A racket is a flat hitting area, mostly composed of strings. There are sports in which a racket is used by a player to hit a ball or any other object. These sports are very popular around the world. Racket Sports include Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton, Squash etc are a few Racket Sports. These Sports are mostly based on skill and not everyone can master them. People consider these sports as easy but in reality, they are very challenging as many times such matches last for long hours.
Also Read: Badminton Journey of India
Following are the most popular Racket Sports :
Tennis is a racket sport which can be played individually against a single opponent and between two teams of two players each. The game was first played between 1859 to 1865 in Birmingham, England. This game can be played both indoors and outdoors. A tennis match consists of a sequence of sets. The winner is decided through a best of three or five sets system.
Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, Davis Cup are some of the popular Tennis tournaments. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Steffi Graf are some of the World’s greatest players. In India, Sania Mirza, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna are most popular.
2.Table Tennis :
Table Tennis, also known as Ping-Pong was first played in the 1880’s England. This sport too can be played individually against a single opponent or between two teams of two players each. The players hit a lightweight ball back and forth using small rackets. The game is played on a table and a net is placed in between. A
table tennis game shall be won by the player first scoring 11 points. Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin, Harimoto Tomokazu, Ding Ning, Zhu Yuling are ruling the rankings on the World level while in India Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal Achanta, Soumyajit Ghosh are most popular in India.
In Badminton, a shuttlecock is used instead of a ball along with a racket. The games played are “singles” (with one player per side) and “doubles” (with two players per side). There are even mixed doubles in badminton i.e, a male and a female player play together.
Badminton was first played in the 19th century and it was included in the Olympics in 1992. Each game is played to 21 points, with players scoring a point whenever they win a rally. Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Carolina Marin, Viktor Alexsen, Srikanth Kidambi are some of the top Badminton players.
Squash is played in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. It is played between two i.e, singles and four i.e, doubles players. The game was first played in 1930 at Harrow School in London, England. The game is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and mostly played in the gyms. It’s not an Olympic sport yet but it features in Commonwealth games and Asian games since 1998.
Gregory Gaultier, Mohamed El Shorbagy, Ali Farag, Nour El Sherbini, Raneem El Weleily are leading the point table at the moment. Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal Karthik, Saurav Ghoshal and Ritwik Bhattacharya have made India proud in the sport.
Health Benefits of Playing Racket Games :
1. Racket Sports require speed, agility, stamina and strength and a pair of strong hands. In a test conducted to test fitness levels of athletes in various sports, athletes playing racket sports are found out to be the fittest.
2. Most sports played needs the athletes to be physically strong but in racket sports, you are needed to concentrate on the cerebral aspects too. In these sports you need planning and strategy, not just being physically fit. A smarter player has always a better chance to win these sports.
3. Racket Sports require greater joint movement. Hence, they give you strong joints and muscles. Racket Sports also require a stable stance while playing the shot which increases your overall body stability. Thus, you’re not just working your biceps and forearms, but also your knees, thighs and other major muscles.
4. Swinging the racquet improves upper body strength while the lateral movements help condition the lower body.
5. Racket Games help improve reaction times and require one to move in multiple planes of motion which can help in overall coordination and balance.
6. The high-impact nature of many racquet sports helps improve bone density especially important for everyone as they get older.
7. Racket sports also help improve cognitive functioning as one must constantly adjust and adapt reactions based on ball placement, velocity and opponent positioning.
7. Racket sports gives you a sense of achievement. As it’s mostly an individual sport so you are responsible for your own fate. Hence achieving success in these sports give you a sense of achievement and enhanced confidence in your abilities.
8. These games can be particularly constructive for those who try to quit smoking. Racket Sports help distracts and deviates attention from nicotine and other addictive products.
Racket Sports will not create a dent in your pockets. They are relatively cheaper than other sports. Also, it’s great for your physical and mental fitness.
A regular fitness regimen that includes racquet sports can help keep one healthy for years to come. So pick up your rackets a hit a ball asap.
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