The origin of badminton began centuries ago… Back then, badminton was known as Battledore and Shuttlecock in parts of Europe and Asia. The game involved the two players using a bat or paddle to hit a shuttlecock back and forth repeatedly without allowing it to fall to the ground. In the 1600s, battle and shuttlecock was a sport exclusive to the upper class in England and several other European nations.
Centuries later, a modified version of badminton named Poona was played in India. Unlike its former version, poona required its players to hit the shuttlecock across the net that was later introduced. Poona was widely enjoyed as a fast-paced competitive sport. It was not long before the british officers brought the modified game and its equipment back to England.
In 1873, the Duke of Beaufort held a game of poon at his place, badminton. The game was well-received by the Duke’s guests and soon became the British’s social favourite pastime. Following, the game was renamed after the Duke’s place, badminton.
As the game had gotten popular, the need for an official set of rules grew. In 1877, the Bath Badminton Club was established and the first official set of rules was drawn.
In 1898, the first Open Tournament was held. This marked the start of many other renowned badminton championships such as All England Championships.
Later, the International Badminton Federation (IBF) was established in 1934 with nine founding members: England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Holland, Canada, New Zealand and France. With the formation of IBF, the number of international events increased even more rapidly. Today, the IBF has grown to include more than 150 member nations.
Despite having a long history, badminton was only officiated as an Olympic sport in Barcelona in 1992. Prior to that, badminton was a demonstration sport at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Today, badminton no longer remains as an exclusive sport for the elites as equipment of badminton can now be easily bought off the shelf of any sports store. Simple rules of badminton, together with the availability of equipment, make it a popular sport among people of all ages and social class.