Origins of Badminton
Badminton has a rich history, dating back to ancient Greece and Egypt. It was originally known as “battledore” or “shuttlecock,” and was played with a feathered shuttlecock and small rackets. As it travelled to India in the 18th century, it became known as “poona.” British army officers stationed in India brought the game back to England in the 1860s, where it gained popularity gradually. The game officially became known as “Badminton,” after a party in 1837 was held at the Duke of Beaufort’s country estate, called “Badminton House” in Gloucestershire.
Spread of the Game
Badminton quickly spread to other countries such as the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. While it was primarily played by men in the beginning, today it is enjoyed by both men and women. In 1899, the first All England championship for men was held, followed by the first tournament for women in 1900. In 1934, the International Badminton Federation was established, and international competitions began in 1939. Badminton was officially recognised as an Olympic sport in 1992 and there are several world badminton events held, including the Uber Cup, World Championships, World Juniors, Sudirman Cup, the World Cup, and the World Grand Prix Finals.
Equipment and Rules
Badminton is played with a net, shuttlecock, and lightweight rackets. The shuttlecock is typically made of cork and fitted with feathers for stabilisation. It can be played with two or four players on a marked court that measures 13.4 metres by 5.18 metres wide for two players, and 6.1 metres wide for four players. The net is placed at a height of 1.55 metres at the posts and 1.524 metres at the centre. Only the serving side can score points, with games typically played to 15 points, except in women’s singles which is played to 11 points. In case of a tie, a tie-breaking procedure called setting may be used to determine the winner. The important point is that only the serving side can score points.