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Take a Swing At Racket Sports

September 8, 2016 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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Take a Swing At Racket Sports

Friends, fast-paced, and fun are just a few words I can think of to describe racket sports. They are played on courts, usually in teams of one or two, and involve a racket used to hit an object over a net or line to your opponent. Here’s the lowdown on a few racket sports and their rules.

Tennis is played with a ball and a racket that’s heavier and wider than a badminton racket. When the weather is nice, nothing beats a tennis game in the sun (the ball is heavier and the wind has less influence) but it can also be played inside. Have a look at this great beginners guide put together by Tennis Canada.

Badminton is played with a shuttlecock (also called “birdie”) originally made of cork and feathers but nowadays most are made of nylon. The badminton racket is lighter and narrower than that used in tennis and competitions are played indoors because wind can affect the shuttlecock. This being said, if you’re playing for fun, a game of badminton and a picnic go hand in hand, so bring the net! In the backyard, throw as sheet over the clothes line. Badminton Canada is the sanctioned governing body and has the official rules here.

Squash is traditionally played indoors with a small, hollow rubber ball. The squash racket is smaller than a tennis racket but bigger than a badminton racket. There is no net in squash. You hit the ball against a wall and your opponent hits the rebound. Beware! The ball doesn’t bounce very high, so you have to hit it hard. Checkout the official rules of the game on Squash Canada.

Pickle Ball is said to currently be the fastest growing sport in North America, believe it or not! It’s a combination of badminton and tennis. The court is the same size as doubles badminton the net is made of mesh fabric and is a little less than a meter high. The paddles are made of wood and the plastic ball is hollow and perforated. Learn about the rules here.

These sports will give you great aerobic exercise (racket sports are considered vigorous intensity if played singles), you’ll work on your hand eye coordination, and have a blast. PLUS all of the above mentioned can be played indoors which is great for when the weather is bad.

Which racket sport will you try?


Related blogs

Ditch the Lawn Chair for Lawn Sports
How Not to Be Afraid to Try a New Sport

Recommended resources

Tennis BC: Find a Court
Badminton BC: Where to Play
Squash BC: Facilities
Pickleball BC: Places to Play

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