The game of badminton is played by hitting a shuttlecock (sometimes called the "birdie") over the net with specially designed rackets. Badminton can be played as a singles game between two opponents or as a doubles game with two players on each side. An official badminton court for singles measures 17 feet wide and 44 feet long. A doubles court is 20 feet wide to allow for more room for the extra player.
Shuttlecocks are usually made out of synthetic nylon and come in a variety of speeds to suit players of different ability levels. If you play in cold weather, choose a faster than normal shuttlecock to compensate for the slow play that occurs in low temperatures.
Badminton shoes are made from lightweight materials so they do not slow the player down as he or she moves around the court. The soles are thin and must be constructed from a non-marking material so they do not damage the surface of the badminton court.
Unlike a tennis racket, badminton rackets are very thin and have a small, round head. The frame is usually constructed from a light alloy such as aluminum or a composite material like carbon fiber.
Over time, the racket's grip will become worn out and must be replaced. Replacement grips are made out of a variety of absorbent materials, such as terry cloth or synthetic rubber. To improve a racket's grip or make it larger, an overgrip can be wrapped over the top of the existing grip.
Like the racket, badminton strings are also lighter and thinner than the string used for racquetball or tennis. Check your racket's specifications to find the recommended range of tension. Stringing a racket toward the high end of the range gives more control, but less power.