BADMINTON as Played by SUPERHEROES!
Watch the Avengers movie and at some point in time Captain America will instruct the Hulk and say “Hulk Smash! What are they playing badminton? No they are saving the World—badminton of course would be way more fun! However, if you did get to play a doubles game of badminton with the Hulk you would certainly want to say the same thing. You would have him smashing all the time. And with him smashing you would win every game even against a team that included other Superheroes. Or would you?
Assume for a moment that all the superheroes had a badminton match - who would win! Okay, let’s exclude Superman - seems like unless the racquet was a special Yonex edition of Kryptonite, everyone else would have no chance. The Flash would simply be too fast. So let’s assume it’s a badminton match of “lesser” heroes, the Hulk, Spiderman, Batman, Captain America and the like. For my money it goes to Spiderman. No question that the Hulk would have “One Hell of a SMASH” and win every point he got a chance to smash. Batman, of course has cool gadgets and would make good use of them for sure. It would be interesting to see all the gadgets in play between Batman and Iron Man. But for my money the winner has to be Spiderman. He embodies the skills of the quintessential badminton player. The Hulk would not be able to master the delicate finesse and net shots - after all he is called “The Hulk” not “The Delicate”. Iron Man would simply not be nimble enough. Batman wouldn’t have time to put his gadgets to use. So it’s Spiderman that would win the day.
Badminton is a game that requires excellent eye-hand coordination and razor sharp reflexes. It also provides an excellent aerobic workout and is a great game to incorporate as a cross training benefit. You also need that “sixth sense” (read Spidey sense) to anticipate the fakes and misdirection that is ever present with high level badminton.
Top badminton players are able to hit the shuttle at up to 200 mph. (That would be one of the more delicate shots for the Hulk.) They leap to jump smash and have verticals as high as a top volleyball or basketball player. Aerobically a singles game in badminton is more demanding than a top game in tennis. At the end of a game with Spiderman, I’m pretty sure he would state, “With increased skill comes increased challenges”.
Badminton is extremely popular most everywhere. Badminton can lay claim to being the second most played sport in the world. It’s hugely popular in Asia and Europe. The lack of popularity in the US is starting to change and change rapidly. There have been a number of new badminton facilities recently throughout the US. The popularity is due to a number of factors. Badminton is a game that is quick to learn and easy for the whole family to “bat” it around. (Hmm, maybe I should reconsider Batman…no, sticking with Spiderman.)
Players new to badminton find that they can quickly learn to hit to each other and have entertaining games almost immediately. Children can easily play with mom and dad. Once basic skills are learned the game becomes increasingly challenging. Challenging to the point of needing all aspects of your Spiderman skills including the Spidey sense to help react to shuttles flying around the court. With rallies that can go for upwards of 100 strokes and require jumping and leaping to cover 375 sq. ft. of court space you do truly need all of Spiderman’s agility and speed to play the game at a top level. All of these skills can be put to good use at the ClearOne Badminton Centre in Orlando.
So regardless if you have been recently being bitten by a radioactive spider or not, come and test your own Spidey Senses and give badminton a try.
Also don’t be surprised if we see the next Stan Lee feature film or comic book has his Superheroes having a game of badminton to the death. The command “Hulk Smash” will take on a whole new connotation. Still, when you are sitting with your friends make sure you bet on Spiderman.