SHUTTLES USED AT THE ALL-ENGLAND BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
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Jaques ‘Association First Choice’ Shuttle.
At the All-England Badminton Championships only four shuttlecock manufacturers have been used. For the first 10 years of the Championships,1899 to 1909, they use the Jaques ‘Association First Choice’ ‘barrel’ shuttle, so-called because it’s feather shaped closely resembled a barrel. These were manufactured in France, and in the early days with no specifications laid down they suffered from considerable variation in length of flight, size, weight and uniform strength.
F. H. Ayres Ltd. ‘Association’ Shuttle.
In 1910 the Badminton Association, after considerable deliberation replace the barrelled shuttle in the Championships with the early version of the modern shuttlecock. This shuttle was known as the ‘Straight’ because the feather quills were fixed with the flat side to the inside with the results of the stitching straightened out the natural curve of the feathers. It is thought that the wing feathers of the geese are generally used for making shuttles at the time, and it is true to say that the basic construction has changed very little up to the present day. This first change of shuttle supplier for the All-England Championships in 1910 came along with the change in venue to the Horticultural Hall, Westminster, London. The Championship committee decided to use the ‘Association’ shuttle; this was handmade in England by sports company F. H. Ayres Ltd.
RSL ‘No.1 Tourney’ Shuttle.
When the All-England Championships commenced again after the Second World War in 1947, again with a change of venue this time to Harringay Arena, the shuttle supplier was changed to Reinforced Shuttlecocks Ltd or RSL as the company was known throughout the badminton world. RSL had been manufacturing shuttles at its factory in South Norwood since 1928 before moving to Sandwich, Kent in 1946 and use their No.1 Tourney shuttle for the Championships. In order to guarantee the supply of top-quality goose feathers which were only available in China, RSL in 1980 entered into an arrangement with the Chinese Government whereby they set up a factory in Canton, China with the Chinese providing the raw materials and RSL the experience and machinery which had been perfected over the years.
Yonex ‘Tournament’ Shuttle.
In 1984 with Yonex starting their sponsorship of the Yonex All-England Badminton Championships it was obviously decided to use their top grade ‘Tournament’ shuttle. It is manufactured in Japan and also used in the Yonex Japanese Open, the World Championships and the Olympic Games. With the Championships using over 2000 shuttles each year the Yonex shuttle is considered by most players and coaches in the world to be the best shuttle.
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Photos: – Geoff Hinder
These shuttlecocks and many more can be seen at the National Badminton Museum, National Badminton Centre, Bradwell Road, Loughton Lodge, MILTON KEYNES MK8 9LA.
For more information on the history of the All-England Badminton Championships go to – History – Events – ‘The History of the All-England Badminton Championships’ on this website.