BADMINTON has gone from the wood or synthetic floors in indoor courts to an all-surface—sand, grass or cement—outdoor variant with the introduction of air badminton.
The Badminton World Federation, the sport’s world governing body, developed a new variation in air badminton which the Philippine Badminton Association (PBA) looks to promote all over the country in the next few months.
“If basketball has 3×3 and volleyball has beach volleyball, this is badminton’s answer,” PBA Secretary-General Christopher Quimpo said. “Air badminton can be played on cement, grass or sand, so the venue could be anywhere from the beach, football fields or even in parking lots.”
The BWF launched the air shuttle, which compared to its feather counterpart is made of plastic. It weighs 3 grams heavier than the regular shuttle (8 gms.). The design of the air shuttle goes with the wind, making the games faster and more dynamic.
Traditional rackets are used in air badminton, but the string tension are increased over the recommended 18 to 20 pounds for optimum gameplay. With a faster game, air badminton tweaked the playing area a little bit.
Although using the same dimensions as the indoor court, the front area of the court near the net will be a no-zone. With this, drop shots are strictly prohibited.
Another addition to air badminton is a triples event, especially in the sand variation.
“Air badminton is the newest game in badminton. It’s our outdoor game. Mainly, the purpose of this is to make badminton accessible to everyone,” Badminton Asia’s Regional Development Officer for Southeast Asia Ian Piencenaves said.
To help grow the game, the PBA will distribute air shuttles and the new net system to schools across the country.
“We are going to donate shuttles to public schools everywhere—including Mindanao. What’s good here is that the air shuttle lasts longer. It takes six months at least for it to break,” Quimpo said.