Looking back at my journey through badminton, I feel like there are some unspoken rules on court that I learnt mostly from observation. They might be simple and you may already know them but read on if you're not sure. Things have also changed as the years went by. To prevent you from embarrassment, here are three tips that will help you become a true sportsman/sportswoman of the game!
When I started playing badminton; I was used to shaking my opponents hand after a game from my experience playing tennis. The handshake is also the main way players end a game of badminton too. So remember to shake your partner and opponents hand the next time you're on court!
Note: seems wherever I go, the game is ended with a crisp or sloppy high five! I also prefer this. So for those that are used to the handshake, remember that a lot of players prefer the high five these days!
If you have spent some time in racquet sports, it goes without saying that if you hit the opponent that you’d probably want to apologise, right? This is the same in badminton. This is usually done with a simple hand raising gesture (if the hit was soft) and a genuine smile (preferably). More drastic apologies may be necessary if someone gets seriously injured of course! Other times that it’s considered good sportsmanship is when you hit the tape of the net and ultimately win the point (intentionally or unintentionally).
When you do inevitably become a better player and you’ve found yourself playing with those who are not quite as competitive as you. Remember that you were once in those shoes. If they are on your side, be friendly, forgiving and encouraging.
If they are not, then punish them...Just kidding! If they are on the opposite side of the court, give them the opportunity to play badminton, that’s what we’re all there for! A lot of the time when a better player is on court, they either swing one way (play at their best and not even give their amateur opponent a chance) or the other (play so pathetically it’s not fun for anyone).
Consider striking a balance, that’s where sportsmanship lies in this situation.
Thanks for reading and I hope to catch you out there!
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Henry is an ex-state badminton player who represented South Australia as well as Melbourne University. He remains an avid badminton player in the social scenes of Melbourne. His passion for all things badminton lead him to be a co-founder of Volant Wear.