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Local badminton federation supports new variation of the sport

National badminton team members try the new variation of the sport – air badminton. (Philippine Badminton Association)

The Philippine Badminton Association (PBA) is throwing its support to a new variation of the sport — air badminton.

Developed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), air badminton, as opposed to that played indoors, can be played on any surface, be it on sand, grass, or cement.

“Air badminton is the newest game in badminton. It’s our outdoor game. Mainly, the purpose of this is to make badminton more 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 said in a release.

Air badminton makes use of the airshuttle, which was launched by the BWF last year. It is made of plastic instead of feathers and weighs three grams heavier than the regular shuttle, weighing at eight grams. Moreover, the design of the airshuttle goes with the wind, making the games faster and more dynamic.

Rackets used will be the same with that used for indoors but the string tension must be increased to higher than the recommended 18 to 20 pounds for optimum game play.

Though using the same dimensions of the indoor court, the front area of the court near the net will be a no-zone, prohibiting drop shots.

Another addition air badminton will bring is a triples event, especially in the sand variation.

Seeing the potential of air badminton in the Philippine setting, the PBA said it will be active in promoting the sport in different parts of the country.

“If basketball has 3×3 and volleyball has beach volleyball, this is badminton’s answer to it,” said PBA secretary-general Christopher Quimpo.

“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,” he added.

In pushing for air badminton, the PBA will distribute airshuttles and the new net system to schools across the country.

The federation is also planning to hold air badminton tournaments down the line. – MASM