(flickr)

Most Awesome Badminton Exchange!

Did you know that badminton is the second most popular sports in the world behind soccer?

Check out this  amazing clip! Even if you don’t play or know much about badminton, this is pure excitement and lightening fast reflexes.

Badminton is a sport where players with racquets hit an object called a shuttlecock back and forth across a net. Think of the sports as tennis played with a strange object with feathers.

In America, basketball games draw 15,000 people typically. In some countries, especially in Asia, they draw about the same attendance for badminton games.

Usually there are one or two players per side. Formal badminton games are usually played indoors. It’s kind of like tennis where you score points when the shuttlecock lands on your opponent’s side of the court.

According to the rules, you can only hit the shuttlecock once on your side (like tennis). The feathers on the shuttlecock actually decelerate it rapidly, so shuttlecocks can reach a high top speed compared to a regular ball. Official shuttlecocks are made of 16 feathers held together by gule. The shuttlecock can reach speeds of up to 200 mph! Try returning some traveling that fast!

Badminton was first developed in India under British rule. It became popular in Europe and now is very popular in Asia. It’s an official Summer Olympic sport.

Badminton requires very good hand-eye coordination and demands stamina, speed and agility.

Other fun facts about badminton:

– the first game was first officially played in Gloucestershire, England

– top quality shuttlecocks are made from feathers of geese

– Over 1 billion people watched the 1992 badminton Olympic matches

– the official governing body of badminton is the International Badminton Federation (IBF)

– the shortest match is officially recorded as 6 minutes and the longest match was 124 minutes

– there is even a Barbie toy set complete with racquet and shuttlecocks

(top photo caption: Flickr)