Badminton is played by volleying a small item called a shuttlecock back and forth over a high narrow net using light long-handled rackets. Two opposing players, or two opposing pairs, take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court.
The shuttlecock, or shuttle, is a feathered or plastic projectile whose unique aerodynamic properties cause it to fly differently from the balls used in other racket sports. The feathers, or plastic cone shape, create a high drag, causing the shuttle to decelerate rapidly. Because the shuttle is affected by wind, competitive badminton is played indoors. Badminton is played outdoors as a casual recreational activity.