Le journal canadien Toronto Star (Le plus gros quotidien de Canada parrait-il ) m'a contacté pour diffuser un article sur le speed et le blackminton.
Voila l'adresse de l'article : http://www.thestar.com/News/article/226225
Au cas ou il devrait disparaitre de leur site, en voici la copie (Pour les anglophiles only !)
Badminton at night, on steroids
The new racquet sport Blackminton features black lights, body paint and intense speed
Jun 17, 2007 04:30 AM
In this game, players go all-out, making themselves up as if girding for battle, adding neon pigments to their cheekbones and lips, arms and legs, effectively turning themselves into human glow sticks or, at least, the characters from Tron, the cult-hit 1980s science fiction film.
But they're not digital avatars, fighting a rogue computer; they're more like over-caffeinated badminton players, who have transformed the rather placid racquet sport into a highly sped-up version more akin to tennis, with the added dimension of doing it in the dark.
It's called Blackminton, the nocturnal alter ego of another little-known sport, Speedminton – itself the spawn of badminton.
Speedminton, invented – and trademarked – in Germany, is quickly making rounds worldwide and is gaining a following in Toronto. There is even the first Speedminton tournament in North America, set to take place next weekend in New Orleans.
Speedminton is a melding of badminton, squash and tennis, and is faster than all three. While most say it's a good activity for the park or the beach, at night it can become a staggering spectacle.
Blackminton has yet to find its footing here; on the other side of the Atlantic, it's a hit.
"It's more festive than Speedminton, because it's done at night under black lighting," says Régis D'Andrea, 34, who is starting a club in the city of Colmar, in northeast France. "The makeup reflects the black light, and you see only the equipment and the makeup."
There are groups playing all over France, especially in the country's southwest. People paint elaborate designs on their bodies, often sleek lines or colourful "tattoos." Some create painted masks to look menacing. Others try to highlight their physique. (Still others, depending on who's invited, will sketch on their bare torsos things slightly less family-friendly.)
The birdie is outfitted with a small, phosphorescent tube, so it looks like freakish, hurtling firefly.
Blackminton is ideal, D'Andrea says, "to unwind and let off steam." Usually, there's pumping, loud music to accompany play, typically electronic, house or reggae music, "anything with big sounds and a strong beat," he says.
Speedminton (and thus, Blackminton) is similar to badminton but tweaked for a high-speed game. A Speedminton racquet resembles its squash counterpart, and the shuttlecock is stouter and heavier, with a plastic bulb instead of cork. It can apparently travel, like a regular birdie, up to 300 km/h, but the speed version doesn't slow down right away.
The court is the equivalent of the two back quarters of a tennis court, but with no net in between. But it can be played anywhere. While outdoors you don't have to organize a gym, indoors you don't have to worry about wind or rain.
"You don't have to hit it that hard, and it goes really far – it shocked us," says Toronto's Hannah Silverman, 42, who bought a Speedminton set last month for her family.
So far, the only group licensed to sell Speedminton sets in Canada is the Vancouver-based sport body Badminton BC.
The group seized upon Speedminton and its trademarked status as a way to fundraise for its organization and to get people interested in the traditional game again, says executive director Brock Turner.
"Our research showed that while many people had a great connection with badminton in school, when they left school they lost it," he says. "We thought, `Is there something out there that's edgy ... that could be our beach volleyball?'"
So far, the group has sold nearly 200 kits, many of them in Ontario.
While some might find the idea of "ownership" of a sport troublesome, those involved say that once it gets more popular, it won't be quite so exclusive. Silverman points out that when you want to play basketball, "you still have to go to the store to buy a branded basketball."
The rules are easy: a game up to 16 points, best of five games is a match, points awarded for the typical service fault, birdie hitting the ground or the body, landing "out."
But Blackminton tends to be a game where people don't play by the rules. "Speedminton is oriented toward competition, but Blackminton is oriented toward pleasure," says D'Andrea.
He said some people even balk at the idea of a Blackminton tournament, because they consider it not a game "for counting the points."