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History of Badminton

Badminton has a surprinsingly long history given its relatively recent introduction onto the Olympic scene.


The sport dates back to the 5th Century BC where, as the Chinese game Ti Jian Zi (shuttlecock kcking), it was played with feet rather than the battledores (early rackets) of ancient Greece and India. In the 1600s, the game of shuttlecock was played by the British nobility. While on the mainland of Europe, it was known as jeu de volant.

But the modern game won popularity with the British Army stationed in India in the mid-19th Century. Army officers brought it home to England and, in 1873, the Duke of Beaufort introduced the game to Royal society at his country estate, Badminton House, in Gloucestershire – the county where the IBF currently has its headquarters. Within four years, Bath Badminton Club was founded and the version played by members formed the basis for today’s game and its rules.


Founded in 1934 with nine members – Canada, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales, membership of the International Badminton Federation has risen steadily. There was a notable increase in new members after badminton’s Olympic debut at Barcelona. Development in the sport continues to grow and the current 156 members is expected to increase further.

The first major IBF tournament was the Thomas Cup men’s world team championships in 1948 but today’s major events also include the women’s Uber Cup equivalent, the World Championships, the Sudirman Cup world mixed team championships, and the World Junior Championships. For the last decade, China and Indonesia have set the standard with Denmark leading the European challenge. Canada and USA dominate in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand share honours in Oceania, while South Africa is at the forefront in the African region.


New competitions are planned for the future, including one-off spectaculars and the potential development of a SuperSeries. It is anticipated that these will attract greater sponsorship, prize money and television. In these days of mass communications, the importance of television to a world sport is self-evident. Television brings the action, the exitement, the explosive power of badminton into homes around the world. It pulls in the crowd to see the action live; it pulls in major sponsors.

Badminton has rich history and its future looks even brighter!
 500 BC The Chinese game ‘Ti Jian Zi’ was popular amongst the population.
 0 BC A game played with a battledore and shuttlecock was popular in China, Japan, and Greece.
 1860s In India, a game called Poona became popular.
 1870s The game of Poona was imported into England via its military from India.
 1873 Badminton gets its name from a country estate where it was played. Modern rules are established.
 1899 The first international championship took place at the all England Open.
 1934 The International Badminton Federation was formed
 1992 The sport of badminton became an olympic event.


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