Traditionally, badminton has been played indoors. But what if you don’t have enough space to set up a net inside? Can you play badminton outdoors?
Badminton can be played outdoors. All you need is a place to assemble the net and flat ground to run on. Though, because the shuttlecock is so light, the wind and rain can have a big impact on its flight path.
One of the things that makes badminton so popular is how versatile it is. You can play it almost anywhere. Keep reading to learn more about how you can play badminton outdoors.
Potential Problems with Playing Badminton Outdoors
While you can play badminton outdoors, there are a few potential obstacles for you to overcome. Let’s look at some of them.
A shuttlecock will only weigh five grams (source). Because of this, it can be manipulated by the weather. Strong winds can easily blow it off course, which can complicate things if you plan on playing outside.
Another potential impact will be the rain. If the shuttlecock gets wet, it will be heavier. This will affect the way that it flies through the air. Plus, the rain can make the ground muddy and slippery, so there is a chance that you will fall over.
Spotting the Shuttlecock
If you are playing outdoors, it might be harder to keep an eye on the shuttlecock. For example, you might lose it in the glare of the sun. When playing indoors, the walls will be painted blue or green with the contrast making the shuttlecock easier to see.
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Why Play Badminton Outdoors?
Because of these potential problems, competitive badminton games are always held indoors. But if you are looking for a fun game with friends, you can play outside.
Here are some of the advantages that playing outside can provide:
- Easy to set up. All you need to start playing is a place to put the badminton net. You can play in your backyard, or in a park. Some people even like to play at the beach.
- Enjoying the sunshine. If it’s a sunny day, taking the badminton game outdoors can be a lot of fun.
- More room to run. If you are playing outdoors, you could use court markers. Though, it’s most likely that you will be playing a casual game, rather than focusing on point scoring. Because of this, many people opt to ignore court boundaries, feeling free to run as much as they like. Even when playing competitively, an outdoor court is larger than an indoor one.
- Potentially safer. On an indoor court, you will have to worry about concrete floors. These can do a lot of damage if you have a fall. On the other hand, if you are playing outdoors and you have a fall, you might have soft grass or sand to soften the blow.
- Cheaper. If you are playing outdoors, you don’t need to worry about the costs involved with renting the court. If you own the equipment, the game will be free to play.
- Good for training. If you want to improve your skill in badminton, training outdoors can be a good option. You’ll be able to set up the net at home, facing a wall. You can then practice your stance and hitting technique.
Tips to Play Badminton Outdoors
If you are planning on playing outdoors, there are a few things you can do to make sure that you have an excellent experience.
Choosing the Right Place to Put the Net
One of the most important elements for you to consider is where you are going to set the game up. It’s vital to find something that will offer some protection from the wind. You might want to put the net close to a garden wall.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have enough space to run around. Think about the ground, so you’ll have a soft landing if you slip. Make sure that the surface is flat. If you plan on setting up the game for a long time, try to find a location that offers protection from the rain.
AirBadminton is a new game that was created by the Badminton World Federation. It was designed to be played outdoors. This means that a few adjustments had to be made. Most notably, the weight of the shuttlecock has increased. This makes it more difficult for the wind to blow it off-course.
There are a few other differences between AirBadminton and the indoor variety. These include:
- Court Dimensions. The court is longer than the indoor variety. It will be 16 meters long, compared to the 13.1m long indoor court. It will also be thinner. AirBadminton double games will have a width of 6m while single games will have a width of 5m.
- Dead zone. This is two meters on either side of the net. If the shuttlecock lands in one of these zones, it is declared out. This is to stop deep lunges, which can be too dangerous.
- String thickness and gauge. You might need thicker, tighter strings to compensate for the increased shuttlecock weight. The recommended tension is between 18 to 20 pounds (source).
Dealing With the Wind
The wind is the biggest issue when playing badminton outdoors. Even AirBadminton, which is designed to be played outdoors, recommends against playing when the wind is over 11 kilometers an hour.
Even a light breeze might be enough to affect a shuttlecock’s flight. There isn’t anything you can do about this. But you can learn how to stop it from affecting your game. To do this, you’ll need to factor in wind direction and speed when making the shot. Ideally, you will be able to counteract the impact the breeze is having on your shuttlecock.
Another option is to add a piece of putty to the tip of the shuttlecock. This extra weight will make it harder for it to be blown off course.
Competitive badminton games are always played indoors. But if you are looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon, you can get the net set up and play a few rounds with your friends. When playing for fun, the effect of the wind can even add to the thrill.