Badminton is a sport in which opposing players use racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net, much like the two other known racquet sports -- lawn tennis and table tennis.

Although it may be played with larger teams, the most common forms of the game are "singles" (with one player per side) and "doubles" (with two players per side).

Badminton is often played as a casual outdoor activity in a yard or on a beach; formal games are played on a rectangular indoor court.

Points are scored by striking the shuttlecock with the racquet and have it land within the opposing side's half of the court. If the opponent fails to return it, the other player – the one who serves -- gets the score.

Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes over the net. Play ends once the shuttlecock has struck the floor or if a fault has been called by the umpire, service judge, or (in their absence) the opposing side.

The shuttlecock is a feathered or (in informal matches) plastic projectile which flies differently from the balls used in many other sports.

In particular, the feathers create much higher drag, causing the shuttlecock to decelerate more rapidly. Shuttlecocks also have a high-top speed compared to the balls in other racquet sports.

The flight of the shuttlecock gives the sport its distinctive nature.

Badminton requires high level of play, and as such, the player need to be excellently fit. It requires players to have aerobic stamina, agility, strength, speed, and precision. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements. The game developed in British India from the earlier game of battledore and shuttlecock.

Since 1992, badminton has been a Summer Olympic sport with four events: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, and women's doubles, with mixed doubles added four years later.

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