The International Shuttlecock Federation (ISF) is the highest sanctioning body and world governing authority for the sport of Shuttlecock. ISF is currently based in Beijing, China. The primary objective for the federation is to ensure the traditions, ethics and future of the sport is maintained as it builds on promotion and creation of worldwide awareness. This includes ensuring that member nations carry the same principles of the sport throughout all age levels. Fair play and equality are also major characteristics of shuttlecock that encourages participation and enjoyment of the game. All coaches, players and officials are responsible in upholding their roles as ambassadors of the sport. This is especially true for the strong following it appreciates from spectators being so visually spectacular to watch. ISF currently has 19 members from 3 continents.
The sport is a traditional Asian game where the objective for players is to keep a feather ball (shuttlecock) in the air and prevent it from touching the floor using any body part, but not their hands. It has many different names in other countries, especially in China where it goes by the name jianzi. Peteca in Brazil is also a similar sport. Cuju was an ancient Chinese sport dating to the Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago and it is understood to have been the main source from where jianzi developed from. Shuttlecock is played on a badminton court where the outer and inner lines can vary depending on the type of competition. It is often also played outdoors within a circle of players artistically keeping the shuttlecock in the air for as long as possible. The shuttlecock has a heavily weighted rubber sole or plastic disc with four feathers fixed into the base.
Competitively the game is played on a court divided by a net. A team consists of six players with three on the court at one time. The other three are substitute players, but in singles, doubles and mixed doubles, there are no substitutes. In a singles game a player may make a maximum of two hits with the ball, and four hits in doubles, mixed doubles and teams. The objective of a player or team is to hit the ball over the net in such a way that the opponent is unable to return it, or that it lands within their court area. Apart from a symptomatic contact of hair to the net, any other body part touching the net is a fault. The sport of shuttlecock already has a high popularity in Asia and Brazil (peteca) , but a steady growth in Europe and North America means ISF is on course in making it a truly global game.