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Exploring the Fast Fading Game called Ball Badminton

Another game that was invented in India is Ball Badminton. This game is similar to Badminton in its essence.Lets take a look at its rules, net, ball, and court and how it is played.

Last updated: 01.07.2019
Exploring the Fast Fading Game called Ball Badminton | Sports Social Blog

Let’s talk about another thing India invented, Ball Badminton. Not many people have seen the game known as Ball Badminton which was invented in the 1800s in the southern parts of India. The Royal family of Tanjore, Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu is known to have played it as early as 1850’s. 

Initially, Ball Badminton was an attractive game for rural boys since it was cheap to get the equipment together. Ball Badminton Federation of India was invented in 1954. The BBFI was among the first three sports federation in India – along with the Indian Athletic Federation and the Indian Hockey Federation- to form the Indian Olympic Association in 1961. The first national Championship was conducted in 1956. Ball badminton as you must have guessed is a game similar to badminton in its essence. Ball Badminton can also be included in Badminton. The only major difference in Ball Badminton and Badminton is the use of Ball instead of a shuttlecock. 

The game of Ball Badminton requires minimal equipment, a ball & a racket per player & a net for the division of the court. The ball, interestingly same size as the table tennis ball, is yellow in color and made out of wool. The ball must weigh between 27 to 30 grams and 5 to 5.5 cm in diameter. The racket similar to badminton racket usually weighs from 165 to 185 grams and 63 to 70 cm in length. The strong oval part of the racket is 20-22 cm across and 24-27 cm in length. The net is tied to three poles, must be maintained at a central height of 183 cm. The entire net is red, white & blue. The court is divided into two parts. The court is 12m wide and 24m in length. Divided into two 12*12 m parts, which are further divided two along its width. 

Ball Badminton is a team sport. The ball is served diagonally opposite part of the court. The server begins on the right side of the court and executes alternatively from right to left with every point in favor. At every 9th, 18th, 27th point the teams change the court. The ball must be served underhand. Each team has five players playing in a “fives” tournament. A doubles tournament has three players on each team, with three available for substitutions at any point in the game.

The match comprises of three games, a two-game win is a match win. The first team to score the 35 points wins the set. Teams start each game from the side opposite the one they played the previous game. There is a break of two minutes between the end of the first game and the start of the second game, and five minutes between the second and the third games. Choice of side and the right of the first service is decided by a coin toss at the beginning of a match. If the team winning the toss chooses to serve, the other team has the choice of side and vice versa. At the beginning of a match, the referee allows two trials, one from each side. After the trials are over, the umpire shall call "play" and regular play begins. A ball is in play from the time a player attempts to serve until it touches the ground or until a "fault" or "let" (a re-serve) is called by the umpire. 

The game seems to have lost it’s impact over youngsters. The new generation prefers Badminton over Ball Badminton because Badminton requires more physical strength and one gets more exposure in Badminton than in Ball Badminton. Plus there’s no media coverage of Ball Badminton tournaments in India. The game’s future is certainly uncertain.

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