Speed and accuracy of the badminton smash are critical components for successful performance. Fifty-two participants data were collected using a Vicon 3D Motion capture system (400 Hz) at the BWF Glasgow World Championships (2017). The purpose of this study was to identify and compare spatial speed-accuracy trade-off (SATO) relationships amongst international badminton players performing the forehand smash, under two conditions: maximal speed (MS) in the direction of a target; and maximal speed aiming to hit the centre of a target (TAR). Exploratory and confirmatory cluster analyses revealed three groupings: Fitts’ inverse relationship (FIR), no relationship (NR) and alternate inverse relationship (AIR). Findings indicate that for international badminton players 80–99% of maximum speed is the threshold for achieving the highest levels of spatial accuracy.
A logarithmic curve fitting methodology for the calculation of badminton racket-shuttlecock impact locations from three-dimensional motion capture data was presented and validated. Median absolute differences between calculated and measured impact locations were 3.6 [IQR: 4.4] and 3.5 [IQR: 3.5] mm mediolaterally and longitudinally on the racket face, respectively. Three-dimensional kinematic data of racket and shuttlecock were recorded for 2386 smashes performed by 65 international badminton players, with racket-shuttlecock impact location assessed against instantaneous post-impact shuttlecock speed and direction. Mediolateral and longitudinal impact locations explained 26.2% (quadratic regression ; 95% credible interval: 23.1%, 29.2%; BF10 = 1.3 × 10 131 , extreme; p < 0.001) of the variation in participant-specific shuttlecock speed. A meaningful (BF10 = ∞, extreme; p < 0.001) linear relationship was observed between mediolateral impact location and shuttlecock horizontal direction relative to a line normal to the racket face at impact. Impact locations within one standard deviation of the pooled mean impact location predict reductions in post-impact shuttlecock speeds of up to 5.3% of the player's maximal speed and deviations in the horizontal direction of up to 2.9° relative to a line normal to the racket face. These results highlight the margin for error available to elite badminton players during the smash.
Three-dimensional kinematic data of racket and shuttlecock were recorded for 297 jump smashes performed by fourteen badminton players (8 male; 6 female) at the 2016 All England Championships and the 2017 World Championships. The racket angle and racket head speed at impact, as well as impact location of the shuttlecock on the racket face, were determined and assessed against the resultant instantaneous post-impact shuttlecock speed and measures of post-impact shuttlecock direction. The combination of impact location and racket head speed explained 89% of observed variation in post-impact shuttlecock speed. A 'sweet region' on the racket face was identified whereby impacts within 1.1 cm of the centre mediolaterally. and 3.0 cm longitudinally, caused reductions in shuttlecock speed of less than 5% of the player's maximal speed. Furthermore, impact location in both directions on the racket face explained 53% of the variation in transverse plane post-impact shuttlecock direction relative to the racket face. Racket angle in the sagittal plane at impact and longitudinal shuttlecock-impact location explained 72% of the variation in sagittal plane post-impact shuttlecock direction. This study provides a greater understanding of the margin for error afforded to badminton players during the jump smash.