Badminton has been an old standby for PE classes through the decades. A fantastic sport that can be played by youngsters and adults alike, badminton requires little equipment and offers an exciting workout that will improve eye hand coordination and agility.
Physical education equipment takes a beating and lightweight badminton rackets, birdies and nets are not known for their ability to withstand punishment.
While new racket materials such as titanium composites have become more prevalent there are a few standard models that are known to take a lickin and keep on racketing. You get the point!
This article will point out a few badminton racket models that physical education teachers across the country have depended on. We will also discuss badminton shuttlecocks and badminton nets that will help you run your physical education program.
While competitive badders through out the world may be in the market for high tech composite badminton rackets for physical education classes you should have one material on your mind steel, steel, steel.
There is no substitute for good old steel. Steel shaft, steel frame and even steel strings. Here are some popular models.
The Morley # M14539 badminton racket offers about as much steel as you can get into a racket without ending up with giant spatula.
The Morley # M14540 does not feature the steel strings but it does not lack in durability. Double steel shafts keep this badminton racket coming back for more, again and again.
The Morley # M14543 badminton racket is 2 inches shorter than a standard badminton racket. Measuring in at 24 inches in length it is designed for younger elementary school badminton players. It also features a durable steel shaft and a steel frame.
Other models that are popular at the institutional level are as follows.
Carlton Attack Ti, Carlton C9750, Carlton 313, ADA 76 Smack Excel, Yonex B460 and HL 110.
Some of these models feature aluminum shafts and frames but all of these models have proven themselves in the gymnasium and are a great value. These higher end models are still available at economy prices which makes them a great purchase for high school level physical education classes were durability may be a little less of a concern and a better playing racket is more important so students can excel.
Here it gets a little tricky. While steel rackets are usually some of the least expensive and best for PE classes when it comes to shuttlecocks cheapest is not always best. The least expensive shuttlecocks are plastic with rubber tip and should be considered only for backyard use.
They do not offer the best flight characteristics so they will actually make the game harder as the birdie appears to have a mind of its own in flight. They are a bargain though so you may want to have some on hand just in case.
The best models have a cork tip for better pop off of the racket and nylon skirts that perform well.
As for speed my advice is medium or blue speed as this is practical for all age groups.
In the color arena yellow has become increasingly popular for youngsters as they are easier to track in flight.
My pick for shuttlecocks for PE would be one of these or a mix.
Carlton T800 Yellow Blue Speed
Carlton C100 White Blue Speed
Yonex Mavis M300M White or Yellow
All of the above are of high quality for great playability. They will pop of the strings, fly in the direction you intended assuming you know how to use the racket and they are durable enough to survive physical education classes.
A lot of school accounts purchase our PE quality badminton net or economy nets which is fine but if your net will be used indoors may I suggest the M14563 institutional net. The difference, other than a few dollars, is that the institutional model features taped sides and bottom while the less expensive models are just net.
The taped sides and bottom make the net keep its shape better for a more professional look and better playability the tape also helps the net standout more and most importantly the taped sides and bottom make the net last longer and easier to roll for storage. Believe me the extra few bucks is well worth it.
If you are using the net outside however go with the cheapest model this will stand up to the elements best and provide more bang for your buck.
This little bit of advice should help you stretch your physical education equipment budget.
Badminton is a fantastic sport and teaching it to our children in physical education classes will help build healthy adults. The sport will improve coordination, balance and agility as well as building a healthy respect for competition.