By Theresa Trinko
Badminton: It is a sport most students at the University of Dallas associate with British garden parties, but back home in Northern California, it is a sport like any other. It was the lazy man’s cross country in my high school; you joined badminton if you did not want to join a sport that cut players, and it had the added bonus of not making its members run miles every day. If you are unaware of the intricacies of the game, I will go into it.
Badminton, a game that looks an awful lot like tennis, is played with lightweight rackets and birdies, which are like little cork balls attached to plastic feathers. The more specific term for a birdie is, unfortunately, a shuttlecock. The game must be played indoors when played competitively because even a little bit of wind destroys a good shot. The court looks like a smaller-sized tennis court, and the net is five feet high. Competitively, it is played in doubles, mixed doubles (one male and one female on each team) or singles. In case you doubt the legitimacy of the sport, let it be known that badminton has been an Olympic sport since 1992.
I could tell you more about the specific moves and equipment for badminton. But none of these basic rules, regulations and descriptions really give you the proper idea of playing badminton. Playing badminton, in my experience, is like being a ping pong ninja with your entire body. You regularly make graceful leaps across the entire court to catch and attack the birdie. You smash the birdie at such speeds that the light birdie can actually bruise other players if it hits them instead of their rackets. And it is played at such speeds over such short distances that it requires intense hand-eye coordination.
Overall, badminton is the best sport for those of us out there who hate to run but love to play. Unless, of course, you decide to play competitively, and then apparently it demands a really high level of agility, speed and strength. And I think you might have to run more. There is a reason that I decided to bow out of the badminton sphere after I graduated from high school.