Crafted in the British India colony, the origination of Badminton tracks back to the mid-19th century. It was modernized in Asia in the 1800s but the origins of the sport go back 2000 years. Badminton is one of the most famous sports in the world, which is widely played in the Asian sub-continent and is amongst the top 10 most-watched sports in the world. Here is a brief history of badminton.
History of Badminton:
As mentioned above, Badminton was modernized in India by British Indian officers. Badminton was the improved version of the sport “battledore and shuttlecock”, battledore being an old term for the racquet. However, many different games involving shuttlecocks were being played across Eurasia for centuries. The name Badminton is derived from the Duke of Beaufort’s Badminton House in Gloucestershire.
In 1860, a London-based toy dealer who went by the name Isaac Spratt published a brochure with the title “Badminton Battledore- A New Game”. However, there is no copy of the booklet present in the world right now. The Cornhill Magazine published an article in 1863 which described badminton as “battledore and shuttlecock played with sides, across a string suspended some five feet from the ground”.
Badminton became hugely popular in India by the start of the 1870s. The game “Ball badminton”, in which a woollen ball was used instead of a shuttlecock, was known to be played in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu around the 1850s. The game “Ball Badminton” was played interchangeably with badminton by the expatriate British officers.
Badminton was famously known as Poonah or Poona across the town of Poona, Maharastra. It is also said that the first rules of Badminton were written in Poona around the year 1873. The game became so popular that the returning officers set up a badminton club in Folkestone, England.
Badminton became a part of the Summer Olympic sport in 1992 with four main events: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, and women’s doubles. Mixed doubles were added to Summer Olympics in 1996.
Badminton is a breakneck sport that involves a racket and a shuttlecock. Badminton can be played in singles or doubles. The main objective of Badminton is to put the shuttle on the opposition’s court over the net.
Basic Rules of Badminton:
- In competitive matches, all games of badminton are played to a best of three.
- A game of badminton can be played between two individuals (singles) or between 2 pairs of players (doubles).
- Every match consists of 21 points.
- When the score reaches 20-all, the player or the pair who bags a 2-point lead wins the game.
- The player or the pair who wins the game serves first in the next one.
- At the start of every rally, the server and receiver are supposed to be standing diagonally opposite service courts.
- A serve is considered to be legal when it’s hit diagonally across the court over the net.
- Unlike Tennis, the Badminton rules do not allow second serves.
- A player can not touch the net with their racket, nor with any part of their body in the middle of the game.
- A player can not intentionally distract their opponent.
Best tournaments in Badminton
1) BWF Thomas Cup
BWF Thomas Cup is touted as the oldest and the most esteemed badminton tournament in the world. The competition is also known as Men’s World Championship. BWF Thomas Cup is played between the male teams who are part of the BWF countries. The first BWF Thomas Cup was held in 1948. BWF Thomas Cup was played every three years until 1982, after which it is been played every two years.
2) BWF Uber Cup
BWF Uber Cup is the women’s edition of the Thomas Cup. The BWF Uber Cup is regarded as the Women’s World Cup. The BWF Uber Cup was founded in 1956 and is currently in its 26th edition.
3) BWF Sudirman Cup
The Sudirman Cup is the world championship between mixed teams. The Cup is played between the member countries of the BWF federations. The tournament is played every two years. It takes place in a different BWF country in each edition. The BWF Sudirman Cup was first played in the year 1989 in Indonesia. The winners of the competition are not awarded any cash prize as the sole purpose of the tournament is to play for the pride of their respective countries. However, the winner of the competition earns more points in the BWF world ranking.
4) BWF World Championship
The first BWF World Championship was played in 1977. The shuttlers participate and represent their respective countries in the competition with the aim of improving their rankings. The winners of the BWF World Championships are awarded the title of world champions and are given gold medals instead of cash price. BWF World Championship was initially played every once in three years until 1983, then the duration changed to 2 years till 2006. However, since 2006, BWF World Championship is being played every year.
5) World Grand Prix Finals
The first World Grand Prix Finals was played in 1983 in Indonesia. Till 2001, the competition was played every year in a different Asian country, which was associated with the International Badminton Federation (IBF). The tournament got cancelled after 2001. The main motive of the tournament was to award the best badminton players of the year. Only the top 8 ranked countries were invited to play in the tournament.
The best players in the history of the badminton
- Lin Dan
- Lee Chong Wei
- Gao Ling
- Taufik Hidayat
- Rudy Hartono
- Li Lingwei
- Tony Gunawan
- Morten Frost Hansen
- Peter Gade
- Han Aiping
The Strongest Countries in Badminton
- Chinese Taipei
- Hong Kong