Badminton is one of the most popular racquet games in the world, in fact, it probably ranks 2nd behind tennis – though squash fans might be a little unhappy at that sentiment! The game is played all across the world and has been a mainstay in the Olympic Games since 1992. The goal of badminton is for the players to use racquets to hit a shuttlecock over a net, and hope the opponent can’t return it – thus winning a point.
Badminton requires plenty of skill, stamina, speed, agility, and precision to be successful at, and it is a game that can be enjoyed by amateurs as well as professionals. Playable as a game of singles or doubles, badminton shares many similarities with tennis but is very much its own game.Let’s look a little more closely at the history of badminton, and how it has developed into the game it eventually became.
History of badminton
The game as we know it today actually originated in British India back in the mid-19th Century. The game is a derivative of the ancient racquet game ‘battledore and shuttlecock’ that was played primarily by the British. The name badminton is thought to have come from the Duke of Beaufort’s home in Gloucestershire called Badminton House. It is unclear when the naming happened, or why Beaufort’s home was chosen as the influence. Perhaps the game was frequently played here, and people began to refer to it as badminton?
On the surface, badminton might seem like a game that’s simply about hitting the shuttlecock over the net as hard as you can – but it’s a little more complicated than that. There are a lot of different techniques involved in playing badminton, and the strategy of the game is incredibly important. It is, in fact, the fastest racquet sport, but, the shuttlecock will not always move quickly due to its design. So, it’s sometimes preferable to play softer, more graceful shots. In fact, one of the best approaches is to send your opponent to the back of the court, and then try to send a delicate drop shot just over the net.
Badminton has always had a global reach as a sport and has grown in popularity over the years. Traditionally, in Europe, the game has been largely dominated by Scandinavian nations, specifically Denmark. However, in the past couple of decades it has developed a huge following in Asia, specifically places like Singapore, Malaysia, and China. In the last Olympics China took gold in both the men’s singles event, and the men’s double’s, with Malaysia taking silver in both, as well as mixed doubles. The popularity of the sport in Asia, combined with the amount of money available, means we can pretty be sure of continuing success for these nations.
Badminton is one of the world’s leading sports, and actually really accessible for beginners as well. If you want to take up badminton, all you need is a racquet, shuttlecock, and a place to play. It’s a fun and exciting sport, and a great way of keeping fit. Learning the origins of the game, and how it has grown in popularity across the world will help pique your interest. Maybe you’ll even tune into Tokyo 2020 as well!