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Shuttlecock Kicking

Year:1991 Issue:1

Column: SPORTS

Author: GAO FENG

Release Date:1991-01-20

Page: 52,53

Full Text:  

To play shuttlecock, take a few colourful cock feathers and tie them on a small round copper coin. Then a small group of people standing in a circle kick the shuttlecock up and down without dropping it. This traditional game is very popular in China.

The Art of Well-Being

Shuttlecock kicking is considered an “art of well-being.”

Experts think that shuttlecock kicking is a multifunctional sports game which has the muscles in the whole body participating head, feet, breast and knees.

Kicking shuttlecock everyday helps train heart, improve blood circulation, accelerate the energy consumption and utilize fat in the body in order to control weight. Meanwhile, because of the increase of blood and lymph circulation, nutrition throughout the body is improved and pliability, toughness and mobility of joints are promoted.

According to medical sport-experts, shuttlecock kicking plays an important role in co-ordinating the central nervous system because it demands flexibility, accuracy and concentration of mind.

A master player’s kicking, natural, elegant and with a variety of actions, is really an entertainment to spectators.

China now holds a figure kicking competition once a year. Each time, there is a great audience and applause like thunder.

A Competition Event

Basing themselves on historical documents and cultural relics, experts conjecture that shuttlecock kicking began in the Han Dynasty (221 BC-220AD) and became popular in the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-581), the Sui Dynasty (581-618) and the Tang Dynasty (618-907).”

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, shuttlecock kicking, as a sports game, was restored and developed. In 1950, acrobatic troupes in Beijing took on actors who made a living by performing shuttlecock kicking in streets and made shuttlecock kicking a number of their programme. The performance was warmly welcomed abroad.

In 1963, shuttlecock kicking was listed as a sports activity encouraged by the state. In 1984, the State Sports Commission made shuttlecock ball, which took its form from feather shuttlecock, a formal competition event, and established an association to be in charge of it.

Shuttlecock ball game is carried out on a 12-metre long and 6-metre wide court. There is a net at the centre line(1.6-metre high for male and 1.5-metre high for female). Requiring three players on each side, the ball is served at the service area outside the end line. The players can kick, head, hit with breast or back, and strike. Each player is allowed to strike twice, the striking and ball passing is restricted to four times. The side who allows the ball to fall to the ground or kicks the ball out of the lines fail. Winning a ball deserves one point, and 15 points holds an inning. The team who wants to win the game must win two of the three innings.

Because the shuttlecock ball game is easy to understand, learn and is suitable for both man and woman of all ages, it soon became very popular.

A total of 40 teams from 23 provinces and municipalities participated in the first national shuttlecock ball tournament held in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, in 1985. After that, the tournament was held annually and attracted more and more teams whose skills also have great improvement.

Going to the World

Shuttlecock kicking has spread throughout the world. At present, it is quite popular in Southeast Asian countries and regions, such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Macao.

In recent years, shuttlecock kicking has enjoyed increasing popularity among Western Europe and North America. There are many people kicking shuttlecock in the United States, Canada, Britain, France and Germany.

A short time ago, a businessman from Germany ordered 15,000 shuttlecocks from Taicang Shuttlecock Ball Factory in Jiangsu Province.

He said: “Shuttlecock is favoured on the German market.”

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