Armed with a net, a badminton racket and a shuttlecock -- or birdie, as laymen call it -- the family might engage in a rousing game of badminton. Even small children can learn the rules of badminton and try out their skills at the game. With an understanding of the game, kids can improve skills like eye-hand coordination, catching and throwing, and agility, states the BWF Schools Badminton Teacher’s Manual.
Overview of the Game
Badminton involves playing a game of singles with one person standing on either side of the net or a game of doubles with two people standing on either side of the net. The object of badminton is for each player to hit the birdie with the racket using techniques that will make it impossible for the opponent to hit the birdie back. Players can only hit the birdie once to get it over the net, says Wayne State University. A birdie can touch the net, as long as it makes it over the net. Players’ rackets cannot touch the net.
The player serving stands on the right side of the court when her score is even and on the left side of the court when her score is odd. The serve consists of simply dropping the birdie onto the racket. At the point when the server hits the birdie, it should be at a point lower than waist level, states the Badminton Bible website. The server hits the birdie in underhanded fashion so it travels diagonally over the net onto the opposite side of the court.
Generally, badminton games proceed to either 15 or 21 points, predetermined before play begins. The player who serves is the player who earns points -- this player is the player in the “in” position. The player receiving the serve is in the “out” position and cannot earn points. One point is awarded to the server every time the “out” player commits a fault.
Faults and Lets
When a rally ends -- players stop hitting the birdie back and forth over the net -- a fault occurs. If the person serving faults, the serve passes to the other player. If the person receiving faults, the server gets a point and the serve switches. Common faults involve the birdie flying outside the court, the birdie not flying over the net, the birdie hitting a player, a player hitting the birdie twice in a turn and a racket touching the net. A “let” is a do-over -- a situation that necessitates a repeated play. Lets include when the birdie touches the net but continues over, the server serving from the wrong side of the court and the birdie getting caught in the net.
Kids may have trouble hitting the birdie with a standard badminton racket, states the University of Texas at Arlington. Try letting kids serve from a position closer to the net. Kids might also use a larger birdie and rackets with shorter handles and larger head to make it easier to swing and hit the birdie.