The Arrival of Spring Means At Least One Thing: More Badminton!

That's right...Badminton.

If you have the space for it in your yard - preferably the back yard, so that you can perfect your skills in private and away from ongoing traffic - then I recommend carving out space for a badminton court. You don't need much. You'll spend about $30 for a decent net system, another $15 for rackets and shuttlecocks (sometimes called birdies), and maybe another $3 for some rope to make your lines. If you already have a length of rope, and if you visit something like Play It Again Sports for the equipment, then the price will drop even further. [Play It Again type gigs will sometimes have new equipment also, and at decent rates].

You'll be surprised at what you get out of your court. It's fun for many ages, including young children and older, less agile adults. It's fun for couples who compete, recreate together, or just flirt. And occasionally you'll score a sweet game with someone of equal or near-equal skills. This caliber of game not only increases the competition - for those "winners" out there - but also creeps the game (slowly) into a somewhat aerobic event. You may even sweat.

Now if you play someone who really knows what they're doing, first of all they probably won't tell you that they're amazing. They'll just whoop you shamelessly. At least this was my experience. I invited a college tennis player to play badminton with me in my backyard in Vancouver. He casually accepted, seriously playing down his talent. After the first couple of practice hits - which are always advisable before competing - I knew he was better than me. Then, after the first couple of points, I knew he was way better than me. He got up 5-0, and quickly. Then he was up 8-1. Then 15-3. For the next game, I made it my goal to win at least 8 points. It never happened.

If this happens to you - that is, if you suddenly realize that your opponent's skills far outweigh your own - then keep one thing in mind: angles. It's all about the angles. Didn't you see the Olympics? Specifically, the Chinese? It was totally an angle game. They hit it both hard and soft, but always with insane angles. Lesson: Work the angles, and, I suppose, watch the Chinese.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm just suggesting that you put up a court, and soon. You won't be disappointed.

One last thing: I like to cut the grass over the court an inch shorter than the rest of my yard. It adds both to the seriousness of the endeavor as well as to the aesthetics. I've included some dimensions below. Good luck and happy playing!

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