath Badminton Club standardized the rules and made the game applicable to English ideas. J.H.E. Hart drew up revised basic regulations in 1887 and, with Bagnel Wild, again in 1890.[4] In 1893, the Badminton Association of England published the first set of rules according to these regulations, similar to today's rules, and officially launched badminton in a house called "Dunbar" at 6 Waverley Grove, Portsmouth, England on September 13 of that year.[6] They also started the All England Open Badminton Championships, the first badminton competition in the world, in 1899.

The International Badminton Federation (IBF) (now known as Badminton World Federation) was established in 1934 with Canada, Denmark, England, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales as its founding members. India joined as an affiliate in 1936. The BWF now governs international badminton and develops the sport globally. While initiated in England, competitive men's badminton in Europe has traditionally been dominated by Denmark. Asian nations, however, have been the most dominant ones at the world level. Indonesia, South Korea, China, and Malaysia along with Denmark are among the nations that have consistently produced world-class players in the past few decades, with China being the greatest force in both men's and women's competition in recent years.

The following information is a simplified summary of badminton rules based on the BWF Statutes publication, Laws of Badminton.[7]

Playing court dimensions

Badminton court, isometric view 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.[7] The doubles court is wider than the singles court, but both are of same length. The exception, which often causes confusion to newer players, is that the doubles court has a shorter serve-length dimension. The full width of the court is 6.1 metres (20 ft), and in singles this width is reduced to 5.18 metres (17 ft). The full length of the court is 13.4 metres (44 ft). The service courts are marked by a centre line dividing the width of the court, by a short service line at a distance of 1.98 metres (6 ft 6 inch) from the net, and by the outer side and back boundaries. In doubles, the service court is also marked by a long service line, which is 0.76 metres (2 ft 6 inch) from the back boundary. The net is 1.55 metres (5 ft 1 inch) high at the edges and 1.524 metres (5 ft) high in the centre. The net posts are placed over the doubles sidelines, even when singles is played. The minimum height for the ceiling above the court is not mentioned in the Laws of Badminton. Nonetheless, a badminton court will not be suitable if the ceiling is likely to be hit on a high serve.

Equipment rules
Badminton rules restrict the design and size of racquets and shuttlecocks. Badminton rules also provide for testing a shuttlecock for the correct speed: 3.1 To test a shuttlecock, use a full underhand stroke which makes contact with the shuttlecock over the back boundary line. The shuttlecock shall be hit at an upward angle and in a direction parallel to the side lines. 3.2 A shuttlecock of the correct speed will land not less than 530 mm and not more than 990 mm short of the other back boundary line. 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 court (having been hit there by players on an 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, he shall be judged to have been ready.

Badminton racquets are lightweight, with top quality racquets weighing between 70 and 95 grams (2.4 to 3.3 ounces) not including grip or strings.[8][9] They are composed of many different materials ranging from carbon fibre composite (graphite reinforced plastic) to solid steel, which may be augmented by a variety of materials. Carbon fibre has an excellent strength to weight ratio, is stiff, and gives excellent kinetic energy transfer. Before the adoption of carbon fibre composite, racquets were made of light metals such as aluminium. Earlier still, racquets were made of wood. Cheap racquets are still often made of metals such as steel, but wooden racquets are no longer manufactured for the ordinary market, because of their excessive mass and cost. Nowadays, nanomaterials such as fullerene and carbon nanotubes are added to rackets giving them greater durability. There is a wide variety of racquet designs, although the laws limit the racquet size and shape. Different racquets have playing characteristics that appeal to different players. The traditional oval head shape is still available, but an isometric head shape is increasingly common in new racquets.

