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In badminton, singles players or doubles teams stand on opposite sides of the net. Players win points by hitting shots that their opponents cannot return over the net before the shuttlecock hits the ground. This sport requires a higher net than many other racket sports. The Badminton World Federation, the governing body for the sport, provides rules regarding the net height that serve as a standard in international competition.
According to the University of Southern Mississippi, badminton evolved from an ancient Greek and Egyptian sport known as battledore and shuttlecock. In the 1800s, British army officers discovered a new version of the game played in India, known as Poona. This version of the game required a net, unlike the earlier versions. The Badminton Association of England, formed in 1895, and the International Badminton Federation, now known as the Badminton World Federation, both provide specific net requirements today. A popular variation on the sport of badminton, known as speedminton, does not require a net.
The badminton net measures the same length for both singles and doubles badminton. For both formats, the net must be attached to posts placed just outside either doubles sideline. The net stretches 20 feet across from one post to the other, according to the Badminton World Federation. The net should measure 5 feet high at the center and no more than 5 feet 1 inch at either side. According to the Badminton World Federation’s Laws of Badminton, male and female players must play with the same net height and length.
The badminton net must consist of a black or dark-colored mesh with a consistent thickness. The posts must remain vertical while supporting the net. No space should exist between the edges of the net and the posts. A white tape runs along the top of the net to make the net’s full height visible to players, spectators and rules officials.
No player can reach over the net to hit a shuttlecock that remains on the opponent’s side of the court. Players cannot touch the net or net posts with their racket, clothes or with any part of their body. Players must hit the shuttlecock over the net. If a player hits the shuttlecock into, through or under the net, he loses the rally.
According to USA Volleyball and International Federation of Volleyball rules, the volleyball net must measure 7 feet 11 5/8 inches for men and 7 feet 4 1/8 inches for women. The net must measure between 31 feet 6 inches and 33 feet long. According to United States Tennis Association and International Tennis Federation rules, the Tennis net must measure 3 feet high at the center and 3 feet 6 inches high at the sides. The net’s length varies according to the match format. For singles matches, singles net posts or singles sticks must be placed 3 feet outside the singles sidelines, and for doubles matches, doubles net posts must be placed 3 feet outside the doubles sidelines.
In some ways, the badminton net resembles the volleyball net more closely than the Tennis net. Both badminton and volleyball require elevated nets with some space under the net. In both of these games, players must keep the ball or shuttlecock above the ground, meaning they often have to hit it from higher in the air. In tennis, on the other hand, players can hit the ball after it bounces and while it remains low to the ground.
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