Badminton is a sport that’s not only fascinating to watch, but also a sport that sports a fascinating history. Many people believe that badminton is just a dumbed down version of tennis, or a brazen misuse of a volleyball net. In reality, however, badminton has a rich history that makes it an influential and important sport in its own right. Today, hundreds of years since its inception, badminton continues to thrill and entertain participants and spectators of this exciting sport.
The Origins of Badminton
Badminton’s story begins thousands of years ago in ancient Europe and Asia. There is evidence that ancient games known as Battledore and Shuttlecock were created over 2000 years ago in these regions, and in fact, they were still a pastime of the upper crust of English society in the 1600s. The game was simply two people hitting a shuttlecock backwards and forwards with a bat for as long as possible without it hitting the ground. The similarities to modern badminton are clear, but the differences are too great to truly mark this as badminton.
A game from India known as Poon was developed in 1800s that involved a net – the first ever badminton net in existence! Poon was taken back to England to the house of the Duke of Beaufort. His stately mansion was named “Badminton,” and his guests love the new game. This led to an English tournament in 1898, and the name badminton stuck. In the following few decades, many other countries, such as Denmark, the United States, and Canada, all joined in for the fun and had their own tournaments. The rules were written down, badminton equipment was standardized, and the rest is sports history.
Badminton in the Olympics
Badminton organizations started popping up in the 20th century. The International Badminton Federation formed in 1934, and in 1966, badminton was introduced as a Commonwealth Games program sport. Finally, in 1992, Badminton became an official Olympic sport in the Barcelona Olympics in the year 1992. Many countries compete, and 8 different countries have won medals at these competitions. Since badminton’s introduction to these games, badminton athletes have received a lot more attention, funding, and respect. Badminton continues to be a fun sport today with a promising future of active participants and exciting sporting events.
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