Questions about rackets, or a piece of necessary equipment used in racket sports such as squash, tennis, table-tennis (ping-pong), racquetball, and badminton.
A racket, or racquet, is a common implement used in "ball-and-net" sports such as tennis, racquetball, squash, badminton, and similar games. It is typically composed of a rigid frame, traditionally wood but more recently aluminum or titanium, with a round or rough triangular open section strung in an orthogonal pattern with high-tension filament to form the "face", and a "neck" protruding from the frame along the plane of the face, with a handle wrapped in leather or similar synthetic material to grip. The racket is used to propel the ball by striking it with a swinging motion, so that the ball contacts the taut strings, which form a kind of trampoline to accelerate the ball. The combination of the ball's incoming vector, the angle of the swing, and the angle of the face relative to the swing path, all determine the path along which the ball will leave the racket, and other considerations such as the amount of spin placed on the ball.
The exact size and shape of the racket depends on the sport. Originally, rackets for most of these sports were relatively similar, an oval wooden frame with solid neck of medium to long length. Modern racquets have adapted to meet the needs and conform to the rules of the varying sports as they have diverged. For tennis, the frame of the face is oval, and the neck is an extension of the frame rails down into the handle, shorted than most other types. Racquetball racquets are shorter still, and the frame forms a rough triangular shape allowing the player to make better contact with a ball travelling close to a wall or the ground. Squash racquets are more similar to tennis racquets, but longer, narrower and with a more egg-shaped face. Badminton racquets are very light-framed, with a small oval face and a slim, long neck.
A related implement similar in theory to a racquet, but with a solid face and no taut strings, is known as a "paddle", and is used for sports such as table tennis.