The beginning

Here beneath will be explained how people come from a simple badminton game of hitting a shuttlecock to each other in the garden, to a competitive badminton match in a sports hall. It will show up as a reasonable development. By analysing the steps towards this "offficial" match, much can be learned about the motivation of players for such a match, and broadly how they play it.

Photo: Denis Vahrushev via Compfight cc

Like the pair is showing on the picture hereabove, the simplest form and a beginning of the game of badminton is the playing just in the garden or on a camping ground without court and just having pleasure in moving and in hitting the shuttle to each other. Nevertheless, here already we can start with our analysis of the game.

When we analyse this play, we can conclude that this whole play is already about having awareness of the distance between each other, the direction in which to hit the shuttle, the space around each other and the movement to be made to the shuttle, and to use a suiting stroke.
For instance forgetting your partner, because you are hitting the shuttle with close attention, could cause you hitting the shuttle away from your partner. Also, not any longer looking around you would let you run into the bushes. So, playing this simple game asks already for overview over the situation, and an insight in the possibilities from where to hit the shuttle in which direction.

The second step follows from the first step, which was hitting the shuttle to each other for some time. In this second step, after the mentioned experiences, both players are going to challenge themselves and the other by hitting the shuttle harder or further away from the other. This we can analyse too.

Analysing this playing, we presume that players are going to challenge each other because of the excitement of these challenges. One challenge is to hit the shuttle in such a way that the partner has difficulties to bring the shuttle back. That brings the pleasant excitement of sympathy and experience for the player who chalenged his partner. And then is there of course the challenge for the player himself to hit back a difficult placed shuttle, and the satisfaction if he can. So, the second step towards the "official" badminton game is bringing in its feature of challenge.
To play in this challenging way, one has to become more aware of the space that can be used, the movements that the partner can and wants to achieve, and ones own wishes and possiblities to reach the shuttle and hit it. The overview over the place and the situation has to be kept better to be able to play in this way.

Photo: e7onions23 via Compfight cc

When we look at the picture hereabove, we see the third step, which follows from the second that was challenging your badminton partner and yourself by hitting the shuttle harder and further away from him or her. In this third step both players are going to negotiate about some rules. Too hard and too far away is mean. So, these become rules. Raising a net between the two obvious parts of the playing ground, and drawing lines in the sand or stretch a cord in the grass to limit the area in which the shuttle may be played, will make the negotiated rules clearer. This setting of clearity to the rules is an extra step between, as is trying to make points and counting them, which sometimes is also becoming part of the rules. We analyse this third step too.

Analysing this third step we may conclude as follows. By arranging rules to the badminton game on the camping ground, both players, or three or four, donĀ“t have to worry any longer if they are playing according to the idea of helping each other to get a nice challenge. The raising of the net between the playing partners and the bordering of their area's with lines make them aware of being contenders too. Competition will arise between players, which gives them an extra exciting challenge. The attention to each other shifts to attention to the badminton game itself. That is because rules are very clear now, and playing all out within these rules becomes an extra challenge. Now players can go and look for possibllities to place the shuttle as hard as they can and as precise. They wil think about tactics too, like playing to the right, then to the left, or playing softly near the net, then hard to the rear of the court.
This features this third step: the shift of the attention from each other to the game, and the awareness of competition.

Like on the photo herebeneath, the fourth step towards playing an "official" badminton match is playing on an "official" badminton court. Often this comes with a great change in circumstances. Namely from playing out in the garden or out in the street or from playing at the camping-site or at the hollyday resort, to inside a sports hall. One needs getting used to play in such an entourage. Also, emphasis will be placed there just on playing badminton matches. Moreover, there are people present under whose eyes should be played. Nevertheless, it will take only little time and effort to learn and play an "official" badminton game. One does not need to have played badminton at all somehow. Although the aforementioned steps will make it easier.

The official rules are simple. Hitting the shuttle can everyone already. After a short while of ten minutes to get used a little to play on the court in this environment, and to play with these "official" rackets and shuttles, one can easily learn the most important rules. These are which areas to play on, given with the lines of the court and of the service-area. Further, that one has to serve cross and beneath waist-height, and that one will win the game by reaching 21 points or maximum 30, and one is playing for two games to win the match. That a match can be played as a singles game and a doubles game is mostly known already. That one party earns points when the other party cannot bring back the shuttle is intuitively known by most players too. But these things are eventually dealt with easily by friendly opponents who already have some experience in playing.

All together, without having played badminton ever, one can learn to play a so called "official" badminton match certainly within half an hour. Then one is able to play with the pleasure of challenging the opponents and oneself by hitting and placing the shuttle with effort, the satisfaction of achieving winning points because of technical and tactical play, the competition with other people and its social contacts by all this.

When we analyse this first playing of such "official" badminton matches, the remark may be on its place that there will appeare large differences between persons in the way they play for the first time. Beside their distinctive characters and sexes, there are other differencies too. To mention, the one has been playing football, tennis and basketball for years, the other looks around in a sports environment for the first time. Nevertheless, the features of these badminton matches are broadly the same.

In this "official" badminton match the qualities of the game are these of the plays mentioned in the steps afore added up. In the first place, playing on the court, one has to become aware of the total situation of two parts of one court, with a net in between, and being contenders with the player or players on the other half court. One has to look around where one is on the court, to be able to reach the shuttle, and possibly you're not allone on the court but with a playing partner with whom you will try to collaborate. In the second place, one will look at the opposite side of the court where one will place the shuttle in a way and to a place that the opponents will have the greatest difficulties to bring the shuttle back. In the third place, one will think about which stroke to use best. And also which tactics to use, like hit hard or softly and left or right. In the fourth place, one will try to make the best out of the game by trying to achieve points and count them, and so making a competitive game of it.
Within these features, players of course will show up great differences in having an overview over the game, being competitive, and their technical and tactical awareness and possiblities.

Photo: myhsu via Compfight cc

The above mentioned steps with its analyses give a broad insight in playing a badminton match. It can be said that in the half of an hour in which the game can be learned, the game has taken already in large lines its definitive form. That means that world top players play in the same way as do the beginning players in the paragraph here above.

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