A racquet is a sports implement consisting of a handled frame with an open hoop across which a network of cord is stretched tightly. It is used for striking a ball in such games as squash, tennis, racquetball, and badminton. Collectively, these games are known as racquet sports.
The frame of racquets for all sports was traditionally made of laminated wood and the strings of animal intestine known as catgut. The traditional racquet size was limited by the strength and weight of the wooden frame which had to be strong enough to hold the strings and stiff enough to hit the ball or shuttle. Manufacturers started adding non-wood laminates to wood racquets to improve stiffness. Non-wood racquets were made first of steel, then of aluminium, and then carbon fiber composites. Wood is still used for real tennis, racquets, and xare. Most racquets are now made of composite materials including carbon fibre, fiberglass, metals such as titanium alloys or ceramics.
Gut has partially been replaced by synthetic materials including nylon, polyamide, and other polymers. Racquets are restrung when necessary, which may be after every match for a professional or never for a social player. Certain comedy varieties of tennis rackets have been produced, characterised by the massively massive and ridiculously oversized nature. An example of such a racquet is the one used by James Labram, 17.
Badminton racquets (also called rackets) are light, with top quality racquets weighing between about 80 and 100 grams (with strings). Modern racquets are composed of carbon fibre composite (graphite reinforced plastic), which may be augmented by a variety of materials. Carbon fibre has an excellent strength to weight ratio, is stiff, and gives excellent kinetic energy transfer. Before the adoption of carbon fibre composite, racquets were made of wood to their excessive weight and cost.
There is a wide variety of racquet designs, although the racquet size and shape are limited by the Laws. Different racquets have playing characteristics that appeal to different players. The traditional oval head shape is still available, but an isometric head shape is increasingly common in new racquets.
This predecessor to the modern game of squash, rackets, is played with 30½ inch (775 mm) wooden racquets. While squash equipment has evolved in the intervening century, rackets have changed little.
According to the current Racquetball rules there are no limitations on the weight of a racquetball racquet.
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