Badminton is a fast-paced sport where shuttlecocks travel at speeds in excess of 400 km/h. With game play moving so quickly, following the action on television and the commentary attached to it can be difficult to do without an idea of the jargon of the game.
For both recreational players and occasional badminton viewers alike, here are 10 badminton terms you'll need to know in order to follow and understand the quick and fast action of the game:
Baseline: The back boundary line parallel to the net at the end of each court. In order to force opponents back toward the baseline, players use clears and drives in order to set up a shot in the forecourt.
Clear: A strong and deep overhead swing towards the opponent's baseline. Typically used as a defensive shot, clears give players time to prepare for their opponent's next shot.
Drive: A fast and low shot with a flat trajectory and as close to the net as possible. To hit an effective drive shot, players typically hold their racket higher up on the handle and closer to the shaft in order to have a quick swing using just the wrist.
Drop: A softly hit shot with finesse that is intended to go barely clear the net. Drop shots are as close to the net as possible in order to make it difficult for an opponent to return, particularly when they are near the baseline.
Flick: This quick forehand shot requires a lot of wrist motion, typically happens near the net, and deceives the opponent into thinking the shot is soft. Flick shots typically happen either on the serve or at the net.
Forecourt: This is the front third of the court between the net and the short service line. When attempting a drop shot, the bird is intended to fall in the forecourt.
Lift: Lifts make contact with the shuttlecock below the height of the net and has a high trajectory toward the baseline. These shots are like clears in that they are typically used for defensive purposes and pushes the opponent back.
Net Shot: This lightly hit shot ideally tumbles right over the net, making it very difficult for an opponent to reach and return. Net shots often use a slicing motion and require very little wrist movement to be effective.
Push Shot: Somewhat of a combination between a drive and a net shot, a push shot is gentle, usually done near the net or at midcourt, and pushes the shuttle towards the opponent's midcourt.
Smash: This is a hard-hit overhead shot that is hit in a downward trajectory. Also called a kill or put away, this very fast shot is the primary form of attacking for most players.
Olympic Badminton - Information, History, Rules, London 2012
Glossary of Badminton Terms, washingtonpost.com
More from this contributor:
Austin is an avid badminton enthusiast and has been a frequent participant and coach of the sport for nine years. He is also a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network who looks forward to watching the action at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Follow this contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.
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