Badminton strings are thin, high performing strings in the range of about 0.62 to 0.73 mm thickness. Thicker strings are more durable, but many players prefer the feel of thinner strings. String tension is normally in the range of 80 to 160 N (18 to 36 lbf). Recreational players generally string at lower tensions than professionals, typically between 80 and 110 N (18 and 25 lbf). Professionals string between about 110 and 160 N (25 and 36 lbf). Some string manufacturers measure the thickness of their strings under tension so they are actually thicker then than specified when slack. Ashaway Micropower is actually 0.7mm but Yonex BG-66 is about 0.72mm. It is often argued that high string tensions improve control, whereas low string tensions increase power.[10] The arguments for this generally rely on crude mechanical reasoning, such as claiming that a lower tension string bed is more bouncy and therefore provides more power. This is in fact incorrect, for a higher string tension can cause the shuttle to slide off the racquet and hence make it harder to hit a shot accurately. An alternative view suggests that the optimum tension for power depends on the player:[8] the faster and more accurately a player can swing their racquet, the higher the tension for maximum power. Neither view has been subjected to a rigorous mechanical analysis, nor is there clear evidence in favour of one or the other. The most effective way for a player to find a good string tension is to experiment.

The choice of grip allows a player to increase the thickness of his racquet handle and choose a comfortable surface to hold. A player may build up the handle with one or several grips before applying the final layer. Players may choose between a variety of grip materials. The most common choices are PU synthetic grips or towelling grips. Grip choice is a matter of personal preference. Players often find that sweat becomes a problem; in this case, a drying agent may be applied to the grip or hands, sweatbands may be used, the player may choose another grip material or change his grip more frequently. There are two main types of grip: replacement grips and overgrips. Replacement grips are thicker, and are often used to increase the size of the handle. Overgrips are thinner (less than 1 mm), and are often used as the final layer. Many players, however, prefer to use replacement grips as the final layer. Towelling grips are always replacement grips. Replacement grips have an adhesive backing, whereas overgrips have only a small patch of adhesive at the start of the tape and must be applied under tension; overgrips are more convenient for players who change grips frequently, because they may be removed more rapidly without damaging the underlying material. Shuttlecocks with feathers

A shuttlecock with a plastic skirt

A shuttlecock (often abbreviated to shuttle; also called a birdie) is a high-drag projectile, with an open conical shape: the cone is formed from sixteen overlapping feathers embedded into a rounded cork base. The cork is covered with thin leather or synthetic material. Synthetic shuttles are often used by recreational players to reduce their costs as feathered shuttles break easily. These nylon shuttles may be constructed with either natural cork or synthetic foam base, and a plastic skirt.

Badminton shoes are lightweight with soles of rubber or similar high-grip, non-marking materials. Compared to running shoes, badminton shoes have little lateral support. High levels of lateral support are useful for activities where lateral motion is undesirable and unexpected. Badminton, however, requires powerful lateral movements. A highly built-up lateral support will not be able to protect the foot in badminton; instead, it will encourage catastrophic collapse at the point where the shoe's support fails, and the player's ankles are not ready for the sudden loading, which can cause sprains. For this reason, players should choose badminton shoes rather than general trainers or running shoes, because proper badminton shoes will have a very thin sole, lower a person's centre of gravity, and therefore result in fewer injuries. Players should also ensure that they learn safe and proper footwork, with the knee and foot in alignment on all lunges. This is more than just a safety concern: proper footwork is also critical in order to move effectively around the court.

A player flies high at the Golden Gate Badminton Club (GGBC) in Menlo Park, 2006

Forehand and backhand
Badminton offers a wide variety of basic strokes, and players require a high level of skill to perform all of them effectively. All strokes can be played either forehand or backhand. A player's forehand side is the same side as their playing hand: for a right-handed player, the forehand side is their right side and the backhand side is their left side. Forehand strokes are hit with the front of the hand leading (like hitting with the palm), whereas backhand strokes are hit with the back of the hand leading (like hitting with the knuckles). Players frequently play certain strokes on the forehand side with a backhand hitting action, and vice versa. In the forecourt and midcourt, most strokes can be played equally effectively on either the forehand or backhand side; but in the rearcourt, players will attempt to play as many strokes as possible on their forehands, often preferring to play a round-the-head forehand overhead (a forehand "on the backhand side") rather than attempt a backhand overhead. Playing a backhand overhead has two main disadvantages. First, the player must turn their back to their opponents, restricting their view of them and the court. Second, backhand overheads cannot be hit with as much power as forehands: the hitting action is limited by the shoulder joint, which permits a much greater range of movement for a forehand overhead than for a backhand. The backhand clear is considered by most players and coaches to be the most difficult basic stroke in the game, since precise technique is needed in order to muster enough power for the shuttlecock to travel the full length of the court. For the same reason, backhand smashes tend to be weak. Most historians believe that tennis originated in France in the 12th century, but the ball was then struck with the palm of the hand. It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called "tennis." It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors where the ball could be hit off the wall. Henry VIII of England was a big fan of this game, which historians now refer to as real tennis.[1] Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of rackets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham, United Kingdom.[2][3] In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club in Leamington Spa.[4] In December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield designed and patented a similar game—which he called sphairistike (Greek: σφάίρίστική, from ancient Greek meaning "skill at playing at ball"), and was soon known simply as "sticky"—for the amusement of his guests at a garden party on his estate of Nantclwyd, in Llanelidan,

