Categories: Sports

Interesting facts about Badminton Shuttlecock

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A high drag projectile used in the second most popular sport of the world Badminton is called a shuttlecock and sometimes a bird or a birdie because it can be made with feathers as well as synthetic materials. Before going through the facts about shuttlecock, we must dive into the interesting world of badminton game. 

Badminton is a lawn game or a court game played with lightweight easy to carry racquets and a shuttlecock. The game was first played in Badminton House- the country estate of the Duke of Beaufort in Gloucestershire in England in 1873. From there only, the sport took its name “Badminton”. 

The credit of introducing a version of this game goes to the Duke who introduced it to its guests taking the game from Poona, India. The game quickly gained wider popularity and in 1877, written rules were introduced by the then Badminton Club named Bath Badminton Club for the very first time.

16 years later, in 1899, the Badminton Federation of England was formed. The federation organized All England Badminton Championship for Men in 1899, and the first badminton tournament for women was held the following year. 

The Badminton World Federation (Formerly the International Badminton Federation), abbreviated as BWF, was formed in 1934.  It is the world governing body of the sport.              

Introduction of Badminton in the Olympics

Badminton was first introduced in the Olympics in 1972 Olympic Games in Munich but only as a demonstration game.  Officially it was adopted as a full medal Olympic game in 1992 Olympics held at Barcelona. The game was introduced in the form of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, and women’s doubles. 

However, the mixed doubles format of the game was included in the 1996 Olympic Games held at Atlanta. The number of events is stable since then. Although the credit of introducing modern badminton games goes to England, the Asian countries including China, Indonesia, etc. dominate this game these days. 

Every year several regional, national and international tournaments of the game are held in various countries. The best-known tournaments are All England Championships, Thomas cup as Men’s team competition and Uber Cup as women’s team competition.

Though recreational play of badminton game is a popular outdoor activity of summertime, the competitive badminton is played indoors to avoid the effects of winds and other external factors on the shuttlecock. In international competition, athletes compete in three games matches.

The badminton court is of rectangular shape and measures 44 feet long and 17 feet wide for singles competition, and 20 feet wide for doubles competition, length remains unchanged. 5 feet high net stretches at its center across the width of the badminton court. 4 feet clear space is left around the court.

The game consists hitting the shuttlecock back and forth across the net not allowing it to touch the floor of the court within the boundaries.

Facts about Shuttlecock

Shuttlecock (sometimes simply called a shuttle) and racquet are the two pieces of equipment that are needed to play badminton. In this fast game, the shuttlecock is hit by its center with a racquet over the net.

Here are some interesting facts about badminton shuttlecock.  

  • Earlier the shuttlecocks were only made of feathers of goose or duck.
  • In modern times, a it can be made of many types of synthetic materials such as plastic as well as feather is also being used.
  • If we look at its design, we will find that it creates an open cone shape which is called a shuttlecock skirt.
  • Feathers’ or plastic’s cone is embedded into a round center, this round center of the shuttle is usually made of rubber or cork. Shuttle’s shape makes it aerodynamically stable.
  • Also, feather shuttlecocks cost more as compared to plastic or synthetic shuttles.
  • In school sports and beginner/amateur clubs, plastic shuttlecocks are more often used in comparison to feather ones. It saves feathers since the feather shuttlecocks are prone to breaking if not hit by the cork side. Plastic shuttlecocks are more durable.
  • Feather shuttles are harder to hit since there is more drag. Feathers shuttlecocks are used by the experienced players in competitions.
  • A shuttlecock weighs approximately 4.7-5.5gm. It has approximately 16 feathers preferably from the left wing of the goose.  It is said that shuttles should not be made with combined feathers of both wings since the feathers of both wings are shaped differently.
  • The diameter of the cork is 25 to 28mm and feathers’ length is approximately 62 to 70mm.
  • To increase the durability and performance of feather shuttlecock, it is placed in humidifier box for approximately four hours.


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