There are definitely those who will argue that Speedminton and Badminton are only distant relatives and that the two games are not so similar as the equipment similarities would lead you to believe. Whatever you believe, know this, Speedminton is a total blast. Viva la difference!
Speedminton uses a heavier birdie (or shuttlecock for those who are more serious sports fans). The Speedminton shuttlecock is known in the vernacular as a “speeder.” It travels faster with less wind resistance than the badminton birdie.
Speedminton is set-up free so it can be played easily in anyone’s backyard or driveway. We’ve even caught videos streaming from Europe showing games blasting over apartment roof tops in major European cities.
Speedminton was created in 2001 by Bil Brandes, a German, explaining some of the intensified popularity in that country. It may have been born there but Speedminton fever is catching on like wildfire.
The rules are basically the same as Badminton but a few differences do exist. Rather than standing on opposite sides of the net, players inhabit 18-foot squares divided by 42 feet of out-of-bounds area. Each player defends his own square.
Points are made when a speeder is hit to the ground in an opponent’s square. With Badminton, a win requires 21 points. Speedminton requires only 16 points with a two-point margin for the win. A match consists of three winning games.
Different serving rules apply in Speedminton as well. A player can use an underhanded serve situated from the center of the space between the two squares, or overhead from the player’s own square. Players alternate the serve after every three points, and after every point if the game is tied at 15-15.
Despite it’s German enhancements, Speedminton and Badminton have their common roots in the ancient Greek and Egyptian games known as ‘battledore” and “shuttlecock” (hmmm, the name makes more sense now, right?), both of which are played as long as 2,000 years ago.
Amazing to think that even ancient homo sapiens knew how to have fun. All the techno advances in the world don’t seem to have changed that historical phenom–people like to play together, or competitively for good fun. The best fun.
Badminton has been an Olympic sport since 1992. Wonder whether Speedminton will follow suit. Tennis player Maria Sharapova, raves about the game and incorporates it in her pro tennis workouts. That’s quite an endorsement.
Whatever its future, Speedminton is catching on and moving on up. The truly obsessed play it at night, with LED-lit speeders and glow-in-the-dark war paint on their faces. It’s way more wicked good than paintball.
Either way, whether glowing in the dark at night or played by the light of day, the game of Speedminton has a bright future and a huge, as yet untapped audience.