‘Outdoor’ badminton gets support from local federation
MANILA, Philippines—A new variation of badminton is aiming to make its mark in the Philippines.
The Badminton World Federation is developing Air Badminton and the country’s governing body, Philippine Badminton Association, looks to promote the sport to the far reaches of the Philippines in the next few months.
Air Badminton, as opposed to the indoor variation, can be played outside and on any surface be it grass, sand, or cement.
“Air Badminton is the newest game in badminton. It’s our outdoor game. Mainly, the purpose of this is to make badminton to make accessible to everyone. Some say badminton is an outdoor sport turned indoor but that is not the case,” Badminton Asia’s Regional Development Officer for South East Asia Ian Piencenaves.
PBA secretary-general Christopher Quimpo said that this is badminton’s answer to 3×3 basketball and beach volleyball.
“Air badminton can be played on cement, grass, or sand so the venue could be anywhere from the beach, football fields, or even in parking lots,” said Quimpo.
Back in 2019, the BWF launched the airshuttle which is a heavier version of the shuttlecock that’s used in indoor badminton and is made of plastic.
The airshuttle weighs eight grams, three grams heavier than the shuttlecock which is made of feathers and cork, and is designed to go with the wind making the game faster.
Rackets that will be used in Air Badminton are the same but will need higher string tension than the recommended 18 to 20 pounds.
The court will also be tweaked with the front area of court near the net becoming a no-zone and this will prohibit drop shots.
Air Badminton will also introduce a triples event in the sand variation.
“The game is definitely faster,” remarked Piencenaves.
To help grow the sport, the PBA will donate airshuttles to schools across the Philippines and with this growth is an expectation of launching official Air Badminton tournaments by 2021.
“We are going to donate shuttles to public schools everywhere including Mindanao. The good thing about this the airshuttles will take a long time to break. It takes six months at least for it to break,” said Quimpo.
“This is not just a backyard badminton thing since tournaments will be organized by the world-governing body as well,” he added.