Safety Rules of Badminton

Two shuttlecocks atop badminton rackets (focus on shuttlecock)
Two shuttlecocks. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

While not known as a contact sport, badminton can still produce its share of injuries. Badminton requires running, jumping and sometimes violent swinging motions, putting all participants at risk. To help limit potential injury, players should only compete at their own fitness and skill levels.

Stretching

All badminton players should warm up before competing with some stretching and light cardio activity, like running in place. Stretching limits the risk of potential muscle pulls and strains. It also gets the ankles, knees and other joints prepared for strenuous activity.

Court

The badminton playing court should be situated away from pedestrians and free from any obstructions and potential hazards such as standing water, loose gravel and random debris. There should also be ample room around the court’s outside boundary to permit freedom of movement. If played indoors, proper lighting and ventilation must be provided.

Equipment

Only legal badminton rackets and shuttlecocks should be used. Rackets that are too heavy may generate excessive power, increasing the risk of injury from routine game play and accidental collisions between teammates. Racket grips should be kept dry to prevent unintentionally throwing the racket during swings. The badminton net must be properly secured to prevent collapsing, with the net poles free from sharp edges and any tripping hazards.

Game Play

During game play, all official badminton rules should be followed to ensure fairness and safety. Teammates should practice communication to avoid collisions and accidental racket strikes. At no time should the shuttlecock be played directly at an opponent. Doing so could lead to eye injuries. Also, the number of players per side should be limited according to the court size to prevent overcrowding.

Clothing

Wearing the proper footwear will help prevent ankle and knee injuries. Shoes should have excellent support and provide adequate shock absorption. Gloves may be worn to prevent hand blisters from holding the racket. Players may also opt for goggles if eye injuries are a concern, although two good ways to avoid eye injuries are to always keep the racket up for protection and to never turn to watch a teammate’s swing.

Technique

Knowing the proper way to play shots will limit the chances of suffering wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries. Holding the racket too tightly while playing may result in elbow inflammation, which is more commonly known as tennis elbow. Using rackets that are too light or too heavy may also contribute to elbow inflammation.

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