Introduction

Badminton is a historically popular and highly skillful racquet game. It is played with a shuttlecock on a rectangular court. Like tennis, the game can be played as singles or doubles – with one person on each side, or two.

Players dart around the court, pitting their reactions and reflexes against the opposition. Four miles can be travelled by a player in the duration of a match, so fitness is paramount.

The shuttlecock flies through the air in amateur and professional games alike, giving the feathered (usually plastic) projectile its affectionate nick name of the ‘bird’. In fact, a powerful smash or serve in badminton regularly beats the top speeds of those of a world class tennis player – up to around 260kph for world class badminton players, compared to Andy Roddick’s world-record serve of 246 kph. As such, badminton is arguably the world’s fastest racquet sport.