The court

A badminton court is rectangular, with clearly marked white or yellow lines dividing it into different sections. These different lines show where a long service and short service should be taken, and there are also side lines and a centre line from one end of the court to the other.

On each side-line is a pole, 1.55m in height, which holds the net taught across the centre of the court. The net itself is made of dark mesh, clearly visible to the players. White tape runs across the top of the net, which stands in the centre at 1.524m from the ground, and 1.55m from the ground at each pole.

Badminton Court

Badminton Court

The shuttlecock

A shuttlecock can be made from natural or synthetic material, or a mixture of the two. There are around 14 ‘feathers’ which span out from the rounded base, which was originally made of leather-covered cork. The feathers are all the same length, and must be between 64mm and 70mm. The diameter of the feather tips is 58mm to 68mm wide. The shuttlecock weighs approximately 5g – much lighter than a tennis ball and, subsequently, potentially capable of travelling at a higher speed when hit.

Shuttlecocks come in three speeds – slow, medium and fast. Try medium until you are more familiar with the game, when you can experiment with how the different speeds affect your play. Plastic shuttlecocks are cheaper than those made of natural fibres, and are ideal for those new to the sport.

Shuttlecock

Shuttlecock

The racquet

A badminton racquet is lightweight and has a round head. The racquet is flat, and the strings are crossed in a uniform pattern all over the head, with no variation. The racquet cannot be longer than 680mm, and the width of the head should be 230mm or less. The length of the head should be 290mm or less.

Racquets are made from lightweight materials, and they vary in price considerably. For beginners, it is often best not to spend too much on a racquet while you are getting used to the sport. You should be able to pick one up for as little as £10. When choosing a racquet, make sure you feel the grip, and compare a few before you buy.

Badminton Racquet

Badminton Racquet