A racket sport growing very fast in popularity around the world is Crossminton. It brings together aspects of other racket sports like badminton and squash. One of the key features is that it can be played at any location as there is no designated playground, which means that a match can even be played in streets or on fields. There is also not a net present during a match. The idea of the game was invented by German Bill Brandes in 2001, who also designed the special shuttlecock. The inventor named it ‘shuttleball’, but a company named Speedminton called it ‘speed badminton’. Speedminton was also responsible for developing the game to what it is today. The objective for the inventor was to create a type of badminton that could be played outdoors. One feature that changed was the creation of a smaller and heavier ball (speeder), which enabled the game to become faster. In August 2011, the International Crossminton Organization (ICO) was established as the highest authority and world governing body for the sport. In 2016 the game was renamed as Crossminton. With a membership of nearly 30 nations, ICO is committed to developing this fast-growing sport worldwide, with one of the key objectives being entry into the Olympic program. ICO is based in Berlin, Germany.
Apart from the speeder being different to the shuttlecock in badminton, the racket is also similar in appearance. The differences are the material and the strings used in order to handle the heavier speeder. A crossminton field is made up of two squares measuring 5.5 metres on each side. Even though the court can be on any surface, the two squares must be fixed opposite to each other with the distance 12.8 metres between them. The simple objective is to hit the speeder to the other square. A point is awarded should the opponent be unable to return it and it lands within that square. A set is worth 16 points with a game usually lasting 3 winning sets. Players are permitted to step outside of the squares at any time. Each player gets to serve three times. The first World Championship took place in 2011. Nearly 400 athletes attended from 29 countries. The World Championship is an annual event and in addition, ICO also oversees a World Series Tournament.