Wales.[5] He likely based his game on the evolving sport of outdoor tennis including real tennis. According to some tennis historians, modern tennis terminology also derives from this period, as Wingfield borrowed both the name and much of the French vocabulary of real tennis and applied them to his new game.[citation needed] The first championships at Wimbledon in London were played in 1877.[6] The first Championships culminated a significant debate on how to standardize the rules. In America in 1874 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a young socialite, returned from Bermuda where she met Major Wingfield. She laid out a tennis court at the Staten Island Cricket Club in New Brighton Staten Island, New York. The exact location of the club was under what is now the Staten Island Ferry terminal. The first American National tournament in 1880 was played there. An Englishman named O.E Woodhouse won the singles match. There was also a doubles match which was won by a local pair. There were different rules at each club. The ball in Boston was larger than the one normally used in NY. On May 21, 1881, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association (now the United States Tennis Association) was formed to standardize the rules and organize competitions.[7] The U.S. National Men's Singles Championship, now the US Open, was first held in 1881 at Newport, Rhode Island.[8] The U.S. National Women's Singles Championships were first held in 1887.[9] Tennis was also popular in France, where the French Open dates to 1891.[10] Thus, Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open (dating to 1905) became and have remained the most prestigious events in tennis.[6] [11] Together these four events are called the Majors or Slams (a term borrowed from bridge rather than baseball).[12] The comprehensive rules promulgated in 1924 by the International Lawn Tennis Federation, now known as the International Tennis Federation, have remained remarkably stable in the ensuing eighty years, the one major change being the addition of the tie-break system designed by James Van Alen.[13] That same year, tennis withdrew from the Olympics after the 1924 Games but returned 60 years later as a 21-and-under demonstration event in 1984. This reinstatement was credited by the efforts by the then ITF President Philippe Chatrier, ITF General Secretary David Gray and ITF Vice President Pablo Llorens, and support from IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. The success of the event was overwhelming and the IOC decided to reintroduce tennis as a full medal sport at Seoul in 1988. The Davis Cup, an annual competition between men's national teams, dates to 1900.[14] The analogous competition for women's national teams, the Fed Cup, was founded as the Federation Cup in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ITF also known as International Tennis Federation.[15] In 1926, promoter C.C. Pyle established the first professional tennis tour with a group of American and French tennis players playing exhibition matches to paying audiences.[11][16] The most notable of these early professionals were the American Vinnie Richards and the Frenchwoman Suzanne Lenglen.[11][17] Once a player turned pro he or she could not compete in the major (amateur) tournaments.[11]


In 1968, commercial pressures and rumors of some amateurs taking money under the table led to the abandonment of this distinction, inaugurating the open era, in which all players could compete in all tournaments, and top players were able to make their living from tennis.[18] With the beginning of the open era, the establishment of an international professional tennis circuit, and revenues from the sale of television rights, tennis's popularity has spread worldwide, and the sport has shed its upper/middle-class English-speaking image[19] (although it is acknowledged that this stereotype still exists).[19][20][21]

The word "Tennis" came into use in English in the mid-14th c. from Old French, via the Anglo-Norman term Tenez, which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!". An interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent.[22]

