For the 1991 film, see Shuttlecock (film). For the 1981 novel on which it is based, see Shuttlecock (novel).
A shuttlecock (also called a bird or birdie) is a high-drag projectile used in the sport of badminton. It has an open conical shape formed by feathers (or a synthetic alternative) embedded into a rounded cork (or rubber) base. The shuttlecock's shape makes it extremely aerodynamically stable. Regardless of initial orientation, it will turn to fly cork first, and remain in the cork-first orientation.
The name 'shuttlecock' originates in Victorian times, when Badminton first became popular. It is frequently shortened to shuttle. The "shuttle" part of the name was probably derived from its back-and-forth motion during the game, resembling the shuttle of a loom, while the "cock" part of the name was probably derived from the resemblance of the feathers to those on a Rooster.
A shuttlecock weighs around 4.75 to 5.50 g (0.168 to 0.194 oz). It has 16 feathers with each feather 70 mm (2.8 in) in length. The diameter of the cork is 25 to 28 mm (0.98 to 1.10 in) and the diameter of the circle that the feathers make is around 54 mm (2.1 in).
Construction and materials
A shuttlecock is formed from 16 or so overlapping feathers, usually goose or duck, embedded into a rounded cork base. The cork is covered with thin leather. To ensure satisfactory flight properties, it is considered preferable to use feathers from right or left wings only in each shuttlecock, and not mix feathers from different wings, as the feathers from different wings are shaped differently.
The feathers are brittle; shuttlecocks break easily and often need to be replaced several times during a game. For this reason, synthetic shuttlecocks have been developed that replace the feathers with a plastic skirt. Players often refer to synthetic shuttlecocks as plastics and feathered shuttlecocks as feathers.
Feather shuttles need to be properly humidified for at least 4 hours prior to play in order to fly the correct distance at the proper speed and to last longer. Properly humidified feathers flex during play, enhancing the shuttle's speed change and durability. Dry feathers are brittle and break easily, causing the shuttle to wobble. Saturated feathers are 'mushy', making the feather cone narrow too much when strongly hit, which causes the shuttle to fly overly far and fast. Humidification boxes are often used, but a simple moist sponge inserted in the feather end of the closed shuttle tube will work nicely. Water should never touch the cork of the shuttle. Shuttles are tested prior to play to make sure they fly true and at the proper speed, and cover the proper distance. Different weights of shuttles are used to compensate for local atmospheric conditions. Both humidity and height above sea level affect shuttle flight. A proper shuttle will generally travel from the back line of the court to just short of the long doubles service line on the opposite side of the net, with a full underhand hit from an average player.
The cost of good quality feathers is similar to that of good quality plastics, but plastics are far more durable, typically lasting many matches without any impairment to their flight. Shuttles are easily damaged and should be replaced every three or four games, and sooner if they are damaged and do not fly straight. This interferes with the game, as the impairment on the flight of the shuttle may misdirect the direction of the shuttlecock.
Most experienced and skillful players greatly prefer feathers, and serious tournaments or leagues are always played using feather shuttlecocks of the highest quality. Experienced players generally prefer the "feel" of feathered shuttlecocks and assert that they are able to control the flight of feathers better than that of plastics. In Asia, where feather shuttlecocks are more affordable than in Europe and North America, plastic shuttlecocks are hardly used at all.
The playing characteristics of plastics and feathers are substantially different. Plastics fly more slowly on initial impact, but slow down less towards the end of their flight. While feathers tend to drop straight down on a clear shot, plastics never quite return to a straight drop, falling more on a diagonal. Feather shuttles may come off the strings at speeds in excess of 320 km/h (200 mph) but slow down faster as they drop. For this reason, the feather shuttle makes the game seem faster, but also allows more time to play strokes. Because feather shuttles fly more quickly off the racquet face they also tend to cause less shoulder impact and injury
|Look up shuttlecock in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Jianzi: a traditional Asian game in which players aim to keep a heavily weighted shuttlecock (Jian) from touching the ground
- Battledore and shuttlecock: an ancient game similar to that of modern badminton.
5. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shuttlecock - shuttlecock: badminton equipment consisting of a ball of cork or rubber with a crown of feathers.
Beginner's Guide : 10 Rules of Badminton
The sport of badminton is supposed to have originated in Greece, about 2000 years ago.
From there it spread to other parts of Europe, Asia and the World. Today, it's a popular sport worldwide, both at amateur and professional levels. The following article contains the 10 rules of badminton and other regulations that you familiarize yourself with to play the sport.
Badminton is played with two single or two teams of two players each. It is a racquet sport. The rectangular court is divided into two halves with a net in the centre. Unlike other racquet games like squash or tennis badminton does not use a ball. It is played with a feathered projectile, which is called a shuttlecock.
Shuttlecocks characteristically are light weight and are thereby affected by the wind. Thus professional badminton is played indoors as even the slightest breeze can effect the direction of the shuttlecock. The 10 rules of badminton given below are valid for both professional and amateur badminton games.
The game involves the two opponents hitting the shuttlecock over the net into the other person's side. The rally ends when the shuttlecock touches the ground. Only one stroke is allowed to pass it over the net. One badminton match is made up of three games, of 21 points each. Professional badminton games are of five kinds: Men's singles, Men's doubles, Mixed doubles, Women's singles and Women's Doubles.
In a badminton match, the court size for a single's game is 44 feet long X 17 feet wide and for a doubles match it is 44 feet long X 20 feet wide. The height of the net is 5 feet.
The 10 rules of badminton are as follows:
1. A game starts with a coin toss. Whoever wins the toss gets to decide whether they would serve or receive first OR what side of the court they want to be on. The side losing the toss shall then exercise the remaining choice.
2. At no time during the game should the player touch the net, with his racquet or his body.
3. The shuttlecock should not be carried on or come to rest on the racquet.
4. A player should not reach over the net to hit the shuttlecock.
5. A serve must carry cross court (diagonally) to be valid.
6. During the serve, a player should not touch any of the lines of the court, until the server strikes the shuttlecock. During the serve the shuttlecock should always be hit from below the waist.
7. A point is added to a player's score as and when he wins a rally.
8. A player wins a rally when he strikes the shuttlecock and it touches the floor of the opponent's side of the court or when the opponent commits a fault. The most common type of fault is when a player fails to hit the shuttlecock over the net or it lands outside the boundary of the court.
9. Each side can strike the shuttlecock only once before it passes over the net. Once hit, a player can't strike the shuttlecock in a new movement or shot.
10. The shuttlecock hitting the ceiling, is counted as a fault.
Learning and inculcating the 10 rules of badminton is the first step towards getting into the game. Besides these, it's a good idea to get to know more about the equipment laws, which govern what equipments can be used - the design of the racquet, the weight and shape of the shuttlecock (for correct speed). Surprisingly there is no rule for the minimum height of the ceiling, but nevertheless, a low ceiling would be problematic.