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What Is Badminton?

Badminton is a popular racquet sport involving the use of racquets to strike a shuttlecock across a net. It is predominantly an indoor sport played with one or two players per side, and points are won by making the shuttlecock land on the opponent's half of the court.

Although the exact origin of badminton is not known, it was first played in the mid-19 century in the subcontinent as a version of the older game of battledore and shuttlecock. It might have first started amongst British expatriate officers, where it was trendy by the 1870s. Ball badminton, a variant of the same game in which a wool ball replaces a shuttlecock (hence the name), was played in Thanjavur early in the 1850s. The first proper rules of the game were devised in 1873 in Poona, where it was so popular that it also became known as Poona itself. Moreover, the sport was then played with as many as four players per side. The game went through a series of revisions up until 1893 when the Badminton Association of England finally published the refined rules of Bagnel Wild and Hart alongside officially launching the sport. Today's highest governing body of badminton, the Badminton World Federation (BWF), was founded as the International Badminton Federation in 1934, with Canada, New Zealand, and a handful of European countries being the initial founding members.

The racquet is by far the essential equipment when it comes to badminton. Typical badminton racquets are pretty light, typically weighing between 70 and 95 grams. They are made from materials ranging from carbon fiber composite to metals such as steel and especially aluminum. Carbon fiber is strong and stiff, and light and helps put extra pace on the shuttlecock upon contact. Moreover, to make racquets durable, carbon nanotubes and fullerene are used. Although players can customize racquets to best suit their game strengths, the laws in the sport strictly limit the size and shape of the racquet. Despite top-end badminton racquets quickly going beyond a hundred dollars, you can still buy many good ones way below the aforementioned mark.

A Badminton shuttlecock consists of overlapping feathers attached firmly over a circular cork base, which is usually covered with thin synthetic material. When purchasing a shuttlecock, the brands to look out for are the same as a racquet.

Twenty-one points are required to win a set in a badminton match. If the score becomes tied at 20 points each, the side that wins 2 points in a row wins the set. Moreover, the player needs to win 2 out of 3 sets to triumph in the overall game. Serve must be hit underarm and below the server's waist. A 'fault' is called if a player hits a shuttlecock twice or touches the net. A 'let' may be called by the referee in an accidental circumstance, like if a player was not ready for play or a decision which is too close to call. A game starts with a toss to determine which player serves first and the half of the court the opponent will like to start from.

Badminton can be a very demanding sport. Players need to be physically and mentally fit to be able to spend long hours playing the sport. Also, the players need to have the right equipment to perform and give their best on the court.

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