Everyone has their favorite sports, and native Canadians won’t be surprised to learn that hockey still tops most lists as the most popular athletic pastime in this country. Soccer, basketball, rugby, lacrosse, and baseball also have intense followings. Another distinctly northern diversion, curling, also ranks high.
The idea to combine beloved sports has been going on for some time now. A few of these combinations are truly outlandish and unexpected. Would you have thought to combine football and tennis or tennis and polo? How about chess and boxing?!
No matter what the blend, the common denominator here is the same with all sporting pastimes: exercise and fun are the goals. To that end, we now add another one to the list: speedminton. It is just one of the exciting sporting activities offered in facilities like the new air-supported dome at Richmond Green Sports Centre & Park in Richmond Hill.
What exactly is Speedminton?
You are no doubt familiar with Badminton, a game where 2-4 people stand behind opposite sides of a net batting a “bird” back and forth. It is a fun, if fairly relaxed, endeavor that was common among the idle rich of olden times. Badminton still has a following nowadays, but probably won’t appeal to those looking for sports that push them physically.
As the name suggests, Speedminton really amps things up. Can you imagine the fast pace and hard racquet action of tennis using birds? Now can you imagine this without a badminton net? That nod to racquetball means a much greater chance of your opponent successfully returning a shot, which also means more intense degrees of running. Players also hit the bird back and forth at a much greater velocity than commonly seen in badminton.
Origins of Speedminton
Speedminton originated in Berlin and continues to have its greatest popularity in Germany. Inventor Bill Brandes (who initially called the game Shuttle Ball) was frustrated by one of the problems posed by outdoor badminton: the light weight of the bird allows for wind to affect its flight. Speedminton uses a heavier bird (or shuttlecock) and slightly different court dimensions. However, many people do not worry about the size of their playing field and just consider the wider dimensions to be an extra, welcome challenge.
With the heavier weight of the bird and the greater swing speed, a regular badminton racquet would not last long in a speedminton contest. Fortunately, there are racquets designed specifically for the demands of this sport. Those who play speedminton for fun can choose a regular graphite model, while those engaging in heavy tournament play should opt for a thinner frame model made from both graphite and Kevlar. The sport’s growing popularity spawned the World Speedminton Championships, but if you are not quite on that level of expertise, there are also more locally based tournaments looking for enthusiastic players.
Play All Year Round
You can play Speedminton anywhere, even in the snowy mountains. However, if like us, and you are not ready to freeze and slip on ice while playing your favorite sport, you can enjoy speedminton throughout the year at the Richmond Green sports dome. Are you a fan of tennis, racquetball, or squash and are interested in trying this great hybrid sport? Contact your local dome and request it as an addition to their sports calendar!