Badminton Life



Badminton Words

Words relating to the game of badminton have been compiled in this comprehensive glossary.

This will help a beginner to come to terms with a coaching manual or any article on badminton.

First, let us define the basic terms of badminton:

- Court: The play area, measuring 44ft by 20 ft, and defined by boundary lines.

- Racquet: or racket. It is the equipment used by the player to hit the shuttlecock. It weighs 90 grams (3oz) and is 680mm (27in) long. It is generally made of metal alloys (steel/ aluminium) or ceramic, graphite or boron composites and is strung with synthetic nylon strings or natural gut.

- Shuttlecock: or the shuttle is the object that the players hit back and forth across the net. It consists of 16 goose or duck feathers embedded in a cork base covered with leather. Synthetic shuttles are frequently used in practice matches but their flight characteristics and drag quality are inferior to the feather shuttles.

Now let us examine some words, which describe various lines drawn on the badminton court:

- Net: The net is the barrier tied across the center of the court dividing it into two equal halves, each measuring 22ft by 20ft. The net is 5ft high at its center.

- Baseline: It is the back boundary line, which is parallel to the net and farthest from it.

- Short service line: It is a line 6ft 6in from the net, which the serve must reach to be legal. This line marks the non- volley zone or fore- court of the playing area.

- Long service line: The line, which the serve should not cross, to be legal is called the long service line. The base line or the back boundary line serves as the long service line for the singles play. A line two and a half feet inside the baseline serves as the long service line for doubles.

- Center line: It is a line running perpendicular to the net from the short service line to the baseline dividing the court into equal left and right service courts.

- Side line: It is the outer boundary line beyond which the shuttle should not fall to be considered legal. The side line for doubles is one and a half feet outer to the singles side line.


Now we come to words, which describe different areas of the court:

- Fore- court: It is the area of the court between the net and the short service line.

- Mid- court:It is the area between the short service line and the long service line for doubles.

- Back court: It is the rear third of the court containing the two back boundary lines.

- Back alley: It is that area of the court between the two back boundary lines.

- Side alley: It is area of the court between the two side lines.

- Service court: It is the area into which the serve must be delivered in order to be considered legal. It differs for the singles and doubles game.


We will now examine words, which describe the shots employed in badminton:

- Serve: A serve or service is the first shot of any rally which brings the shuttle into play and aims to deliver the shuttle into the service court of the opponent's side.

- Clear: It is the basic stroke of badminton. It is played to the opponent's back court and may be used defensively (high clear) or offensively as when played flatter (attacking clear).

- Drop: A shot played with soft hands and with finesse to land the shuttle swiftly and close to the net on the opponent's side.

- Smash: It is the most attacking shot in badminton. It is an overhead shot which brings the shuttle down from a height at a steep angle.

- Drive: A fast and flat shot that travels horizontally over the net.

- Hairpin net shot: The shuttle rises from below, clears the net and drops sharply on the opponent's side.

- Net shot: Shot hit from the fore court clearing the net and then falling rapidly.

- Push: A gentle shot played with little wrist action from the fore or mid court and falls in the opponent's mid- court.

- Kill: Overhead shot played fast and downward meant to kill the point.


Miscellaneous terms:

- Feint/ Balk: A deceptive movement meant to confuse the opponent regarding the player's intended direction, choice or speed of shot.

- Carry/ Throw: An illegal act wherein the shuttle is held on the racket and then thrown during the shot.

- Fault: Any violation of the playing rules in serving, receiving or during rally.

- Let: A legal stoppage of play when the rally may be replayed.

- Wood shot: In this shot the shuttle hits the frame of the racket. Once considered illegal, the International badminton federation in 1963 endorsed this shot.













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