Badminton is a racquet sport for players on opposite sides of a high net hitting a shuttlecock over the net with wire-strung racquets. If a player strikes the shuttlecock in such a manner that the opponent cannot return it before it hits the ground, the player wins the rally and scores a point. A game is won when a player scores 21 points and a match consists of three games. Badminton has been an Olympic sport since 1992. The world governing body is the Badminton World Federation (BWF) which was founded in 1935 and has its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur with nearly 200 member associations.
A shuttlecock is a small conical object with a weight at one end and feathering or weave at the other. Due to their open design, shuttlecocks slow down faster than balls and so do not travel as far. Because of this, badminton can be played in a smaller area than tennis and so it has been a popular choice for indoor sport in schools with limited indoor facilities.
Badminton is played in informal settings all over the world. Competitive contests are played in "singles", "doubles" and "mixed doubles" matches. Competitive badminton is always played indoors because a shuttlecock is greatly affected by wind.