Thursday, April 14, 2011

Badminton shuttlecocks (Shuttles)

Badminton Shuttlecocks (also known as Birdies or Shuttles) are a distinct and unique feature of badminton, that make the game so very different from all the other standard ball games.

Unlike most other games that involve playing with a ball, badminton players have to hit these feathery shuttlecocks across to each other with their rackets, and upon being hit these shuttles tend to fly in the air, due to their aerodynamic shape.

There are commonly 2 types of shuttlecocks used by players. The professional players play with the feathered shuttlecocks, while the casual or recreational players may be seen playing badminton with the synthetic shuttlecocks.

Feathered Shuttlecocks (Feathers):

These badminton birdies are conical in shape and made upto 16 bird feathers which are overlapped and laced together by thin threads. One ends of all these feathers are attached firmly together to a rounded cork located at the base of the shuttlecock, giving the shuttlecock it's beautiful flowery shape, and aerodynamic properties. The cork is covered with a thin leather or synthetic material.

Feathered Shuttlecocks are manufactured from the feathers of only the left wings of geese or ducks. Manufacture of shuttlecocks from the feathers of chinese ducks is quite common.

The distinct aerodynamic properties of shuttlecocks are such that a shuttlecock always retains its stability and always flies in the air or lands on the ground cork-first.

When shuttlecocks fly through the air on being hit, they are affected by breeze to a large extent, and hence playing badminton outdoor in a strong breeze, becomes quite difficult. Due to this reason, professional badminton is always played on indoor badminton courts.

Feather Shuttlecock weight:A feathered shuttlecock is very light in weight and weighs only around 4.75 to 5.50 grams.

Number of feathers in a Shuttlecock:Shuttles have 14-16 feathers with each feather 70mm in length.

Shuttlecock dimensions:
The cork diameter (base diameter) is 25-28mm and the diameter of the circle that the feathers make (the top diameter) is around 54mm.

Synthetic Shuttlecocks (Plastics):

Synthetic nylon shuttlecocks are also manufactured but generally badminton players everywhere like the touch and feel of the feather shuttlecocks rather than the synthetic ones.
The main advantage of the synthetic shuttlecocks is that they last much much longer than their feathery counterparts, and hence are more cost-effective for the players who play for recreational purposes only and cannot afford the price of feather shuttles.

In professional play however, using a feathered shuttlecock of the very best quality is the norm.



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