What sport can you play in a gym or your backyard? What sport can you play at age five and 65? What sport can cost as little as $30 or as much as several hundred? And what sport can be played with your kids or in the Olympics?
Bet you didn’t guess the sport is badminton.
One of the best things about badminton is that the equipment you need doesn’t have to cost as much as a 21-speed bike.
To play badminton in your backyard, all you need is some space, a net, two posts, four rackets and a couple of shuttlecocks. On the lower end, you can get the badminton equipment you need to pay for as little as $22.00. Even top-of-the line “tournament quality” sets cost only about $130, or less than you’d pay for a night on the town.
Badminton Is Inexpensive Family Fun
What makes badminton a really great sport are three factors. First, badminton equipment doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Second, badminton is a game everybody in the family can play and enjoy from your 8-year old, all the way up to grandpa. And third, the rules of badminton are simple and easy to understand. You can explain them to that 8-year old in a couple of minutes and then start playing. Compare this with the task of trying to explain the rules of football to an 8-year old.
What You Need For A Badminton Court
Once you have purchased some badminton equipment, you will need a place to play. You can set up a badminton court in your backyard in any flat area. A regulation size court measures 44’ x 20’. However, if you don’t have flat space that size, you can cheat the dimensions a bit and still have fun. Or you can do what many folks so and set up your badminton court in the nearest park.
In either case, you will want to clear all obstructions such as rocks or tree stumps. Next, if it’s your backyard, mow the grass to a level of about 2”. Then, lay out the court using a tape measure, making the court as close to 44’ by 20’ as you can.
Once you’ve created the court, measure in 22’ from the back line so you’ll know where to place the poles and net. Be sure to create a centerline on each side of the net to separate the right service court and the left service court. If you’re just playing for fun, this is about all you need to do. If you’re feeling more competitive, you can measure out 6’ 6” from the net towards the back line to create a short service line. As a final step, walk the court and look it over carefully to make sure it’s a rectangle and that all your lines look straight.
What To Look For In Badminton Equipment
As noted above, you can buy a badminton equipment for as little as $30 or less. However, as in most of life, you get what you pay for. A cheap badminton set will typically have 1” diameter steel poles that come in two or three sections and that you must assemble, and a thin mesh net. The rackets will most likely be made of tempered steel and strung with nylon.
In comparison, a medium-priced badminton equipment – for example, one made by Sportcraft -will have telescoping poles, tension adjusters and pre-tied guide ropes. It will also have tempered steel or graphite rackets with strong lantex strings.
Levels Of Badminton Competition
Badminton is unique in that you can chose to play at a number of different competitive levels all the way up to international-level badminton or even professional badminton. You can play at any age and without having to shell out a lot of money for expensive badminton equipment.
Most of us will be perfectly happy playing with family and friends in our backyard or a park. And don’t kid yourself. The competition can get pretty fierce even in these “fun” games.
If you’d like to take your badminton to a higher level, there is probably a recreation center – or a facility – in your area that caters to badminton. For example, the state of Colorado has four places to play competitive badminton. In comparison, Connecticut has 22 and Oregon nine.
If you can play at one of these facilities, you should find that it has badminton tournaments or ladders where you can challenge players ranked above you and move up to tougher and tougher competition.
If you are really serious about your badminton, there are local, state and regional championship tournaments – all the way up to the national championships. There are tournaments for junior and senior level players. Believe it or not, there are even professional players with their own tournaments – just like in tennis (for more details visit here).
Go have fun
Badminton is fun and can even give you a good cardiovascular workout. So, don’t just stand there. Go buy a set of badminton equipment, and stake out a court. It’s healthy, provides good competition and where else can you have so much fun for $50 or less?