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A new world

Badminton

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With shuttlecocks travelling at up to 400 km/h, badminton requires fast reflexes from the players and the audience’s full attention. It has been in the Games since Barcelona 1992. Men and women compete in individual and doubles events, and mixed doubles.
Spectator's Guide - Badminton
  • Badminton

About

About

Aim of the game

A racket sport in which players score points by hitting a shuttlecock over a raised net and on to the floor inside the opponent’s court

Why should you watch this?

The speeds at which the shuttlecock travels off the racquet in a smash makes badminton the fastest racquet sport in the world, and professional matches are played at an intense pace

International Federation

BWF

Olympic debut

Barcelona 1992

Rules
  • Clear

    Clear

    When a player hits the shuttlecock high over an opponent so that it falls vertically downwards at the back of the court

  • Drop

    Drop

    A short shot that literally ‘drops’ the shuttlecock just over the net, most effective when it is well disguised

  • Smash

    Smash

    Powerful overhead shot that drives the shuttlecock quickly down towards the ground on the opponent’s side of the court

Impress your friends

  • Badminton originated in India during British colonisation and was named after English nobleman the Duke of Beaufort’s country home, Badminton House

    Badminton originated in India during British colonisation and was named after English nobleman the Duke of Beaufort’s country home, Badminton House

  • Badminton first appeared as an Olympic sport at the Barcelona 1992 Games, with mixed doubles and bronze medal matches introduced at Atlanta 1996

    Badminton first appeared as an Olympic sport at the Barcelona 1992 Games, with mixed doubles and bronze medal matches introduced at Atlanta 1996

  • At the Atlanta 1996 Games, Danish player Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen was celebrated as the first and only non-Asian player ever to win a badminton gold medal

    At the Atlanta 1996 Games, Danish player Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen was celebrated as the first and only non-Asian player ever to win a badminton gold medal

  • At the London 2012 Games, China’s Lin Dan won his second Olympic gold and one year later became the first player to win five world titles

    At the London 2012 Games, China’s Lin Dan won his second Olympic gold and one year later became the first player to win five world titles

  • China has won over half of all the Olympic badminton medals that have been contested, with only nine other nations having reached the podium

    China has won over half of all the Olympic badminton medals that have been contested, with only nine other nations having reached the podium

  • In one match, each player makes an average 2,000 strokes, and within just 20 seconds the shuttlecock is usually hit around 40-50 times

    In one match, each player makes an average 2,000 strokes, and within just 20 seconds the shuttlecock is usually hit around 40-50 times

  • Shuttlecock speeds depend on variables such as atmospheric pressure and the temperature of the competition venue, but can reach almost 400 kmph (248 mph)

    Shuttlecock speeds depend on variables such as atmospheric pressure and the temperature of the competition venue, but can reach almost 400 kmph (248 mph)

  • Brazil has never qualified for Olympic badminton, but as host country it will compete for the first time at the Rio 2016 Games

    Brazil has never qualified for Olympic badminton, but as host country it will compete for the first time at the Rio 2016 Games

Scoring

Matches comprise a best of three games of 21 points. If a game is level at 20-20, the first player to open a two-point advantage wins. If the score reaches 29-29, the winner of the next point takes the game.

Service

As in tennis, the serve is played diagonally across the court and alternates from side to side; if the server’s score is even, service is from the right, if odd, it’s from the left.

Equipment

Shuttlecock: also just called a shuttle, it weighs between 4.74 and 5.5 grams and can be made from natural or synthetic material, the premium versions using cork and 16 goose feathers.

Racket: At 67cm it is longer than a tennis racket and with a smaller head, designed to combine a lightweight feel (weighing just 85g-100g) and fast response.

Stats

Top Medalists

Men
KOR
Dong-Moon Kim
2 0 1 3
CHN
Lin Dan
2 0 0 2
CHN
Jun Zhang
2 0 0 2
Women
CHN
Ling Gao
2 1 1 4
KOR
Young-Ah Gil
1 1 1 3
CHN
Zhao Yunlei
2 0 0 2