A robot to play with! A childhood’s dream has now come true for researchers at the Flanders’ Mechatronics Technology Centre (FMTC) in Belgium. Wim Symens and his team pioneered the development of the first robot ever to play badminton. But this robot is only a guinea pig to test a software application designed to optimise energy efficiency in machine design.
The “spirit” of Badminton involves a proper attitude concerning the game – a perspective that considers, for one, that there are no opponents – only participants. Aspirants, if you prefer, demanding the best of themselves… working, perhaps, in a sort of conflicting harmony – the barometer of excellence being determined by doing the best we can… extending ourselves to pursue the limits of our abilities and endurance. The ultimate in ourselves being shown on the court and off the court as well.
With the International Badminton Federation (IBF), world-wide badminton players could go for the gold at the Olympics, try to win the All-England, play in the World Championships, the Thomas Cup/Uber Cup, Sudirman Cup, or other top tournaments. Players set their sights on national titles as well. But with the change in the name to the Badminton World Federation (BWF), other changes have been made to freshen the image of the sport and professionalize the events. Besides rally scoring which has shortened matches and made them more exciting, the creation of the BWF Super Series has certainly attracted the attention of the world-class players, their fans, and the junior players around the world.
The obvious answer to protect your eyes! Do accidents happen on court? You bet! Just in our St. Louis club alone, two players have been hit in the eye in recent years, one with a shuttle and one with a racket. In one St. Louis venue, we play under extreme white-out conditions with a low ceiling and bright lights. The eye injury results ranged from weeks of homebound recovery and missed school for one player to eye surgery and diminished vision for the other. Both may suffer from potential detached retinas in the long term.
Giant shuttles in the United States? Where? Who is responsible for them? What’s the story?
Knowledgeable tournament badminton players and badminton fans in the United States will be happy to tell you about the giant shuttles located in Kansas City, Missouri, in the heartland of the USA. July 10, 1994, was the dedication day for the outdoor sculptures on the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. To celebrate the arrival of the unusual art work, the Museum hosted shuttlecock Sunday,featuring live jazz, a celebrity badminton tournament,hands-on art projects for children, parades, and games.
A GAME OF A N G L E S
A game of angles,
Oh, that it is!
Badminton, you say,
That bird-hitting biz.
The USA Badminton “Walk of Fame Plaza” is a national site in honor of badminton’s elite athletes and outstanding service contributors. The Plaza officially opened April 25, 2003, and is located in front of the Orange County Badminton Club at 1432 North Main Street in Orange, California. A monument in front of the club marks the sidewalk filled with the tiles of twenty-five people honored for their playing careers or lives of service. The monument was generously funded by the U.S. Badminton Education Foundation.
When one takes the time to reflect on the sport of badminton, one begins to wonder why he or she is attracted to this sport. Why do people want to play? What draws them to the badminton court?
For many players, the sport of badminton is fun. Many people play the game for enjoyment – just to have a good time. It is fun to play, to face one or two opponents across the net either during a tournament match or just for a club game. What a thrill it is to make the perfect drop shot or to wait until the precise time to hit that timely smash! You display that cunning you have honed for years while on the wrong end of many opponents’ shots. Pay-back time is so sweet!
by R. Stanton Hales
The world sporting community and the International Olympic Committee in particular, have had the wisdom to give Badminton the respect it deserves. By unanimous vote of the I.O.C., Badminton has become a medal sport. The future of the world’s most demanding racket sport is rosy indeed but there still is much education to be done before Badminton is truly appreciated in the United States. The recent Men’s Doubles Championship won by Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan lends emphasis to the fact that Badminton will demand the respect and appreciation that is generally accorded the world’s most demanding sports, for that is what it is. Badminton players deserve respect and admiration generally accorded to the world’s best trained athletes, for that is what they are.
By Lowell N. Douglas, Ph.D
In a series of studies conducted by the Department of Physical Education at Baylor University, information has been obtained which suggests that Badminton is one of the finest conditioning types of activities. The game possesses all of the fundamental motor skills with which man is endowed and demands faster reactions than most any other game. Fundamentally, the game demands the execution of such skills as running, jumping, twisting, striking, throwing and various combinations of these skills executed in rapid hand-eye coordination. In a three game singles match played between two average men, players of approximate ability, one should expect to find that the three games require a total time of about 45 minutes, of which the shuttlecock is in actual flight or being batted by one player or the other. During that 20 minutes of highly concentrated exercise each player will travel approximately one mile. He will also make 350 changes of direction of 90 degrees or better and will strike the shuttle some 400 times. Of these, 400 strokes, 150 will be full arm swings of a racket weighing some 5 ounces (many major league pitchers have pitched complete baseball games without throwing that many times). Players in normal physical condition should expect an increase in pulse rate from 72 to 125 and an increase in systolic blood pressure from 120 to 145. Few games require as much concentrated action. In a three set tennis match, one should not expect the ball to be in play any more than 8 percent of the total time, while in footfall, a game we think as being vigorous, the ball is actually in play only about 14 minutes of the two odd hours that the players spend on the field.