Last updated on April 13th, 2022 at 05:06 pm
Badminton History: Everything You Need To Know
Badminton History: How much do you know? What is the sports history? Here is a brief history of badminton, in this article we will take a look at the origins of badminton as well as the history and development of the sport we know and play today.
What Is Badminton?
For those not familiar this is a racquet/racket sport played with a shuttlecock and two or four players on a court with a net in the middle. The aim of the game is to score points by forcing your opponent to into missing their shot, thus meaning the shuttlecock hit the ground or net. In order to score a point the shuttlecock must land inside the court if your opponent does not hit it.
Why Is It Called Badminton? / What is Badminton Named After?
How did badminton get its name? The name badminton seemingly comes from home of the Duke of Beaufort in the English county of Gloucestershire. His house on the estate was called Badminton House. The irony of this being the estate is now better known for holding the Badminton Horse Trials.
Who Invented Badminton?
The history goes way back to the mid-1800’s when British Army officers stationed in India created the game. Although other connections and influences may have come from India & China with many versions of the game being played in the Far East by children for centuries.
A children’s game in England called “battledore and shuttlecock” involved a paddle (a battledore) keeping a small feathered cork (shuttlecock) in the air for as long as possible. This had become popular from medieval times.
When a net was added the game became a competitive sport called “poona”. Although a small woollen ball would be used at first, soon the shuttlecock took over. Around the 1870s the rules and regulations were drawn up.
The game made it’s way back to England when army officers returned home around 1873. The story goes that following a Badminton House lawn party held by the Duke of Beaufort some of his guests played a game of “The Badminton Game”.
Following its popularity the first official written badminton rules were drawn up in 1877 by the Bath Badminton Club.
Skip forward to 1893 to a key moment in the history of the sport is when another set rules and regulations, which are similar to the rules of today were published by The Badminton Association of England.
In 1899 they create the All England Open Badminton Championships, the first official competition in the world.
In 1934 The International Badminton Federation (IBF) was created by Canada, Denmark, England, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales, India joined as an affiliate two years later in 1936.
In 2006 it’s members all 176 of them voted to change their name to Badminton World Federation or (BWF).
Frequently Ask Question (FAQ’s)
Is badminton an Olympic sport?
The game finally received a boost in status when it became an Olympic sport at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Previously it had only been an exhibition sport at the 1972 Munich and the 1988 Seoul Games.
Is badminton the fastest racket sport in the world?
Yes badminton is indeed the fastest racket based sport in the world. The shuttle can travel at over 200 mph / 300 kmh during matches.
In fact the world record for the fastest badminton smash is recorded at 306.3 mph or 493 km/h. However this was performed in a controlled environment and not during a match.
Badminton Equipment Suppliers
There are various suppliers of badminton equipment today but two of the most recognisable ones Yonex and Victor began making their badminton rackets in 1950’s and 1960’s respectively. Both companies have a rich badminton history. For more information please take a look at our article about all the main badminton brands.
The History of Badminton In Summary
Is badminton a sport? You bet it is! What is the origin of badminton? Well you could say India but for the game we know and play today you would lean more towards England. In the end both countries contributed and can lay claim to badminton’s origin.
The sport may well have started in England/India but the sport has been dominated over the years by the Asian countries such as China, Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia and India. Denmark is probably Europe’s most consistent country for producing top talent.
Who Tops The Rankings Now?
Recent badminton history is still dominated by Asian countries with the top 10 ranking from August 2015 proving it.
Men’s Top 10 Rankings – August 2015
|2||Jan O Jorgensen||(Denmark)|
|7||Chou Tien Chen||(Taiwan)|
|10||Son Wan Ho||(South Korea)|
Previous world ranking history paints a similar story.
You can find which badminton players are currently dominating the sport on our BWF Top 10 rankings page. We update the rankings every month so don’t forget to check back regularly.
One of the great badminton players in the history of the sport has to be Denmark’s Peter Gade. He won no less than 22 Grand Prix titles during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
If you would like more help with other areas of the sport take a look at these articles?
- Choosing The Right Badminton Racket: A Beginners Guide
- How To Minimise Injury
- Techniques for Beginners
Final Thought – Badminton History
That’s just about sums up everything you need to know about the history of badminton. It’s British/Indian origins have meant its become incredibly popular in both Europe/Asia. That said Asia is without doubt the largest market for the sport.
Feel like improving your skills
It’s now time to take out your racquet and smash some shuttlecocks!!! Why not join a badminton club or school.
If you wish to know more about badminton in your country or region take a look at these links.