Badminton is a very fast racket sport and the need for basic equipment is minimal. If you are a beginner in badminton, you need to know the essential equipment that you require to start playing the game. Unlike other sports, badminton equipment is cost-effective. You will get basic equipment at a very reasonable price. Apart from the 3 basic equipment, i.e. racket, net, and shuttlecock needed for all sorts of players from amateurs to professionals, there are also some desirable items that are required for serious play.
- Badminton Racket
- A Pair of Badminton Shoes
- Apparels and Accessories
- Badminton Net
What are the Equipment Used in Badminton?
Badminton is a fast sport that is played by hitting a conical-shaped shuttlecock with the help of a racket to cross over a net. Points are earned by grounding the shuttlecock within the specified area of the court or by the commitment of the faults by the players. The badminton court is marked for both the singles and doubles games. Though competitive games are played in the indoor environment, recreational games are popular in the winter season in an outdoor environment. Badminton is a highly professional sport and became an official sport at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
Among the 3 basic equipment, the racket is the most vital equipment for the game. It is the main weapon to destroy your opponent in the game. The selection of a badminton racket depends upon your playing style and level. A proper selection always keeps you ahead of your opponent. Though various materials like steel, aluminum, titanium, boron, and ceramics may be used for badminton rackets, today’s racket frames are mainly made with composite carbon fibers which makes it easier to swing through the air.
A badminton racket must conform to the following norms as laid down by BWF ( Badminton World Federation)
- The length and width of the frame of the racket shall not exceed 680 mm and 230 mm respectively.
- A racket is divided into four parts, i.e. head, throat, shaft, and handle.
- The head is the upper part of the frame which bounds the stringed area for the purpose of hitting the shuttlecock.
- The throat is the second portion that connects the head with the shaft.
- At the end of the racket, there is a handle that takes care of the gripping.
- The stringed area shall be flat and consist of a pattern of crossed strings.
- The stringed area shall not be larger than 280 mm in overall length and 220 mm in overall width.
The shuttlecock is an essential badminton equipment that you need to play the game. Unlike other racket sports, where a ball is used to hit by a racket, in badminton the high-drag shuttlecock serves the purpose of the ball. There are mainly two types of shuttlecock. One is a plastic shuttle and the other one is the natural feathered shuttle. The plastic shuttles are more durable and cheaper than feathered shuttles. But the plastic shuttles are heavier and don’t give the feel of a feathered shuttle. That’s why plastic shuttles are recommended for beginners only.
The shuttlecock must bear the following characteristics as per the official rules.
- There should be 16 feathers fixed at the base of the shuttle.
- From the tip to the top of the base, the feathers shall have a uniform length between 62 mm to 70 mm.
- The diameter of the circle formed by the tip of the feathers shall vary between 58 mm to 68 mm.
- All feathers should be fastened firmly at the base of the cork.
- The base of the cork shall be rounded with a diameter of 25 mm to 28 mm.
- Shuttlecocks must weigh between 4.74 to 5.50 grams.
- For a non-feathered shuttle, a variation of up to 10% from the above-described parameters is acceptable.
A badminton shoe is a vital piece of equipment to keep you safe while playing. In badminton, there is a lot of movement that includes jumping, turning, and stretching your body during the play. This movement imparts pressure on your forefeet and may bring injuries to your legs. To avoid this, a good pair of badminton shoes is essential.
- Badminton shoe gives you excellent support, flexibility, and cushioning for a good performance.
- It removes pressure and keeps your balance for multi-directional movements.
- The cushioning in the forefoot protects from harsh impacts that might occur when jumping or making an abrupt stop.
- The round Sole provides all-around support for quick and smooth footwork.
- It also ensures smooth movements and the transfer of maximum energy.
Apparels and Accessories
The fast-paced game of badminton makes you sweat a lot. So you need some sort of apparel and accessories to make you feel comfortable in the game. The list may vary from player to player according to the need.
1. Badminton Clothes
You need a round-neck or polo T-shirt and shorts/skirt for the game which are lightweight and comfortable to wear. The material of the clothing should have the capability to absorb the sweat of your body. The structure of the fiber of the clothing should allow the air to flow through easily. Some clothes support moisture-management technologies that keep you cool.
It is one of the most frequently used badminton equipment. One set of extra badminton grips is always desirable as the original, replacement or overgrip may get damaged during the game. Also, you may want to change your grip during the game for the extra comfort of a new wrapped grip. Though towel grips have a better sweat-absorbing capacity than rubber grips, you may choose anyone according to your preference. One bottle of grip powder is always handy if your palms sweat a lot.
A pair of thick cotton shocks act as a cushion inside the shoes. They absorb the sweat to keep your legs dry. The shocks prevent slipping your feet inside the shoes. You should always avoid nylon shocks as they don’t have the sweat-absorbing capacity and they are also not comfortable to wear.
4. Wristband and Headband
A wristband prevents the sweat from coming down to the handle of your racket. A headband prevents the sweat from falling down into your eyes and also helps control the long hair.
5. Badminton Kit Bag
A badminton kit bag is an essential item to carry all of your playing materials whenever you head over towards a court. It not only helps to keep all badminton equipment in good shape but also prevents damage against outside obstacles and harsh weather conditions.
The net is the central divider of the court along the length and the game is played by the to-and-fro motion of the shuttle over the net. The net is tied with the posts placed on the doubles sidelines. The height of the top of the net from the ground surface shall be 1.524 meters at the center of the court and 1.55 meters over the doubles sideline. The net shall be made with a dark-colored fine cord of even thickness with a mess ranging between 20 mm to 15 mm. The net shall be 760 mm in depth and a width of at least 6.1 meters.
There are two basic grips in badminton.
1. Forehand grip: To play the shots on the forehand side
2. Backhand grip: To play the shots on the backhand side
For beginners, the main focus is control, not power. So the lighter rackets are suitable for beginners as it is easy to control your shots with lighter rackets.
For beginners, the plastic shuttlecock is better to use. The plastic shuttlecock is more durable and cheaper than the feather shuttlecock. Also, the plastic shuttlecock helps prolong rallies and is difficult to control which ultimately helps to build their technique.
The colored tape on the shuttlecock indicated the speed of the shuttle in the air and the range of temperature where it is recommended to play. There are three colored tapes, red, blue, and green.
“Red” represents “Fast” and is suitable for cold conditions (Temperature < 13 °c).
“Blue” represents “Medium-speed” and is good for normal conditions (Temperature: 12-23°c).
“Green” means “Slow” and is suitable for warm conditions (Temperature: 22-33°c).
For outdoor play, you have to fight against the winds for the steady flight of the shuttlecock. So heavier shuttlecocks are better to use. You may opt for the plastic ones as these are heavier and more durable.