Tag Archives: Tennis

Racket Sports of Yesterday and Today

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Racket Sports

Racket Sports


Racket sports are old games being played by players holding a racket. The racket is primarily used to hit a ball or other objects. Racket sports are very popular throughout the world, being almost played by nations across the globe. Some of the most popular ones are tennis and badminton.

Tennis is one of the racket sports loved almost in America, Europe, Asia and Australia.  Tennis originated in France where it was believed it was first played by Louis X. Louis X of France played an indoor game where a ball is struck by the palm of his hand. This game became popular and later evolved to the modern day tennis. It was only in the 16th century that rackets were used to hit the ball. The game was then named ‘tennis’ which means ‘to take’ in French. The game became more popular and spread across Europe. King Henry VIII of England became so interested in this game. It was during his reign that tennis came to be the real tennis of the modern times.

The main equipment used in tennis, of course, is a racket. The earliest rackets were more or less uniform in size and shape. They are typically made of wood and shaped in an elliptical frame with woven strings tightly pulled to form a matrix. During the early times, the strings are made of animal gut. It was only after a hundred years when lighter materials were used to construct the frame of tennis rackets. Carbon graphite, titanium alloy not only provided speed but also gave power and precision.

The next equipments used were balls made of hollow rubber covered with felt material. During the first years of the evolution of tennis, the balls are colored white. It was only in the 20th century when the color was changed from white to optic yellow for better visibility. Tennis court surfaces are of different types. The most common of these which are very popular in US and France are the clay courts. The surfaces of these courts are actually made of hardened bricks. For some courts, the surfaces are made of concrete, grass, carpet and wood.

Badminton is another popular racket sport. It originated in British India during the 18th century, being played by British soldiers. The game evolved in England and spread across the neighboring nations. Though the game originated from England, competitive games were dominated by Denmark. The game spread in Asian countries as well. Nowadays, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia and China are the ones dominating the game in international settings.

Unlike tennis, a shuttlecock is used as a ball. A shuttlecock is a conical shaped projectile with overlapping feathers attached to a cork base. There are two types of shuttlecock. Synthetic shuttlecocks are an alternative to shuttlecocks made of real feathers. These synthetic shuttlecocks have durable plastic skirts. As feather shuttlecocks tend to break easily, synthetic varieties are widely used.

Racket sports have gone a long way from their original forms. Every year, new materials, equipment, and game rules are being discovered. Aside from ball games, racket sports are being loved almost by everybody. They will always continue to excite people in the world of sports in the years to come.