What is the Birdie Called in Badminton? A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Badminton is a popular sport played worldwide, known for its fast-paced and skillful gameplay. One of the essential components of badminton is the birdie, also known as the shuttlecock. In this comprehensive guide, I will explain what the birdie is, its importance in badminton, and everything you need to know as a beginner.


Badminton is a racket sport that requires agility, speed, and precision. It can be played individually or in teams of two, with the aim of hitting the birdie over the net and into the opponent’s court. The birdie, also called the shuttlecock, is a small, cone-shaped projectile with a rounded cork base and a skirt made of feathers or synthetic materials.

The birdie is an essential component of badminton gameplay and is responsible for keeping the game interesting and challenging. Without the birdie, badminton would not be the same. In the next section, I will explain what the birdie is and its importance in badminton.

Understanding the Birdie

Badminton is incomplete without the birdie. So, let’s dive deeper into what it is, its origin, and how it contributes to the game.

Definition and Origin of the Birdie

The birdie, also known as the shuttlecock, is an essential component of badminton gameplay. It is a small, cone-shaped projectile with a rounded cork base and a skirt made of either feathers or synthetic materials. The feathers used in birdies are typically goose or duck feathers, while the synthetic birdies are made of plastic or nylon.

The origin of the birdie can be traced back to ancient Greece and China, where a similar game was played with a feathered shuttlecock. The modern-day birdie was first introduced in the 1800s in India, where it was made with a cork base and goose feathers.

Characteristics of the Birdie and its Different Types

Birdies come in different sizes and weights, with the standard size being 2.5 inches in diameter and weighing between 4.74 and 5.50 grams. The feathers on a birdie are arranged in a skirt-like formation and are responsible for its aerodynamic properties.

There are two main types of birdies used in badminton: feather and synthetic. Feather birdies are preferred by professionals due to their superior flight performance, but they are also more expensive and require proper care to maintain their shape and durability. Synthetic birdies, on the other hand, are cheaper and more durable, but they do not offer the same level of flight performance as feather birdies.

Importance of the Birdie in Badminton Gameplay

The birdie is vital to badminton gameplay as it determines the pace, trajectory, and direction of the game. The players must hit the birdie over the net and into the opponent’s court, with the aim of preventing them from returning it. The birdie’s unique aerodynamic properties make it challenging to predict its flight path, making badminton an exciting and thrilling sport to watch and play.

Construction and Material of the Birdie

The construction and materials used to make a birdie can significantly affect its performance and lifespan. In this section, I will explain the different materials used to construct birdies, compare feather and synthetic birdies, and factors to consider when choosing a birdie for gameplay.

Explanation of Materials Used to Construct Birdies

Birdies can be made from either natural or synthetic materials. Natural birdies use feathers from the left wing of a goose, which are plucked and then sorted by size and quality. Synthetic birdies, on the other hand, use plastic or nylon for the skirt and a cork or rubber base.

Comparison between Feather and Synthetic Birdies

Feather and synthetic birdies have their advantages and disadvantages. Feather birdies are known for their excellent flight performance, speed, and accuracy, making them the preferred choice for professional players. However, they are more fragile and require more maintenance. Synthetic birdies are more durable and less expensive, making them a better option for beginners or recreational players.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Birdie for Gameplay

When choosing a birdie for gameplay, several factors need to be considered. These include the level of play, the playing surface, the temperature and humidity of the environment, and personal preferences. Professional players will prefer feather birdies, while beginners or recreational players may opt for synthetic birdies. The playing surface can also affect the choice of birdie, as some surfaces may require more durable birdies. Finally, personal preferences such as speed, flight performance, and durability should also be taken into account when choosing a birdie for gameplay.


In conclusion, the birdie is a crucial aspect of badminton gameplay that requires skill and precision to master. As a beginner, understanding what the birdie is and its importance in badminton is essential to improve your gameplay.

We learned that the birdie has different names in various regions and countries, with historical and cultural significance behind them. Furthermore, proper care and maintenance of birdies are crucial for their longevity, and we provided a step-by-step guide on how to clean and store them, as well as common issues and how to address them.

At badmintontipss, we strive to provide beginner-friendly guides to enhance your badminton gaming experience. We hope this comprehensive guide has helped you understand what the birdie is called in badminton and its significance in the sport. So, grab your racket, get a few birdies, and start playing!