Badminton is popular among youngsters in Asia and parts of Europe. A pacy encounter is simply great fun. But one must be prepared for it. The badminton racket is central to all the thrill.
The badminton racquet or racket, which is the official term adopted by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), is a simple to handle, light piece of equipment which forms the basis of the sport.
While there are multiple lengths and sizes of the badminton racket for kids, adults, and casual use, professional badminton players have to use rackets of a certain specified length and width.
Let’s take a look at the specifications set by the BWF.
The badminton racket has five major parts to it – the stringed area, the head, the throat, the shaft, and the handle. The racket in its entirety is called a frame.
The frame can have a maximum length of 680mm while the overall width is restricted to 230mm.
This is quite self-explanatory – the stringed area is the netted part of the badminton racket with which the player intends to hit the shuttlecock.
The BWF rules stipulate that the stringed area should be flat, and the pattern of cross strings should be alternatively interlaced where they cross with each other.
The string pattern is advised to be uniform in nature and not dense – more amount of string means lesser string tension - at any part of the stringed area.
The overall length of the string should not exceed 280mm while the overall width needs to be maintained within 220mm.
The area which bounds the stringed area is called ‘the head’ of the badminton racket.
Now, the shape of the head is generally oval – which is used by professional players who usually prefer more power on their shots.
However, there is also another shape called the ‘isometric head’ – which means that the racket is broader at the top.
The wider nature means that there is a bigger ‘sweet spot’ – the part of the racket which meets the shuttle best - allowing players more chances of hitting the shuttle better. However, this is generally used by amateur badminton players and not by pros.
This is the part of the racket which supports the head by providing a steady base and connects the head to the shaft.
This is an optional part, as some badminton rackets directly connect the head to the shaft.
In rackets that have no throat, the stringed area can be extended. However, the extended limit can have a maximum width of 35mm while it should simultaneously ensure that the overall length of the stringed area does not exceed 330mm.
The shaft is the part of the racket which links the handle to the head, or in some cases the throat of the badminton racket.
There are no specifications stated for the length or width of the shaft.
The bottom-most part of the racket gripped by the player, the handle is arguably the most important cog.
The ease of grip on the handle for a player often determines how comfortable the player is with the racket and can decide the performance on the day of professional players.
There are no specifications for the length or width of the handle, with each player customising it to their needs.
Apart from these, the BWF laws also state that the racket should not have any attached objects and protrusions other than to prevent wear and tear of the racket, applying short tape to the stringed area for example, to distribute weight or to secure the handle by a cord to the player’s hand, provided such measures are reasonable in size and placement.
The badminton racket should also be of a fixed, elongated shape and should not be attached with any devices that can materially change the shape of the racket.