Different versions of badminton have been played for centuries, but it was the game of "Poona" in India that was the basis for the game of badminton we play today. In the 1860's a group of stationed British army officers learned the game and took it back with them from India. The game grew in popularity until 1895 when the Badminton Association of England was formed, along with the rules of game play that are used around the world even today. In order to play this form of badminton, certain equipment and facilities are needed.
The badminton racket is one of the most important tools a player has in the game. Badminton rackets are much lighter than most other sports rackets because they are made from materials such as carbon fiber or lighter metals such as aluminum. Parts of the racket include the head, throat, shaft and handle with a maximum length of 27.77 inches and a width of 9 inches. It Strings that are stretched across the opening of the racket in a checkerboard pattern, which acts as the hitting surface. Badminton rackets can vary widely in cost depending on whether they are purchased as part of a basic backyard set or as more expensive professional models.
The badminton shuttlecock, also referred to as a shuttle or birdie, acts similarly to a ball in other racket sports. However, the design of the birdie creates more drag as it is propelled through the air due to its feathered shape. The shuttlecock is made up of a cone shape with a hard cork at its tip. Shuttlecocks can be made from a variety of materials -- more expensive models are actually made from feathers, and less expensive models are made from plastic feathers. The shuttle has 16 feathers attached to the base and the length of the feathers range between 2.44 and 2.75 inches.
A mesh net divides the badminton court into two sides. A badminton net is placed lower than a volleyball net at five feet and one inch high on the sides and five feet high in the center. The length may vary depending on whether doubles or singles are playing, with singles reaching 17 feet and doubles reaching 22 feet. The net is 30 inches wide with a 3-inch white tape doubled over the top.
The badminton court should be 44 feet long by 22 feet wide if playing doubles, and 44 feet long by 17 feet wide for singles. If the facility is indoors, there needs to be enough height for the shuttlecock to be able to float across the net without hitting the ceiling. This height will vary depending on the strength of the players.