Royal origins
In The Second Shepherd's Play Scene VIII Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur's round table, plays tennis with a group of giants in The Turke and Gowin

Birth of lawn tennis
Augurio Perera's house in Edgbaston, Birmingham, where he and Harry Gem first played the modern game of lawn tennis The modern sport is tied to two separate inventions. Between 1859 and 1865, in Birmingham, England, Major Harry Gem, a solicitor, and his friend Augurio Perera, a Spanish merchant, combined elements of the game of rackets and the Spanish ball game Pelota and played it on a croquet lawn in Edgbaston.[2][3] In 1872, both men moved to Leamington Spa and in 1874, with two doctors from the Warneford Hospital, founded the world's first tennis club.[4] In December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield devised a similar game for the amusement of his guests at a garden party on his estate of Nantclwyd in Llanelidan, Wales.[29] He based the game on the older real tennis. At the suggestion of Arthur Balfour, Wingfield named it "lawn tennis,"[30] and patented the game [31] in 1874 with an eight-page rule book titled "Sphairistike or Lawn Ten-nis",[32] but he failed to succeed in enforcing his patent.[33] 1896 Olympic tennis tournament match between Boland and Kasdaglis.
Terminology Wingfield borrowed both the name and much of the French vocabulary of real tennis:

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Tennis comes from the French tenez, the imperative form of the verb tenir, to hold: This was a cry used by the player serving in royal tennis, meaning "I am about to serve!" (rather like the cry "Fore!" in golf).[34] Racquet comes from raquette, which derives from the Arabic rakhat, meaning the palm of the hand.[35] Deuce comes from à deux le jeu, meaning "to both is the game" (that is, the two players have equal scores).[36] Love is widely believed to come from "l'oeuf", the French word for "egg", representing the shape of a zero.[37][38] The convention of numbering scores "15", "30" and "40" comes from quinze, trente and quarante, which to French ears makes a euphonious sequence, or from the quarters of a clock (15, 30, 45) with 45 simplified to 40.[36]

In spite of the fact that there are actually table tennis tournaments all over the world, especially in China where table tennis is a major sport, the game itself isn't really taken seriously by many people. We could debate on the why of this until our sun goes nova but we'll leave that debate for another time. • Table tennis, or what we affectionately refer to as 'ping pong', began as a mild diversion. It was viewed with the same lack of seriousness as lawn tennis and badminton. It became popular in England in the late 19th century. It was known under its present name of table tennis and ping pong as well as gossima and whiff-whaff. The name ping pong was introduced by J. Jaques and Sons. The game was named ping pong because of the sound that the ball made when striking the table when hit. At the time ping pong paddles were not yet invented. Instead they used vellum bats. In a very short time the game became a very

fashionable craze. During the period, there were many paintings made of people playing table tennis, usually in a home setting. • By the early 1900s, table tennis had already started to take on many of the characteristics of the game that we know and love today. However, it was still seen by most people as after dinner entertainment rather than as a serious sport. During this period publications found it necessary to warn people about what kind of attire they should wear when playing this game, such as not to wear tight fitting clothing. These were obviously meant as satire because of the fact that nobody took the game seriously. Between 1905 and 1910 the game became very popular in Europe until it finally made its way to Japan, China and Korea where table tennis has become a way of life. Today, more than 4 million people in China alone play table tennis and it is seen as a very serious and competitive sport. In the meantime, after finding its way to the Asian countries, table tennis started to fade from the European scene but in the early 1920s it was again revived in England. By that time the name 'ping pong' had actually become a registered trademark of the game. However, the term table tennis was still retained for the more serious organizations where table tennis was actually played for sport. Over the next 60 years table tennis actually developed into a world wide sport but never really got the recognition that other major sports had gotten during the time except in the Asian countries. The game itself has remained relatively the same since the early days with the exception of the vellum bats being replaced by what we call ping pong paddles. The paddles themselves have gone through a few modifications as far as materials they are made out of but for the most part have remained unchanged from their early days. Table tennis may never get the respect that some say it deserves, but most people who play it do admit that it is a lot of fun, and also very hard.

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