Contrary to popular belief, especially in western countries, badminton is not a picnic sport! Besides the interesting work by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) & HSBC in launching an outdoor version of the game (Airbadminton), the most current professional form of the game (and best in our opinion!) is actually played indoors. Today, I will cover the three key reasons why real badminton cannot be played outdoors at the moment.
1. It’s terribly windy outside
For those of you who are familiar with what badminton is like indoors, it goes without saying that badminton being played outside is almost an impossibility and certainly worse when it’s windy! (see the video below to see how wind can affect the shuttlecock outdoors). As you can see, sometimes it’s so windy you end up playing with yourself instead of an opponent. Contrast that with what real badminton looks like below! Even if the wind isn’t as strong as in the video, it really doesn’t take much to affect the flight path of a shuttlecock that weighs in at around 4.75 to 5.50 g. This means that the shuttlecock rarely goes exactly where you want to hit it when played outdoors and who wants that?! Hence, the invention of the Airshuttle in the launch of Airbadminton.
2. It’s really hard to see sometimes
Badminton is the fastest racquet sport in the world so it’s hard enough to see the shuttlecock travelling >300 kph when you’re playing indoors. When you decide to move the game outdoors, it can be incredibly difficult to see when there’s just so much environment around you (i.e. at a picnic). That might not stop you and I’m sure some of you have great memories of the sport being played outdoors too but when we’re talking about learning or experiencing badminton, try it indoors too :)
And here's some more badminton:
3. There’s no courts outdoors (in Australia)
Having courts permanently fixed outdoors like tennis courts in our country would help a long way to introducing the world of badminton to the general public, although reason 1 can really make it hard to appreciate. To be honest, I think focusing on generating more participation in the indoor sport would be a much more effective use of time and effort. If you were to attempt setting up a badminton court outdoors in a social setting, the only problem I could see is that there are no lines (like tennis courts have) so you could essentially hit it anywhere as long as it makes it past the net. That wouldn’t be a problem if courts were permanent as lines can be simply drawn on the floor like tennis courts are or that may not be a big deal for the social players out there just wanting to get involved in some way!
With the introduction of Airbadminton, I sure hope the participation in our sport (or a similar sport) is likely to increase but I haven't seen much activity in that space since its announcement. However, for those of you who want a real taste of the sport that’s played at the highest level, head indoors :)
Thanks so much for reading our blog and we hope to see you out there!
Last year in August, I was lucky enough to travel to Basel, Switzerland to coach the Australian Team at the 2019 World Championships.
Being a former player that has competed at such tournaments such as the World Championships, I found that the experience was vastly different as a coach compared to an athlete.