You’ve been calling it bad mitten, haven’t you? That’s ok, we did too for a long time! Badminton is a great sport that can be as friendly or as competitive as you want it to be. Try your hand at badminton on your next camping trip for a great time with family or friends! With just a net, some rackets, and a birdie, you have everything you need for a fun game at your campsite. And the best part is, if you get hit in the face with the birdie, it doesn’t hurt as much as most sports!
Adapted from a game called Battledore and Shuttlecock, Badminton was developed in British India around the mid 19th century! Battledore and Shuttlecock was played with rackets and a shuttlecock, just like Badminton, but there wasn't a net. The players were to hit the shuttlecock back and forth to one another without it touching the ground. The rules for Badminton were drawn up in 1873 and by 1875 there was a Badminton club formed in Folkestone, England. Since then the rules have been revised a couple of times until they were officially published by The Badminton Association of England in 1893. The International Badminton Federation was formed in 1934 between England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. The US joined about four years later.
Badminton rackets are a little like tennis rackets, but they're smaller and lighter. On average they only weigh 2 to 3 ounces! For a game of badminton you’re going to need 2-4 rackets depending on how you plan to play. If you’re getting a kit, look for one that has 4 rackets, or grab a few extra when you pick it up so that you can play in a big group.
The shuttlecock, also called a birdie or shuttle, is what you hit back and forth across the net. It’s typically made out of a cork base and has feathers (or plastic depending on the type you get) wrapped around it. The feathers allow for high drag as it flies through the air.
The net resembles a tennis net, only it’s much taller. Where a tennis net stands at only 3.5 feet, a badminton net is just over 5 feet tall. It stretches about 20 feet across the court.
Now let's talk about the rules of badminton and how to play the game!
Rules & Game Play
The main object of badminton is to hit the birdie over the net and have it land within the boundaries of the other team’s side of the court. Each time you're able to land your birdie across the net on the ground, your team gets a point. The team with 21 points first wins the game! Each match consists of 3 games and whoever wins the most games wins the match.
To decide who will serve first in the first game, toss a coin. For the next game, the other team serves first. When serving, you will serve from the right side of the court if you have scored an even number of points. If it is an odd number, you serve from the left. Always serve underhand, as this is a rule and you can be penalized if you serve overhand. Only the opponent diagonally across from the server can return the serve. If anyone else touches the serve, a point will be rewarded to the server. After the serve is returned, any player can return shots across the net. The same person continues to serve from left to right on their side of the court until a fault is made on their side. Then the serve is transferred to their opponents.
A point is earned when the birdie lands on the opponent’s side of the court within the lines. If it falls on the line, it is still considered in play and counts as a point. When it comes to you, you can only hit it once. If you don’t get it back over the net, there’s no saving it.
If you want more technical badminton instructions, check out this badminton information. However, as a fun, relaxed backyard game, you can call the shots! Play however you want, as long as everyone agrees and knows the rules!
Do you play badminton in your backyard or when camping? Tell us how you play in the comments!